The Best Movie Critic + review

Watching Hour Preview: Robocop

Justin here with your Watching Hour preview of the excellent and underrated gem, Robocop.

Paul Verhoeven is one of our most important modern directors. His movies somehow manage to be totally tasteless and ridiculous and also transcendentally good. It’s no secret how much I love Starship Troopers, otherwise known as the best movie about the war on terror next to The Hurt Locker. Our own Ryan Thompson did an excellent write up on Showgirls, and Ben is a big fan of The Black Book. Verhoeven is one of our flagship directors here at The Movie Advocate.

This Friday the 18th you will be lucky enough to see one his early gems, Robocop, at The Watching Hour. Perhaps you’ve seen this movie already. Maybe it was a long time ago. I’m here to tell you that Robocop is a better movie than you think it is.

Now I may be a little biased in my Robocop love, I think this was one of my first R-rated movies. I even enjoy the two sequels quite a bit. The original though, is by far the best. At its core, it’s a movie about conflicts: capitalism vs. the public good, life vs. death, justice vs. what’s easy. What makes the movie totally rule though is how hard and far the pendulum swings back and forth. The perfect illustration of this is when Robocop visits his wife’s home and she knows he’s there. Robocop knows there’s a part of him he left there, but he can’t quite articulate it and drives away in a fluster. It’s touching… it’s also quite weird when you remember that he’s a corpse in a big ridiculous robot suit.

Character moments aside, this movie has great practical special effects and some incredible action sequences. It’s a blast to watch, and it really does bring up some important questions about the intersection of business and government.

Serendipitously, this is showing as the great city of Detroit has received funding for a life-sized Robocop statue! That alone is proof of how great this movie is and how widespread affection is for it. Detroit is in the worst shape financially its ever been in. Poverty and crime is rampant and the government is running out of ways to fund necessary public services. Robocop stands for rebirth.

Hell yes, I’d buy that for a dollar!

The Watching Hour is a weekly film series at the Denver Film Center, highlighting new and old cult, genre, or otherwise bizarro movies. Quite simply, The Watching Hour is usually the best thing to do in Denver on a Friday or Saturday night. From Giallo to schlock, Blaxploitation to Aussiesploitation, zombies to martial arts to who-knows-what, and everywhere in between. This is good ol’ rock and roll cinema spectacle. Not to be missed. (See the schedule, buy tickets, get directions, etc. here.)

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