Wednesday, November 30, 2011

ROBOCOP (1987) - Paul Verhoeven

Question: Is there a movie out there with a better cast of sleazeball villains than Robocop? Kurtwood Smith as Clarence Boddicker ("Bitches, leave!"). Ray Wise as Nash ("Don't touch me, man!"). Ronny Cox as Dick Jones ("I'm cashing you out, Bob"). Miguel Ferrer as Morton ("That's life in the big city," after watching a co-worker executed in a hail of machine gun fire by a malfunctioning ED-209). Answer: No, I really don't think so. And if there is, please tell me.

Some people watch Robocop for Robocop. I watch it for the bad guys. I suspect Verhoeven in his first major Hollywood studio outing was worried about being saddled with an emotionless cyborg as his main character. So he peopled his rogue's gallery of baddies with absolutely despicable, fantastically over-the-top character actors just in case. It was a wise choice, as was obliterating Peter Weller's bland Officer Murphy with countless shotgun blasts in the beginning so you had no choice but to be in his emotion-free corner for the remainder.

Will the director who remakes Robocop be so wise, so bold in his decisions? Will he be as bloodthirsty, as enamored of New Detroit's sleaze? I highly doubt it.

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