RoboCop

RoboCop ★★★★½

"Madam, you have suffered an emotional shock. I will notify a rape crisis center." - Robocop

Oh, so this is what all you guys were hyping up! Good work! Robocop lived up to it! This is living, breathing proof that you don't have to adhere to the following criteria to make an 80s action classic:
1. Star Arnold Schwarzenegger.
2. Star Sylvester Stallone.
3. Be directed by James Cameron.
4. Star Arnold Schwarzenegger and be directed by James Cameron
(although, that normally helps things more than anything else)

Paul Verhoeven's satirical swipe at 80s excess (just look at that gore!), loss of identity and expendable cannon fodder is as funny and as fun as they come, with gleeful abandon from taste and budget limitations (however much this cost, it looks better than it should). The world-building of dystopic Detroit is wonderful and highly creative, helped majorly by the little ad breaks and news flashes; a trick Verhoeven was to hone in his equally nutso and dumb-clever 1997 masterpiece, Starship Troopers. It's a smart move that is played so tongue-in-cheek that it never distracts from the plot's propulsion, and only adds that extra layer of giddy excellence to the film.

The production design and visual flair is what marks Robocop as a true standout of its time, with a notable mention going to the relatively-smooth stop-motion effects of ED-209. Robocop himself is a wonderful creation, inspiring the audience to shout at the screen "WANT ONE! WANT ONE!" as the credits roll. A true boys-and-their-toys actioner, it's unashamedly aware of how awesome it is.

Peter Weller is rather superb as the titular hero, his stilted physicality and monotone voice a pleasure to watch and listen to. Robocop's development may seem a little shaky to begin with, but once Weller really settles into the role, he makes that final little exchange an absolute cracker and truly glad you've spent 102 minutes of your time watching this bonkers classic. There's fine support from the villains, an entire cast of which are given personality, flair and their own little evil tics to play off with joy (observe the casual deployment of Clarence's "Leave, bitches!" and try not to laugh).

With a wicked sense of humour, pace to die for and ultra-violence to practically drown in, there are few more exciting and satisfying 80s action flicks than Robocop.

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