Tuesday, April 14, 2009


It never fails. Me and the girlfriends are out having a good time. We are either eating out, or stopping by Wal-Mart to get junk food and all of the necessities for a girl’s night. The final decision comes: what movie should we watch? Here is the fail-proof part: the one movie that I just wouldn’t care to see (usually a romantic comedy) is the very one that is heavily considered. Now, sometimes I am pleasantly surprised, but other times, I have been proven right; I would have enjoyed another movie more. Of course, the movie I would like to see is the one completely opposite of my friends’ choice: the action movie. The action movie is nearly always my first choice.

I just find action movies so cool, but I never really thought about why I liked them. To start with, everything is big: the characters, the problems, and the stunts. The heroes of this genre have superhuman abilities (and these can be obvious as in super powers or subtle as in a hyperbolic ability like intellegence), and will typically come out winners in the end. The problems are ones with cataclysmic consequences if not resolved. Finally, the stunts of the action movie genre seem to spearhead many of the advancements of movie technology. Think of The Transporter, Watchmen, Die Hard, or The Fast and the Furious. All involve physics-challenging/defying, massive exploding sequences that make you exclaim “Cool!”

Robocop is an incredibly cool movie because it incorporates all of the above features. Murphy and his new partner, Anne Lewis, both stand out from the start. They appear fearless, independent, tough, and able to fend for themselves. As the movie continues, their loyalty to their cause as police officers is revealed to be unflinching. Such strength is to be admired and even desired.

Murphy’s coolness can be called into question through his situation, though. After dying, he is made into the ultimate cyborg cop. How much of his cool is made and how much of it is himself? His superhuman strength and other physical abilities come from his manufactured side. This is very much like taking the suit in Iron Man and wondering how cool it is. The abilities are awesome, but they are only abilities. Ed-209 in Robocop has the same abilities as Robocop, but the machine doesn’t have Robocop’s drive or knowledge, the human side. It is what Murphy does as Robocop that makes him cool; he stands for justice, even if it destroys him, twice.
Robocop also faces a big problem: the corruption of corporation. His abilities and cause are challenged as he has to face those who created and control him. If he fails, justice itself will have been bought out, and the city would go to ruin. Such a dismal situation can be depressing, but we cling to hope that good will prevail, and we aren’t disappointed. Cool points go for a happy ending. We are raised up in our hopes for a brighter tomorrow.

Then, there are the special effects that give this action movie its genre. While they aren’t much compared with what we have today, the robots, explosions, technology, and crime fighting spark our imaginations and take us to the edge of our seats. Life can be so mundane, so having these out of the ordinary situations on the screen is exciting, new, and cool. Robocop definitely delivers all of the requirements of an action movie, but it is also successful in being cool.

1 comment:

  1. Action movies are usually a favorite for me too, and I agree with you completely that Robocop definitely provides all the essentials for good action. The humanity or lack-there-of) of it is what makes me question its "cool."