Robocop is a 1987 scifi action movie set in a futuristic version of Detroit, Michigan. It stars Peter Weller as Murphy/Robocop, Nancy Allen as Anne Lewis, Dan O’Herlihy as the Old Man, Ronny Cox as Dick Jones, Kurtwood Smith as Clarence Boddicker, and Miguel Ferrer as Bob Morton. The producer is Arne Schmidt (xXx) and the director is Paul Verhoeven (Total Recall).
Old Detroit is a mess. Crime bosses have taken over and cops are being killed on a daily basis. Omni Consumer Products (OCP) has taken over the police force so it can soon tear down Old Detroit and rebuild a utopian society that the president of OCP, referred to only as the Old Man, calls Delta City. But he cannot easily do this with the crime spree going on. So, the Old Man decides to “cut out” the crime. The senior vice president of the corporation, Dick Jones, builds his own robotic machine known as ED-209 to help accomplish this. But, after a violent malfunction with the machine, the Old Man is disappointed. Then, executive Bob Morton suggests a more human version, one that can make decisions and judgments. So he lines up a list of candidates, Officer Alex Murphy being one of them. After he is brutally shot to death by crime boss Clarence Boddicker and his gang, OCP takes his body and transforms it into a cyborg known as Robocop. Robocop is a huge success from the start. Yet, Robocop has a dream about Murphy’s death and takes off. While on patrol, he spots a robbery in progress at a nearby gas station. He confronts the perpetrator and discovers that it is one of the men who killed Murphy. He arrests the man and checks his known accomplices and, sure enough, Robocop finds the other killers’ records. He looks into Boddicker’s and finds out that he was a suspect in the murder of Alex Murphy. One by one, this cybernetic organism hunts down the gang, including Boddicker himself. Just before being arrested, he confesses that Dick Jones is involved with him. Robocop then goes after Jones only to find out that he cannot arrest an officer of OCP. Jones sends another ED-209 to destroy Robocop, but it is unable to climb down the stairs so he gets away. Meanwhile, due to the police strike, all of Boddicker’s gang is released from jail and given powerful guns with which to destroy Robocop.
In a way, Alex Murphy is symbolic of the Christian savior Jesus Christ. He is violently and cruelly murdered and then left for dead. But Murphy comes back in a different body and, later on in the film, he is seen walking ankle-deep in water, which gives the viewers the illusion that he is actually walking on water as Christ was. Paul Verhoeven said he did this on purpose to portray Robocop as a Christ-like figure and savior of Old Detroit, as Christ is believed to be the savior of humanity.
In addition to that, the writers’ decision to make Clarence Boddicker wear glasses in the film is somewhat symbolic. It causes him to resemble Heinrich Himmler, the leader of Nazi Germany’s feared secret police known as the Gestapo. That may have been done intentionally to make Boddicker seem more menacing. The viewers may notice in the scene where Robocop arrests him, he loses his glasses as Robocop is throwing him through the windows. This somehow makes him appear more human and, therefore, more vulnerable and less dangerous.
To wrap, Robocop is an extremely violent flick and is not for the feint of heart.