RoboCop (1987) Director: Paul Verhoeven (18)

Watching the original Verhoeven RoboCop now is not so far from the truth, as we start to see 'bomb robots' deployed in America and futuristic-looking cops assigned to tackle terrorism. In 1987 the ultra violent RoboCop seemed a giggle - a cyberpunk vision of a dystopian Detroit of the future, where street punk gangs would kill you without the blink of an eyelid and the world is on the brink of nuclear destruction. In typical Verhoeven fashion it's a complete OTT hoot but it's scary that it's something we now recognise.
Peter Weller is police officer Alex Murphy, recently transferred from a cushty looking precinct to one where crime is rife. He's partnered with Anne Lewis (Nancy Allen) and on their first patrol together they unluckily encounter top crim Clarence Boddicker (Kurtwood Smith) and his gang. Murphy is brutally murdered by them as Lewis looks on in horror. As Murphy is shot in the head, the screen goes black. When he 'wakes', he's switched on like a machine and we get his first person perspective as scientists (big glasses = big brains) crowd around him. Murphy is now part of a sinister ultimate police officer programme; he's brought back as a cyborg to serve the public trust, protect the innocent and uphold the law 24/7.
Despite his programmed directives, memories start to come back to RoboCop/Murphy as he remembers what happened to him, who murdered him and his past. Lewis also recognises RoboCop as Murphy and sets out to help him.
The violence is strong but delivered in a comic book fashion and with a large dose of black comedy. RoboCop is set against a background of spoof news reports with nuclear threats and board games ending with worldwide destruction; this vision of the future is chilling but also very tongue in cheek. The world/Detroit is out of control and they need a gunslinger like RoboCop to clean things up - he's John Wayne strolling into town, or a 'good' version of Yul Brynner of Westworld. RoboCop is a futuristic Western, and parallels are made with Murphy's son's favourite TV show T.J. Lazer.
It's well worth revisiting for a huge chunk of nostalgia, and also stands up today as one of the best action flicks of the '80s. There's also a great moment when a clunky droid can't get down the stairs, falls, and then squeals helpless on its back. LOL.
5/5 seconds to comply