Scott Arnold’s review published on Letterboxd:
Looking and reviewing this film I need to tell two-stories. You can skip the next two paragraphs if you aren't interested in my dumb anecdotes.
The first story. In a film class of mine in community college. Before the teacher showed the film he said " I'm going to let those of you know who have never seen this before. Today is the last day of your pre-Robocop lives". A very suitable prelude.
The Second is more personal. When I was a youngun', about maybe 2 or 3, my father let me watch whatever film I wanted. Though my favorite was always 'Ghostbusters' and to this day is my favorite comedy and comfort film. However, I also explored many other of the VHS in my father's collection. Among them was this film which I must have watched a dozen times. Fast-forward, to my Mother having some visitors. They were ladies, likely from my mothers church choir or old friends, having a tea-party or plausibly wining it up. In comes little Scott who see's the ladies. He immediately points to the women and then the door saying "Bitches leave". Obviously, my method of requesting TV time needed some work. I didn't get to watch Robocop again until I was 16 and my father became much more careful about the films that I watch. In a way I'm very grateful for this and would encourage young parents to keep in mind the content of the films you let your children watch.
Onto my actual review, Robocop is one of the defining Sci-fi Action films of the 80's. In it's day it's high-violence was heavily criticized but now it may seem mundane to some fans of the Genre. Peter Weller plays an amazing lead combining, masterfully, both a robotic performance and an emotional one. Robocop is a character that is very unique and only one such as Paul Verhoeven could have directed this character into such a fun and deceivingly complex storyline.
Technically speaking, we need to look at this film in context of the time it was made. And there is nothing that I can say negative about it in this regard. All things are wonderfully executed from the set-design, costuming, camerawork, and effects(a bit dated now) to the action, pacing, acting, and dialogue. All characters are well written and beautifully performed which to me is the film's strongest point. I believe Clarence Boddicker, may be the best role that Kurtwood Smith has ever brought to the screen. He's definitely my favorite and I would rate him as one of my favorite Villains of all-time. I'd also like to note that both Ronny Cox and Miguel Ferrer play the big bad corporate 'suits' masterfully and bring the film to an even bigger better level regarding it's arching dystopian-future theme.
Regarding theme, Verhoeven's vision of the dystopian future of Old Detroit is so amazing that you can't help but find parallel's to our modern world. Corporations run the police, human life is expendable, and the only one who can save us is a half-man, half-machine cock-shooting badass. I don't think I need to say much more about this but I will note a final summation. To me 'Robocop' is a film about the loss of humanity, individuality and how one can regain your true self even though you may have some scars in the end.
Entertainment... I think I already wrote above that he shot a guy in the dick. I think that should be enough. Seriously though this is a fun ride from start to finish. It's innovative use of television broadcast as an introduction immediately pulls you into verhoeven's world and the gritty, gory story keeps you there. Truly a great piece of science fiction.
As for my personal rating system.
Tech - 5
Theme - 5
Entertainment - 5
This gives Robocop a rating of 5 "I'd buy that for a dollar"s in my book.
I'd recommend this film to nearly all people, with the only exception being children under the age of 12 and church ladies.