Picking at the bloated carcass of geek culture...occasionally!!!

Robocop: The Worst Cop Ever?

In Movies, Science Fiction on March 4, 2011 at 2:36 am

There is a lot of love for the late Officer Murphy, these days. Whether it’s an upcoming statue the Motor City, talk of a still-not-dead remake, or me watching Robocop (as well as…sigh…Robocop 2 and …ugh…Robocop…godammit…3), I’ve been thinking non-stop about a certain cyborg police officer. But I ask anyone, especially those with extremely fond memories of this franchise, to consider that maybe, just maybe, Robocop is pretty terrible at law enforcement.

Consider this:

1) Robocop cannot run. He walks leisurely after criminals, engaging in wildly dangerous gunfights with everyone dumb enough to engage him. I mean, a light jog and jumping over a foot-tall hedge will make it nigh impossible for Robocop to catch you unless he decides to shoot you, which brings me to my next point.

2) Robocop’s chief method of protecting and serving is firing exploding three-round bursts into the soon-to-be-corpses of everyone. Non-lethal force consists of him occasionally manhandling muggers and stickup-men by throwing them through walls and breaking as much personal property as cyborgly possible. And this only works if the criminals get close enough to Robocop for him to grab them. Let’s go back to Point #1 to see how unnecessary that is.

3) Robocop drives a Ford Taurus.

4) Robocop keeps his admittedly sweet handgun in a hidden holster in his leg. Robocop’s leg pops open and then he draws his gun, kills everyone, then holsters his weapon with incredible panache. The question is: “Wouldn’t that shit-ton of leg real estate be better served for something like, I don’t know, being able to run…or walk fast. Back to Point #1.

So why is Robocop so well-loved? Robocop has a great supporting cast, a pretty badass costume design, and Paul Verhoeven calling his shots. He is, however, a terrible, terrible cop. But the worst ever?

At least he can handle stairs.

  1. i agree.
    Though, I never really saw why people love this movie so. if it wasnt for the iconic character, this movie would be lost. however, i feel robocop is a direct result of the late 80s; both in design and his trigger happiness. if he was first conceived(or in the remake)today, i bet you visual effects would take over and he would move a lot smoother or the design would be slicker/leaner. Now i am all for the practical fx over visual fx, but i feel that clunkiness in this situation often weighs him and the movie down.

    i also was bothered that they had a conflicting fx for the robots. you have robocop-slow and clunky, yet a suit and then you have the badguy robot that is very agile and all stop motion.

  2. Oh sure, check out Mr. New York City liberal criticizing how things are done in Old Detroit. Ha! I’d like to hear you whistle that same tune after a night in Robocop’s shoes… Yeah, I’d buy that for a dollar! Look,there’s a new sheriff in Old Detroit and his name is Robocop and he’s taking out the trash! After he finishes that, I’d like to see him turn his cyborg sights onto bigger fish, like OCP… too bad OCP runs Detroit, hell, OCP runs the cops! They’re his boss!

    • After a night in Robocop’s shoes, I’d have walked about 20 feet and be too tired to whistle anything.

      I feel worse for the shopkeeper or arcade owner in Old Detroit who was “rescued” by Robocop by having him throw his attacker through his merchandise.

      But Kettner has the right of it. Do we like Robobop as a movie because of the talents of Nancy Allen? I’d say no. It’s Kurtwood Smith, Ronny Cox, Ray Wise, Miguel Ferrer, and Paul McCrane that make this movie work.

      “Bitches, leave.”

      • Honestly, we like Robocop not because it’s a great action movie (even though it is), we like it because it’s brilliant Verhoeven satire. Between this and Starship Troopers? The man is a genius. It’s not his fault others failed to pick up the ball for 2 and 3…

  3. Mike, the real appeal of robocop isn’t from the clunky effects or stop motion ED209…..Its a terribly funny movie with probably the best cast of over the top pulpy villains ever….clarence boddicker!! infuckingcredible, and his host of exceptionally evil and disgusting lackeys. unfuckwithable. I mean….cliffhanger villains are pretty incredible too, but robocop wins….sheesh….i need to watch this again soon…

  4. i see what you guys mean, but i guess those dudes didnt really do it for me. id even say cliffhanger badguys are way more interesting and incredible.
    for some action verhoeven cheese ill take total recall over robocop.

  5. Same argument can be made about the Terminator. The Only real reason why u don’t see these hulks of metal run is well they kill everything before it has a chance too or with all Thier visual enhancements feel pretty confident they can cut Thier prey off

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