RoboCop

RoboCop ★★★★★

When I was a teenager, I wasn't exactly what one would call a "ladies man". I didn't have the confidence, missing opportunities for adolescent romance because the fear of being rejected far outweighed the potential benefits of success in my mind. On some random night during high school I recall watching RoboCop and while I didn't pay close enough attention to the film to truly appreciate the brilliance of the satire (I was likely drunk, high or both), I do recall being captivated by the theme music in the film. I started imagining what it would be like to have it start playing just before I entered a room. I could have been forty pounds overweight wearing a stained t-shirt and pajama pants, doesn't matter, the RoboCop theme would have transformed me into a sexual icon.

It took me being an adult to finally "get" Paul Verhoeven. While I never took this film too seriously, I used to deem that as a flaw of some sort, as if the silly over-the-top performances, advertisements and news segments were unintentionally comical. In my younger, naive mind, I believed that Verhoeven was attempting to craft a super serious action film and got lost along the way. Now that I have had the opportunity to sit down and experience this film with a clear, semi-intelligent mind, I am ashamed of the limited scope of my past film appreciation potential. I can't help but wonder how many films I "watched" during that era had unfortunately soared over my head.

What I once deemed as merely silly, I now admire for being so friggin' smart. RoboCop is everything you could ask for from a science fiction/action film. It has laugh out loud worthy wit, thrilling action sequences, and yet still plenty of warmth and emotional resonance to establish a true connection with the audience. Mastering one aspect only would have still been enough to entertain and earn my recommendation. Had RoboCop been only successful as a brilliantly on the nose social commentary, I would have enjoyed it. Had it been merely an exciting action film with some inspired set pieces, I likely would be able to shut my brain off for 90 plus minutes and reveled in the violence. The fact that Paul Verhoeven managed to balance every possible direction the film could go with seemingly flawless confidence, that is why RoboCop stands today as a 1980's genre masterpiece rather than just another film lumped in the massive group of entertaining but forgettable films that were released around the same time.

Today I live life as a loyal married man, but my desire to claim the theme music as my own remains unchanged. Sure, my days of being an overly horny and lonely teenage male are long over, but the song is simply too fucking epic to ignore regardless. In the near future I will drive to work one morning with it blasting from the speakers in my car, and anyone of importance in the office will take notice. It may not guarantee a raise and a promotion, but it certainly can't hurt, right?

Scott liked this review