Wednesday, 20 January 2010
Graeme’s Retro-Classics! ‘The Robocop Trilogy’
Or, should I say, the first two ‘Robocop’ films...?
The original ‘Robocop’ was a searing look at big business gone mad in an America of the future; an America where a man’s life was nothing compared to the figures on the company spreadsheets. A message that was heavy handed but nevertheless relevant. I was twelve though and none of that actually mattered. What I was up for was ninety odd minutes of criminals being blown away by a cyborg cop! Is there anything cooler than that? No, I didn’t think so either... :o)
For someone who’d spent years waiting for the ‘next Star Wars’ to come along (and was still to see ‘Terminator’ or ‘Predator’) ‘Robocop’ was the film I’d been waiting for. The cops were cool, even the criminals were cool (‘Can you fly Bobby...?’) and the real villains were the ones in the board room. Definitely one of those videos where if I’d watched it one more time the tape would have snapped!
‘Robocop 2’ was more of the same but even more so. This sequel had a tendency to veer towards the cartoonish (the special effects weren’t quite up to scratch on Robocop 2 itself) but the amount of firepower on display was more than enough to keep me happy as a blood thirsty fifteen year old. That summer was all about renting ‘Robocop 2’ out from a video store where they didn’t care how old you were! :o)
And then came Robocop 3...
I saw this on a film night at college, one of those nights where it only costs a pound to see a film and you think you can’t go wrong. Can you? Well, apparently you can...
‘Robocop 3’ was an attempt to make the franchise a little more accessible to the kids that did this by taking everything that was good about the first two films and chucking it right out of the window. What you were left with was a feisty little girl heroine who shouldn’t have been allowed anywhere near the film, a toothless Robocop and a sickly sweet message about regular people standing up to big business. Cyborg ninjas are always cool though! :o)
I don’t know what’s going on with the ‘Robocop reboot’ but I’m hoping that it’ll be more about the first two films than the third. Happy childhood memories marred by a final film that was just childish...
P.S. My wife watched all three films with me over the course of last Sunday. She wasn't impressed... Her verdict? "These films really do desensitize you to violence don't they? After having to sit through all of that I want to go out and shoot something now!"
Just wait until she watches 'Predator' and 'Predator 2'... :o)