Blu-ray review: Robocop
The newest Robocop film retells an old story, and I’m not talking about the 1987 film of the same name.
In many ways police officer Alex Murphy’s (Joel Kinnaman) story parallels that of Pinocchio, the wooden puppet who wanted to be a real boy. Except that Murphy, whose mind and soul ends up locked up inside a robotic police suit following an almost fatal injury, was once a real police officer and he wishes he still was.
It’s 2028 and the streets of the world are under threat from terrorists, drug lords, and bent cops. Only Robocop and his robotic companions have what it takes to clean the streets up – Judge Dredd style.
Robocop also borrows from the tin man from The Wizard of Oz who longs for a heart and inspired Star Trek: The Next Generation’s android officer Data who has the same dream if, indeed, android dream of electric sheep.
Anakin Skywalker’s story, from Star Wars, also parallels Murphy’s narrative. Skywalker becomes the more machine than man Darth Vader and uses his cybernetic strength for evil, yet Murphy counterpoints this by using his robo body for good.
But the most obvious story that Robocop draws upon is Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. In it Dr Frankenstein creates a monster which runs rampant. Murphy, too, is a monster of sorts who is horrified to see all that is left of himself in the mirror after his creator removes all his serviceable robotic parts in a scene which echoes Borg scenes from Star Trek: First Contact.
Robocop, then, can hardly be called an original film and yet there is something compelling about its story. Perhaps it’s the film’s familiarity coupled with one man’s quest to find what it is to be human. The great job the film’s lead does alongside Robocop co-creators played by Gary Oldman and Michael Keaton helps.
Samuel L Jackson also makes an important appearance.