Now that we've all had a moment to watch "RoboCop 2014" in the theater, it's time we compare it to the original classic, "RoboCop 1987". If you haven't yet watched the new one, you may want to go see it before reading this Mega Matchup. We aren't holding anything back and are going to discuss some of the finer points within each film that captivated our attention. So if you're ready, let's go beneath the metal, in tonight's Unhinged Review!
Story-line: In Robocop 1987, the story is about a man who is blown to bits by a ruthless gang of criminals, before being rebuilt into a cyborg that avenges his original death. OCP is the brains of his creation, but a few key members within the organization are also the reason for the insane level of crime within the city. Alex Murphy(Weller) must find the crooks who killed him and ultimately blow the whole roof off of a sinister plot developed by the "Evil Genius", Mr. Dick Jones.
Death: The demise of the living-breathing Alex Murphy is one of the most compelling and captivating scenes within the film. His murder is graphic and very much what you would think it would be like for group of cop killers to single one out from the pride. The thugs are relentless, as they unload a dump truck full of rounds into Murphy's body, before finally putting one helluva pill through the middle of his forehead.
Transition: This is the adjustment period. Murphy needs little time coming to grips with his new body and is quickly back into circulation, unlike 2014's version. Murphy is certain and needs little insight into why or how he was engineered, he just takes it in stride and prevents crime. The film does not linger in his psyche, but merely shows the manner in which he pieces together fragments of his memory and sets out to avenges his own death.
Criminal Mastermind: Clarence Boddicker(Smithwood) is a key character in the film and he's the one that initiates the brutal death of Alex Murphy(Weller). Clarence and his goons run amuck through the town of Detroit and have full access to the spoils of carnage, since OCP's Dick Jones(Cox) is their silent partner. Dick Jones is the man behind the destructive ED-209 and is hell bent on making a name for himself, be it by force or uncompromising circumstances.
Lasting Differences: After watching both films, it's easy to see that the original is the bloodier of the two movies without a doubt. Even with Murphy's death at the forefront, the level of crime within the city of Detroit is unprecedented and reminds us of the wild west. Crime and disrespect for the law is rampant and it's sad to say, but this depiction closely resembles our current state of affairs.
There are several other differences in the original that we could have mentioned, but these five points clearly define the borders. We invite you to list a few that you noticed in the comments below, but first, let's look at some differences in "RoboCop 2014".
Storyline: Now being that this film just came out, you should have a pretty good idea on what it's about...But just in case you need a refresher --> here <-- you go.
One of the biggest differences that we first noticed in the film is that the robotic technology is already patrolling more than half of the globe. In the original, this concept is very new and fresh and not yet to the stages of mass-production, but here it's a given. "ED-209" and smaller droids are introduced into the film, before we even begin to form an idea of who, Alex Murphy is or will become.
The Reasoning: An interesting point about RoboCop's beginning in this one is that they focused more on showing the necessity of creating something as awesome as RoboCop. The '87 simply stated that they needed a better way to fight crime and here they wanted a robot with an emotional trigger. It's at this point, when we can already tell that 2014 will be a different ride from the original.
The Creation: In the original, we didn't really get a glimpse into the inner workings of RoboCop, but in this one we do. We are exposed to his vulnerabilities, both mental and physical weaknesses are shown in an honest and introspective manner. We get to see a man coming to terms with his new body, while trying to keep what's left of his sanity bolted inside of his cranium. Shocking to say the least, but this whole sequence cut the cord and gave birth to a new hero.
Adjustment: Did anyone else find it interesting that he still has his family in this one and not in the other? Just imagine that pill, coming home, as a cyborg and attempting to hold you're loved ones with big mechanical arms. The idea of love quickly puts another dynamic in the film which prevents Murphy from becoming as detached as he was in the original.
Criminal Mastermind: Now, not taking anything away from Vallon(Garrow), but he's no Clarence Boddicker. His character is cunning and crafty, but it's Sellars(Keaton) who is the true evil causing problems for our Robo-Warrior. Notice how he directs the manipulation of Murphy's mind for his own gain, this aspect of mind-control was only scratched in the original .
Lasting Differences: To put it simply, this film focuses more on the man in the machine rather than the machine who was once a man. All of the grit and grime from the original is replaced with emotional baggage and CG. Now this doesn't make it a film less worthy of praise, it just sets it even further apart from the original. It's almost like two producers sampling the same song and coming out with two unique productions. The origin is the same, but they are two very different tracks.
In conclusion of our "RoboCop" Past & Present" Matchup, we find that both films have their own identity and would survive independently, even if the other didn't exist. So what do you think? Feel free to leave your comments below and don't forget to share this with others.
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