For the sake of maximum exposure and box office potential, today’s cinematic landscape is overwhelmingly PG-13, especially when it comes to action blockbusters. But in 1987 the landscape was drastically, gloriously different.
Thirty years ago, Dutch filmmaker Paul Verhoeven presented RoboCop to the world, a high octane, cyberpunk thrill ride that become an instant cult classic, was critically well received and achieved box office success. Set in a crime ridden, dystopian Detroit, the tale of Alex Murphy, a murdered police officer who’s turned into the ultimate justice machine, went on to spawn an entire multi media franchise.
Ultra violenceToday’s entertainment culture sees RoboCop as a shiny, almost over saturated franchise juggernaut, but back in 1987 there was a grit to the film that cinema goers hadn’t seen before. It revelled in excessive shoot outs and the kind of imagery you’d be more likely to find in a horror film than an action thriller.
It might look like an over the top, cyberpunk romp, but Verhoeven’s film explores themes like gentrification, capitalism and human identity. As RoboCop, Murphy begins to struggle with rediscovering his true self underneath all of the technology. It’s a message that’s more relevant than ever, with the prominence of social media and the ways that we choose to create different personas for ourselves.
A classic piece of 80s culture
The film was particularly noted for its impressive use of sound, winning the Academy Award for Best Sound Editing. What better way to revisit this genre classic than by experiencing it in sensationally remastered quality at Vue?
There’s a timeless quality to RoboCop that makes it just as visceral and exciting today as it was thirty years ago. An irreplaceable piece of classic 80s culture, the new lease of life that Vue’s 4K Season gives the film is absolutely not to be missed.
RoboCop is showing at Vue on 27th August; get times and tickets here.