Robocop(s)

Ah Robocop. What is there I don't love about you? At your best you're a glimpse into what writers and directors of the 1980s and 90s thought the future would hold based on the economic and social climate of their time and at your worst you're a series of silly but fun action movies about a cyborg. Basically what I’m saying is anyone who says they don’t like you is lying.

I had seen the original Robocop before but definitely enjoyed it a lot more watching it a second time. For me the tongue-in-cheek aspects became a little clearer while re-watching the film, so I could appreciate the overall effect more. I was also used to the dry, pared back style style the second time around, so it wasn't as jarring as I first found this movie to be. The film is a very clever take on action/sci-fi films and the tropes they have embedded in them, for instance the corporation that is half evil for the sake of it and half evil because it is staffed by people who don't know any better. The quick glimpses through advertisements show how bad the reality of the setting is and how some people are still managing to profit off it. The heightened violence is perfectly executed to show there is real danger present for the characters while also being so over the top it registers as humour rather than horror. I really loved it and I'd recommend it for anyone who likes schlock violence movies or seeing Kurtwood Smith kick a whole bunch of ass.

For the first third of Robocop 2 I thought I was going to like it a lot more than the first film. It was snappy and interesting and there were several plot elements that interwove with each other to make the outcomes more complicated, however as the film wore on it became more predictable to the point that it felt like it was reusing plot from the first film - especially where the main obstacle to be overcome was concerned. I didn't hate it because the fight scenes were still good and it was definitely an interesting take on the Robocop idea but it definitely didn't have the same flair that the first one had. I’d also say the same for Robocop 3, which is a good closing act for the franchise but doesn’t do anything with the idea that they haven't done before. They’re both fine but I probably wouldn't watch them again, and I'd recommend them only so you can say you've watched the whole franchise.

This might be sacrilege to say, but I enjoyed the reboot. It was very different to the original, which makes it hard to compare the two, but overall I thought it stayed pretty true to the ideas and messages of the 1987 film. There is a bit too much set up in the beginning of the film, a stark contrast to the original in which almost nothing is explained, but otherwise what information the writers added felt necessary to the action. I'd recommend it, whether you've seen the original or not. 

- L