ROBOCOP has aged badly, it is undeniable. The special effects are from another era, the costumes are old-fashioned (my god, the clothing of police officers is an aesthetic that is truly hideous), but despite it all the film retains a certain quaint charm.
the first half hour promises a classic of SF. Peter Weller (seen in Le Festin Nu of Cronenberg) and Nancy Allen (spotted in his role in Carrie to the Prom of the Devil and made famous by his roles in Impulse and Blow Out, always with Brian de Palma) embody two cops in righteousness rare in a Strait futuristic. In pursuit of a troop of thugs, led by the awesome Kurtwood Smith, the duo is trapped in a shoot-out insane, where Weller is screen of balls as a ball pin. Death as a martyr, he is the guinea pig perfect to put on the armor of Robocop, a super-cop in charge of eradicating the rampant crime which undermines the very foundations of the city.
And this is where the film slips slightly. The format of the plot takes a turn too agreed. – Humans create a robot super-cop from a police officer who is deceased, but the latter discovers a consciousness that interferes with his actions, and he participated in the pursuit of the gangsters responsible for his death. – It is a classic and without surprises.
Where Verhoeven is malignant, it is in the use he makes of the city of Detroit. All concrete and skyscrapers of glass, the city deploys its huge tentacles at all levels, with politicians and businessmen corrupt to its summit, which is supplemented to their feet by a guy swarming confident of its right to do so. Detroit seems like a huge playground or facing a criminal underworld, arrogant and a cyborg in the heart hardened by the death. On the contrary, Mad Max, the world has not shifted in a post-apocalyptic world, the Detroit of Verhoeven is a city where the apocalypse has fully its place. The strength ratio is presented in an inverted form. The gentiles have no place in this pitiless universe, and even Robocop is a victim of the failures of a system corrupt to the marrow.
The Dutch film director does not deprive to add to the provocation, a register in which it excels (Starship Troopers and Basic Instinct are to remind us). This time it is not the totalitarianism of the military or the customs and rigid puritans of the american society that he denounces, but the hypocrisy of a world with two faces.
“The archetype of the science fiction film conventional, the strong storyline and the narrative rhythm, but that supports more and more difficult the passage of the years.”
By the use of the flash, news spot announcing that the station for international peace has accidentally shot the laser on the poor citizens or commercials extolling the merits of a board game where the objective is the proliferation of nuclear, Verhoeven exposes the failings of a society that preaches peace and security but stimulates and excites the subconscious violence of its inhabitants. A real success on this plan, it could nevertheless be more successful in integrating it more effectively into the narrative, rather than asides.
The antipodes of the gentle melancholy of Blade Runner or the futuristic universe of Star Wars, ROBOCOP is closer to the Terminator by the emanation quiet of his hero. It arises in force serene, imperturbable, designed such a machine, but in the end petri dishes of the qualities and defects inherent to humans. The main difference with its predecessor is the lack of charisma of Murphy. It must be confessed that’Arnold Schwarzenegger headlining, it’s still more face than Peter Weller.
In spite of the element promising, ROBOCOP is the archetype of the science fiction film conventional, the strong storyline and the narrative rhythm, but that supports more and more difficult the passage of the years. A semi-disappointment for my part.
ROBOCOP has been reviewed in the framework of the thematic ATMOSPHERES in URBAN DETROIT , as proposed by the Champs Elysees Film Festival 2015. It will be screened on Sunday, 14 June 2015 at 21: 15, at UGC George V.