Now celebrating its thirtieth anniversary, ROBOCOP would seem all the more prescient in terms of its positing of a world reigned over by an increasingly militarized and privatized military-industrial security complex. Verhoeven enjoys taking the piss out of the people who are basically paying to get what they want. This is high-minded mockery, obviously for the most part over the heads of its targets. Still: funny.
Stridently confident visual storytelling, unencumbered by unnecessary narrative bridges just a gutsily simple satire on American gung-ho ballsiness. It's this quality that lifts it above the contemporary 'SchwarzenStone' runarounds of the day, and like the proverbial bull it runs amok amongst it's media and corporatist soft targets like a splendidly unsubtle take on Frankenstein's Monster.
Robocop is in my DNA, viewed too often, too young. Masochist relationship with aestheticised violence, genre that functions in and above its form. The Cyborg Manifesto. Does the experiment fail because we can't separate man from machine or because we try? Schlockier than remembered, but nothing purifying in its violence, no redemption in renouncing flesh.
Contrary to J-L Nancy's reflection in "L'Intrus" on the intrusion on thought of a body foreign to thought, RoboCop spotlights the intrusion on body of thoughts foreign to body. And parallels between Nancy's and Verhoeven's restitutiones ad integrum run free: crossing personal and technological contingencies which in the graftee operate the metaphysical adventure of post-death experience, the vacillating, montage "I",
I think its exposures of the media, police, and corporate warlords are mostly valid, but I have serious reservations about its solutions. This is a film clearly operating from the perspective that the world is corrupted by blurred lines between the police, corporations, and the media to such an extent that violence is the best recourse for cleaning it up. On the other hand, the movie fits together really well.
You are already see plenty of elements that after Verhoeven will use in one of is master pieces, "Straship Troopers". Still, you easily find it too, plenty of bad taste elements that reminds you the initial work. So Robocop is symbolic figure to characterize his work, between the excessive kitsch from the past and is new appearance, more clean in is approach of the new medium (his cinema and the television parody).
This is a classic of science fiction cinema. Paul Verhoeven brings us a delightful display of shameless, gore, sex, and violence in this futuristic gem that did not need a remake because the sequels sucked too. Nothing can top the original, sometimes you can't catch lightning in a bottle more than once.
re-rating. I'm not following Verhoeven's hype, but the opportunity to review or see his work in a movie theater has allowed me to update my relation with his films, including this initial experience in the North American industry. Inserted in one of the most creatives artistic movements of the 80's, the bionic body, a film that reinvents a political action cinema, turning it into an ironic cinema of in(ter)vention.
Just look at him when they pry that helmet off of him. His face? It's stretched over the front and practically stapled on. They took a corpse and turned it into a machine but the machine decided to be a man instead. Frank Miller must have been wilding out in the theater.