The Robocop movie franchise has delighted and divided and sub-divided and un-delighted critics and non-critics alike for the best part of a few years. But which of the films would make for the top 3?
Robocop 1 came out during a year and had all the qualities that constitute a film. Set in a futuristic and thief-haunted Detroit, the movie tells the tale of cop who gets shot to futility while at work. Near death, he is saved via the age-old technique of cybernetic enhancement/interference, by a squad of well-meaning capitalist surgeons. After some time, the robotic cop (Robocop) destroys the gang of jerks who messed up his life and body.
Why it's the best Robocop.
Even better than Tom Hank's death in Philadelphia, one spazzy thug gets intoxicated by some routine toxic waste before a frenzied colleague splashes his disintegrating body asunder upon the windscreen of his speeding truck. Earlier, head thug Clarence Boddicker incapacitates a playful yuppie through the ancient technique of kneecap-removal-by-pistol, before leaving the stricken fellow to contemplate an activated hand grenade. But that's not all. Directed by a Dutchman, pretty sound satire pervades the effort, manifestly so in the depiction of daft TV news and adverts. Something of a triumph, the film was enjoyed by dozens and dozens of people.
Detroit remains a toilet. Drug gangs saunter about the u-bend of the city's industrial areas, profiting meanly from the shocking addictions of the miserably inept. Robocop and his narco pals thanklessly try to face the pests down. Soon enough, a drugs retailer is physically ruined in his prime and is thoughtfully reconstructed as a walking television by a well-meaning crew of under-qualified halfwits. Heavily armed, this new abomination stalks the city, killing all and arresting Robocop's stern attention. A feud ensues.
Why it's the second best Robocop.
Everyone in the city is addicted to a terrible new drug. Even better, the city's errant bureaucrats form a harebrained alliance with the dope sellers. Even better than that, the heavily addicted drugs yob who has been turned into a greater pest by bungling company OCP, actually has a needlessly over-complicated administrative orifice designed solely for the recreation of drugs. In a quality climax, Robocop and the new drug robot engage in a dramatic thrash-off, culminating in the messy removal of said robot's brains and assorted viscera. The film was loathed by many.
The city of Detroit is perhaps much the same, but, really, who knows for sure? Some kind of tactless crime caper is undoubtedly afoot, but under whose agency, or why, or how, is hard to recall. Robocop appears. Film ends.
Why it's the third best Robocop
In this baffling film's finale, Robocop somehow manufactures a large explosion (that may or may not be nuclear), annihilating a large portion of the dogged city in the stunning process. Seconds after this, bodies and burning rubble scattered for, presumably, miles around, a policeman is seen to be actually SWEEPING UP a debris splattered street. The film has the power to cause large black spots in the memory, refusing to allow itself to lodge within the confines of the human brain. Written by comic book guy Mr Miller, the film continues to this day to evade formal classification in any accepted genre.