About These Films: "Robocop" is an interesting science-fiction action movie
series, but not without its flaws. I think the concept of
is very cool. The execution of the films? Not so
much. The movies are entertaining, but there are things about
them that could have been done better, even back then. I think a
reboot of the "Robocop" movies is in definite order.
The consequent TV series, "Robocop: The Series"
(1994-1995) does NOT continue the saga. In fact, the TV series
was deliberately set in an alternate reality from the "Robocop" movies
and made as more of a family-friendly program.
The later TV mini-series, "Robocop: Prime
Directives" (2000) also holds no relationship to this movie series or
the earlier TV series. Like the first two "Robocop" films, it was
made dark and violent. Unlike the movies and the earlier TV
series, "Robocop: Prime Directives" is once again set in its own
alternate reality. This mini-series is really four full-length
films (approximately 90 minutes each) put together.
The "Robocop" trilogy centers around the rise and
fall of the evil OCP corporation. Robocop, a creation of the OCP
company, would eventually lead to their own destruction. It would
have been neat to see "Robocop 4". What happened after OCP
crumbled and Detroit was free of their tyranny? What new threat
developed? We'll never know, but it would be interesting.
(1987)- Set in a "near future" Detroit, Michigan in an
almost apocalyptic world. Crime is rampant, the city's police
force was taken over by an evil corporation called OCP, and the planet
Earth is in a general toilet state. OCP President Dick Jones is
in bed with the criminal underworld, namely the gang of Clarence
Boddicker. Freshly transferred to the worst precinct in Detroit,
Officer Alex Murphy is brutally killed by Boddicker and his gang.
Meanwhile Bob Morton, an executive at OCP trying to knock Dick Jones
out of first place, has Murphy brought back to life as a cyborg police
officer called "Robocop". Although Murphy's memories were
supposed to be erased, the memories of his past and terrible death
haunt him. Robocop discovers his own true identity, and the
conspiracy within OCP. With the help of his partner Anne Lewis,
Murphy/Robocop goes after Clarence Boddicker's gang and takes down Dick
Jones. This is easier said than done since Jones sics the Detroit
police on Robocop as well as his earlier robot creation, the
ED-209. Boddicker and his gang, Dick Jones, and the ED-209 are
A good movie overall, there are some things about it
that I don't like or could have been done better. For instance, I
thought the general tone of the movie was pretty heartless. We
see Murphy as a totally nice guy, and his death scene is no
nasty. I really didn't like seeing the blood and gore of a
character we're supposed to like. It's terrible. They could
have just insinuated that he died in a gruesome manner.
I also didn't like the fact that they never resolved
the issue of Murphy's wife and son. He never sees them again in
this film, nor does he really attempt to track them down. Robocop
checks out the house where he once lived, and that was about it.
Some of the dialogue in this film is way fake.
The cursing is largely forced and without much conviction. The
best scenes in this movie are, quite frankly, the ones where Robocop is
Although it became a trademark of all Robocop shows,
I don't really care for the bizarre TV shows and commercials within the
movie. I know it's supposed to emphasize just how messed up
everything is, but it's a bit too odd. More than that, it just
distracts from the real story.
There was one thing I thought was very
well-done. Throughout the course of the film, Robocop loses his
robotic mannerisms and takes on more of the speech patterns and actions
of the old Murphy. The robot develops a personality!
The action of "Robocop" is very well done. You
can't say the fight scenes look fake. The only thing about the
action that looked fake, even in 1987, was the ED-209 sequences.
But even that is done well enough where you can pretend it's a real
killer robot. Cast:
Peter Weller as Officer Alex Murphy/Robocop
Nancy Allen as Officer Anne Lewis
Ronny Cox as Dick Jones
Kurtwood Smith as Clarence Boddicker
Miguel Ferrer as Bob Morton
Director Paul Verhoeven wanted to present
"Robocop" as a Christ-like hero. Alex Murphy is brutally
murdered, comes back from the dead, and becomes a powerful new being.
Schwarzenegger was briefly considered for the
role of Robocop, but it thought his great, muscular build would prove
too bulky for the suit.
Stephanie Zimbalist was originally cast as Anne
Lewis, but had to back out due to commitments for her TV series,
When Nancy Allen was cast as Anne Lewis, director
Verhoeven had her hair cut very short as he wanted to "desexualize" the
character. I think anyone who has seen the film series knows Anne
Lewis is NEVER a potential love interest for Robocop; merely a close
The Robocop suit was so hot and heavy that Peter
Weller was losing three pounds a day from water loss. Eventually,
an air conditioner had to be installed in the suit. The
discomfort of the Robocop suit was one of the major factors Peter
Weller left the film series after "Robocop 2".
Robocop's gun, the fictitious Auto-9, is really a
modified Beretta M93R.
All police cars were modified Ford Taurus.
Body count: 30.
The fictional luxury car 6000 SUX was a modified
1976 Oldsmobile Cutlass four-door sedan.
The Robocop suit was the single most expensive
item on the set. It's estimated that the suit cost around $1
Tom Berenger wanted to play Robocop and actually
talked about it with director Verhoeven.
Director Verhoeven originally wanted Robocop to
kill Boddicker by stabbing him through the eyeball. As this did
not sit well with the censors, Verhoeven had it changed to a still
gruesome, but bit more acceptable death by stabbing through the chin.
Verhoeven used a lot of religious imagery in the
film such as Robocop walking on water (near the end of the film),
Boddicker's blood turning the water red like wine, and the hand and
head wounds of Murphy.
This was the second time Kurtwood Smith killed
Miguel Ferrer in a movie, the first being "Flashpoint" (1984).
Writer Edward Neumeier got the idea for "Robocop"
after passing by the set of "Blade Runner" (1982).
Many Hollywood directors turned down this script,
and even Paul Verhoeven didn't like it at first until he read it closer
and noticed the socio-political commentary.
2. Robocop 2 (1990)-
This movie is entertaining enough, but it doesn't really accomplish
anything in the "Robocop" saga. The first movie sets things up,
the third movie ties up a lot of loose ends. This second film
doesn't do anything, but Robocop does kick a lot of a**!
Basically, a crazy woman by the name of Dr. Juliette
Faxx wants to disable Robocop in favor of her own model of the cyborg,
called Robocop 2. Clever how this works with the title.
Most of the human subjects tested for Robocop 2 have suicidal
tendencies or are otherwise inadequate. Faxx ultimately recruits
Cain, a notorious gang leader not unlike the character of Clarence
Boddicker from the first film. Robocop must now battle Robocop 2
because, unlike Robocop, Cain has ALL of his memory and is extremely
insane and dangerous.
The issue of Robocop/Murphy's wife and son is
touched on, but not resolved. It leaves the audience (me, anyway)
rather unsatisfied. The next film had NOTHING about Murphy's wife
and son, but basically because "Robocop 3" was a giant battle from
beginning to finish and there wasn't any time to use that backstory.
Comic book writing legend Frank Miller penned the
script. His initial script was deemed "unfilmable" by the
producers and studio executives. Several rehashes of Miller's
script were made before the screenplay was established. Miller,
himself, was very unsatisfied. In retaliation, Miller released a
nine-issue comic book mini-series called "Frank Miller's Robocop" based
on his original script for the "Robocop 2" film. The comic series
was NOT a great commercial or critical success. The actual film
of "Robocop 2", on the other hand, was another big hit, like the first
film. This film was also the last time Robocop was a true success
"Robocop 2" was directed by Irvin Kershner,
replacing Paul Verhoeven from the first film. However, Kershner
followed much of the style that Verhoeven had set down. The major
difference between Verhoeven and Kershner is that Verhoeven was more
concerned about telling a story that had social and political
significance with some action thrown in to fill in the spaces.
Kershner definitely tried to make this more of a straight action film.
Despite the fact that this isn't an "important"
movie in the Robocop saga, I've always liked it better than the first
movie. The only thing I didn't like about it is the fact that
Robocop couldn't be more human. At the end of the first film,
Robocop regained a lot of his human tendencies. In the second
film, for no apparent reason, he regressed to his earlier robot
state. However, if you want to see a Robocop movie based solely
on Robocop wrecking sh**, "Robocop 2" is probably the strongest of the
By this point, Weller was getting real tired of
working in the "Robocop" movies. The suit was uncomfortable, and
he didn't like the direction the saga was going. Also, at the end
of the first movie, it's shown that Robocop was becoming more
human. In "Robocop 2", the character seemed to lose his humanity
again, which was never explained and didn't sit well with Weller.
This was the last film Irvin Kershner ever
directed. He's best known for directing this, "The Empire Strikes
Back" (1980), and "Never Say Never Again" (1983).
Peter Weller and Nancy Allen were both
unsatisfied with this movie. However, "Robocop 2" was still a
ED-209, the antagonist robot of the first film,
is shown in this movie, but in small clips. It was written that
the robot was deployed due to its malfunctioning nature.
Besides Weller and Allen, other returning actors
from the first film include: Felton Perry as OCP Vice President
Donald Johnson, Dan O'Herlihy as OCP President aka "The Old Man", Mario
Machado as anchorman Casey Wong, Leeza Gibbons as anchorwoman Jess
Perkins, Robert DoQui as Sgt. Reed, Angie Bolling as Ellen Murphy.
3. Robocop 3 (1993)-
I actually liked "Robocop 3" and think it's probably the best movie of
the series. The movie flopped in theaters, but I thought it was
the most fun and entertaining of the three films. It's also the
most optimistic. The first two "Robocop" films are kind of
depressing. The third one is a bit more optimistic as it shows
the fall of the tyrannical OCP corporation. I really didn't
notice much of a change in the Robocop actors. Peter Weller was
the hero in the first two films, Robert John Burke played Robocop in
this, his only appearance as the super-cop. Nancy Allen's Anne
Lewis was actually a pretty cool character for the first time, but gets
"killed off". I still wonder why Allen wanted to return at all if
her character was going to have such a minimal part. It would
have been better for the film series to just write her out and give
Robocop a different partner.
The direction is noticably different from Paul
Verhoeven and Irvin Kershner, director of the first two films,
respectively. Although I have
nothing against Paul or Irvin's direction, I do think this film is a
brighter and prettier to look at. The film still follows the same
basic tone as the first two films, so it's not an incredible departure.
The OCP corporation is in ruin and on the verge of
bankruptcy. The Kunemitsu corporation is about to take over
OCP. OCP, with their newly-founded militaristic police force
called "The Rehabs", is trying to clear out areas of Detroit, namely
Cadillac Heights, to make room for their Delta City project. The
Delta City plan, the company's scheme since the first movie, is meeting
serious resistance from the many innocent citizens that OCP and the
Rehabs are relocating and/or killing off.
Robocop and the entire Detroit Police Department
turn against OCP and the Rehabs. The Rehabs deputize the
Splatterpunks, Detroit's nastiest gang, into removing people from
Cadillac Heights. All this, and the Kunemitsu corporation sends
out their own, human-looking ninja cyborg Otomo to take care of Robocop
and the resistance. The Kunemitsu corporation is lead to believe,
by OCP, that Robocop and the citizens are the enemy. When all is
said and done, OCP is completely destroyed. Kunemitsu causes the
city no more grief.
The action is awesome, things start going better for
our hero and, for crying out loud, he actually flies near the
end! That's awesome! Robocop flying is one of the
coolest things that ever happened in the series! I also like the
idea of the robot ninja that turned out to be THREE robot ninjas.
It's my belief that "Robocop 3" would have been more
of a success if it didn't come out so many years later after "Robocop
2". If this film would have hit theaters in 1991, just a year
after the second film, it would have been more interesting for
audiences. When this movie came out, people had to remember the
events that happened in 1987 and 1990 for this film to make much sense,
and it didn't work.
Robert John Burke as Officer Alex Murphy/Robocop
Nancy Allen as Officer Anne Lewis
Robert DoQui as Sgt. Reed
Rip Torn as The CEO
Felton Perry as OCP Vice President Donald Johnson
Mako as Kunemitsu
CCH Pounder as Bertha Washington
"Robocop 3" was filmed in 1991, but wasn't
released until 1993. This was due to the production company,
Orion, going bankrupt.
Peter Weller has always been vocal about what he
feels was a downhill direction for the "Robocop" franchise. Plus,
the suit was really uncomfortable for him. However, Weller was
still willing to return to "Robocop 3" for the fans. His work
schedule for the film "Naked Lunch" (1991) would not allow him to work
on "Robocop 3", and he had to pass it up.
Peter Weller says that he has never even seen
This was the first "Robocop" film to be rated
PG-13. The previous two had strong R ratings.
Nancy Allen agreed to return as Anne Lewis ONLY
if her character was killed in the first half of the film. Like
Peter Weller, Allen, too, was not thrilled about the direction of the
"Robocop 3" was filmed in Atlanta, Georgia.
ED-209, the antagonist robot of the first film,
is once again featured in "Robocop 3", although not in direct
confrontation to Robocop. This robot has appeared in all three
Robocop films, but only in small clips in "Robocop 2".
S.D. Nemeth, who played obnoxious TV comedian
Bixby Snyder, appeared in "Robocop" and "Robocop 3". He did NOT
appear in "Robocop 2".
The only actors to appear in all three Robocop
films are: Nancy Allen as Officer Anne Lewis, Mario Machado as
anchorman Casey Wong, Felton Perry as OCP Vice President Donald
Johnson, Robert DoQui as Sgt. Reed, and Angie Bolling as Ellen
Murphy. And, of course, the ED-209.
The character of the original OCP President aka
"The Old Man", as played by Dan O'Herlihy, was written out of the
series. It's not made clear what happened to him, but we're led
to believe that he was arrested and/or killed. Rip Torn replaced
O'Herlihy as "The CEO".