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RoboCop (director's cut)


Stars: Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Dan O'Herlihy, Ronny Cox, Miguel Ferrer, Kurtwood Smith, Ray Wise

Director: Paul Verhoeven

A 4K restoration of director Verhoeven's cut of his original blockbuster sci-fi thriller. Looking for all the world like a vehicle tailor-made for Arnold Sch-you-know-who, this is a technician's dream of a film, set in the near future with crime rampant on the streets of 'old' Detroit.

Robot policemen are a fledgling idea, and still inclined to go haywire at the drop of a connection. So when cop Murphy (Weller) is drilled to bits by the local Mob, Morton (Ferrer), a brainbox as obsequious as he is obnoxious, reassembles him electronically to become the world's first RoboCop.

After preliminary skirmishes, in which RoboCop cleans up a few local hoodlums, the nub of the plot comes into play. He starts to have recollections of the gang who obliterated him, who are in turn the henchmen of Jones (Cox), who controls the city's crime, as well as being the second-in-command of the company that built RoboCop and now runs the local police.

Although scarcely plausible at several key junctures, and aimed purely at producing the maximum grievous bodily damage, this is a compulsively entertaining adult romp, with the villains (Cox & Smith) coolly stealing the film.

The firepower around here is tremendous - the blood and gore (one villain explodes in toxic waste) splattering all over the screen. But there are one of two subtler comic moments too, such as the futuristic family playing a game of 'Nukem' (together with fake explosion) in their sitting-room.

David Quinlan

USA 1987. UK Distributor: Park Circus (originally Orion/Rank). Colour by Deluxe.
103 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 1, Swearing 1.

Review date: 18 May 2022