This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Dan Nordquist’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Imagine my surprise when the random wheel-o'-films landed on RoboCop, my favorite film for 33 years running. Usually I try to skip films I've already seen on the wheel, but I just couldn't resist.
I don't think I've watched this for ten years, probably, so I was actually reminded of the very good "Our RoboCop Remake" which I saw more recently. Scene 52 with Randall Park and Jae Suh Park is a highlight.
- I had been misunderstanding a key plot point all these many years. The climax includes a tape of Dick Jones saying "I had to kill [him] because he made a mistake", he's talking about Ferrer's character, who has sort of been unremarkably assassinated an hour previously in a scene that's not interesting at all and doesn't need to be explained. I had always thought that he was referring to Kinney's violent death at the hands of ED-209 (which basically starts the movie, and is apparently truly an accident). And so I thought that the lackey's "mistake" was left purposefully ambiguous. But that makes no sense. Plus if I could keep track of the names of characters I wouldn't be so easily confused by narrative cinema. I'm an idiot but we've established that.
- I didn't realize that's actually Ray Wise. Since I last watched this I've become a big fan of finding Ray Wise in things, so what a joy to find him here. That means he and Miguel Ferrer both went from this to Twin Peaks. (Dan O'Herlihy too I guess? I am a little foggy on the middle of Twin Peaks.)
- I think there's probably too many people in this movie. Like I just don't know if we need four henchmen and three levels of OCP management represented.
- It has come to my attention that RoboCop is playable in Mortal Kombat 11 if you shell out $40 for the expansion pack. That won't be happening, but RoboCop in any video game has always been sort of disappointing, because he always has to jump or run. RoboCop rules because he never goes any faster than a walk and otherwise he just drives. Those are the rules of RoboCop.
- I have also learned that there's a new RoboCop film being planned right now that ignores 2 and 3 and certainly the last reboot. That I would go see in a theater. (LOL just kidding I'm not going to a theater.)
- Obviously the backdrop of this film in June of 2020 as I watch it in Minneapolis is the role of policing in any way whatsoever. Films, of course, range from total police propaganda / hero worship to absolute condemnation, but this script doesn't give us a ton to be upset about. It's dispassionate in terms of the role of policing in society, and realistic about the ineffectiveness of police-military-occupation to truly do anything to keep people safe, to say nothing of the absolutely spot-on criticism of the effects of introducing private industry / capitalist motives into the equation. Absolutely visionary, accurate, and scathing.
- I did finally note the scene where RoboCop sort of walks on water, which makes the Christ parallels just that more obvious. I read Verhoeven's book about Jesus Christ if you want to talk about it, which I assure you you do not.