RoboCop: The Series

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Lance, May 11, 2013.

  1. Lance

    Lance Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 9, 2012
    Location:
    The Enterprise's Restroom
    I knew about this from back in the day but never actually watched it. Recently dabbled a bit with it, curious what it was about.

    So far I've only watched the series pilot, "The Future Of Law Enforcement". Several things occured to me. On the plus side, I think the production design did capture the look and (broad) feel of the movies. It was believable that this was the same Metro City as we saw in the films, and there were parts of it which were suitably dark and gritty looking. Toronto does a good job of things here. The actual mechanics of the franchise were all in place too. The Robo-Suit was movie-accurate, and Richard Eden did a pretty good job filling Weller's shoes as RoboCop, even if he obviously wasn't quite as effective. I liked the idea of Metro City being controlled by a centralized computer system. And actress Andrea Roth was HOT as the manifestation of this Super Computer, the holographic Diana Powers. ;)

    Having said all that, the attempts to tone down the movies' predeliction towards violence in order to make The Series more palatable for children became stupidly comical at times. RoboCop himself still has his iconic gun, but repeatedly uses it for Non-Lethal takedowns, something which rankled me compared to the bloodbaths seen in the movies. Is it believable for somebody to aim his gun at a bad guy and then suddenly decide that, no, I'm going to shoot the cupboard next to him and make it fall down? It'd just be more effective to make Robo take everybody on in hand-to-hand combat, surely? Yeah yeah I know, they didn't want to give the kids anything they could copy in real-life. I do appreciate why they did it, but by the fifth or sixth time it happened it really started to look silly. Especially in context of how over-the-top violent the movies are.

    One thing which occured to me while watching this was how many parallels it had with the story of RoboCop 2. Only later did I discover it was actually pitched as an early draft script for that movie. If the pitch meeting for RoboCop 2 was along the lines of "Okay guys, we've got this idea for a story: OCP is looking for the 'Next Big Thing' to market after RoboCop, and they're using the underclass of Old Detroit to test out concepts", I can see how both this script and the one used in RoboCop 2 would have come about. The Sergeant character is an obvious replacement for the Warren Reed character seen in all three movies, and Madigan is maybe too much like a cookie-cutter replacement for Nancy Allen's Officer Lewis, right down to her relationship with RoboCop and the fact that she's chewing gum when we first meet her. I'd have almost have rathered if the comparisons were less obvious, although I understand the series itself changes this by making her a Detective instead of a beat cop, at least differentiating her a little bit more from Anne Lewis.

    Despite the 'kid friendly' tone of proceedings, RoboCop's trademark dark humor (and some pretty uncomfortable allusions) are still undercurrents in the script. Though its undoubtedly played more for laughs, the OCP executives kidnapping homeless people for use in their latest experiments (because "no-one will miss them") is just the kind of thing the movies would have played with, as is the idea of a home for orphaned children which gives out the public perception of being a charitable organisation, but whose chairwoman is in fact exploiting those who are in her care to her own means. So while the execution of these ideas definitely plays down the more sinister aspects of them, those sinister undercurrents are definitely still there. Again, I could totally see a more 'adult' version of this script working quite well as the official RoboCop 2.

    On the whole I didn't think it was too bad really. I found it quite enjoyable and am looking forward to seeing a little bit more of the series that follows. :)
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    I loved it. My favorite incarnation of RoboCop by a wide margin.


    I actually thought he was much better in the role than Weller. Weller's Robo was just Weller talking really loud and mechanically, and once his memory started to come back he was basically just playing Murphy in armor. Eden did a great job defining RoboCop as a distinct character in his own right, not just Murphy but a new hybrid entity that arose from the synergy of Murphy's fragmentary memories/identity and the AI programming of RoboCop. And he played the role with such nuance, thoughtfulness, and inner sadness, and was surprisingly soft-spoken. No actor since Leonard Nimoy has been so good at conveying emotional depth with such little outward display of emotion.


    I think the series handles the issue of police violence a lot more intelligently than the movie sequels -- and in a way that's far more consistent with the original movie than people realize. Here's what I had to say about it in my blog review:

    "If you really take a good look at the first movie, Robo’s tactics in his normal patrol aren’t that much more violent than in the series. In the convenience store robbery, he disarms the perp and tosses him through a glass case. In the attempted rape, he uses a precisely aimed trick shot to disable rather than kill. In the hostage situation, he pulls the guy through a wall and tosses him out a window. At the gas station, he again uses precise aim to shoot Emil’s bike out from under him. Sure, in the film’s more graphic interpretation, these would’ve more likely been crippling or fatal than in the show’s more cartoony reality, but then again, Emil didn’t seem too badly hurt by his bike crash, and Verhoeven’s exaggerated violence is just as cartoony in its own way. Later, when Robo regained his memory and went after Boddicker in the drug lab, he was freer with the gunplay, but even there, he often took theoretically nonlethal shots to the shoulder, hip, etc." (Yes, I know that in reality they'd probably be lethal without prompt treatment, but in the stylized reality of action movies, they're generally portrayed as nonlethal.) "And his level of violence can be explained as lashing out in retribution for what was done to him. He attacks Boddicker and almost strangles him, but then remembers that he’s a cop, and so he chooses to proceed by the book, arresting Boddicker and letting the justice system deal with him rather than giving in to base revenge. This is crucial: it shows us that RoboCop does not cavalierly throw away life, but, like any good cop, uses only as much force as he needs to. Later, Robo is more violent against Boddicker’s gang, but they’re armed with weapons that could kill him, so it’s justifiable as self-defense. Sure, he says he’s not here to arrest Boddicker, implying he intends to kill him; but he doesn’t actually pull the trigger when he has the chance, and when he finally takes out Boddicker, it’s unambiguously in self-defense. As for his takedown of Dick Jones in the end, it seems excessive, since the R:TS RoboCop would’ve just shot the gun from his hand Lone Ranger-style. But at this point, Robo’s targeting was damaged, so a kill shot was the only reliable way to uphold Directive 2, 'Protect the innocent.' Thus lethal force was justified.

    "So there’s really not that great a difference in the violence levels of the original movie and R:TS, just a difference of presentation and emphasis. In both, RoboCop’s preference was to use nonlethal force when practical, as any police officer would be trained and required to do (and R:TS’s showrunner Stephen Downing, an ex-cop, certainly knew this). When he went beyond that in the film, it can be seen as an aberration due to his turbulent psychological state (as in the drug lab) or an escalation justified by the circumstances. Sure, his nonlethal tactics in the movie were harsher, more crippling, but it was just the OCP tough-on-crime programming guiding him at that point; as Murphy’s persona re-emerged and became integrated with the RoboCop program, it could’ve given him more of a conscience as time went on, made him more judicious in his use of force as seen in the series.

    "The problem with RoboCop 2 is that it made RoboCop a casual killer, little more than a thug. With one exception, where he lets a gunman live to squeeze him for information, every single shot he takes in the film is a kill shot. That’s not what he did in the first movie, and that’s not what any plausibly portrayed police officer would do. It’s just part and parcel of the second film’s gratuitous excess. As for the third film, it toned down the violence for a PG-13 rating, so RoboCop doesn’t use much lethal force, but he rarely had the opportunity, and it does seem he would have if he could. Certainly he’s more driven by revenge than law enforcement for much of the film. (I doubt there’s a police-procedural justification for torching an office with a flamethrower.) So really, RoboCop: The Series is truer to the original film’s portrayal of RoboCop’s approach to the use of force, and truer to legitimate police procedure."

    In short, I submit that it's the movie sequels that missed the point of the original's violence by making it excessive and gratuitous. In the original, yes, it was a violent world, but Robo was only as violent as he needed to be, which was what made him different from the villains. His computer-precise aim made him capable of reliably taking down criminals without kill shots, and his armor made him all but invulnerable to being shot so he didn't have as much need to kill in self-defense. The show is true to this principle in a way the movie sequels were not.

    Also, one thing a lot of people don't seem to remember about the original film is that it was a comedy, a broad satire. The over-the-top violence of the film was part of the joke, poking fun at action-movie violence by escalating it to a ludicrous degree. It wasn't about glorifying violence like it was in RoboCop 2, but about using violence as a means to a satirical end. Naturally the TV series couldn't be similarly violent, so it played up the broad satire and farce in other ways, and I think that's true to the spirit of the original.

    And one more thing to keep in mind is that the RoboCop character was extremely popular with children at the time. When I went to see RoboCop 2 in the theater back when it first came out, I was stunned that more than one parent had brought small children to see this ultraviolent, hard-R-rated movie. You can call that reckless parenting, but the simple fact was, kids were going to watch the TV series no matter what, so it would've been just as reckless and irresponsible of the show's makers not to tone down the violence and make the show more suitable for the inevitable child audience.


    It's only in the pilot that Madigan comes off as a stand-in for Lewis. She becomes much more distinct in the series, thanks to the writing and to the gorgeous, gifted Yvette Nipar's performance in the role. And Blu Mankuma makes Parks a much more avuncular character than Reed.

    One thing I like about R:TS is that, unlike most TV series based on movies, you can actually reconcile it pretty smoothly with the continuity of the original movie -- so long as you ignore both film sequels, which I'm happy to do. Quoting from my blog review again:

    "In the film, Murphy had just transferred from Metro South to Metro West, so it’s easy enough to assume that Madigan had been his partner before Lewis.... Perhaps in the 3-5 years between the film and the series (the date references are inconsistent), the Metro West precinct was torn down to make way for Delta City, and RoboCop was relocated back to Metro South. The gentrification may have driven the poorer elements southward and turned Metro South into a more dangerous precinct than the original film suggested. “Pudface” Morgan seems to have been based on Emil from the first film, his face deformed in a toxic-waste accident, but given the polluted corporate dystopia in which RoboCop takes place, it’s possible that Robo could’ve had two separate confrontations that ended in bad guys getting exposed to toxic waste.... As for Murphy’s family, the film said they moved away, but maybe that just meant they moved to a different part of Detroit. And Murphy’s wife wasn’t named in the original film, so her name Nancy in the series isn’t a contradiction (since I’m disregarding the film sequel where she was called Ellen in the script — though the name wasn’t stated onscreen as far as I could tell)."

    I also think that the show's portrayal of the OCP Chairman as a morally ambiguous figure -- someone whose priorities are skewed by corporate greed but who basically means well and disapproves of the more blatant and murderous corruption of his subordinates -- was truer to the original film's portrayal than the overtly evil Old Man of RoboCop 2.

    So I think of R:TS as the true continuation of the original film, and disregard the movie sequels.
     
  3. Pingfah

    Pingfah Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pingfah
    I have seen the whole show. I was consistently entertained by it. It's definitely more like the original movie than the movie sequels were. Robocop II is a truly horrible movie anyway, really nasty piece of work, it just went out to be as ghastly as possible.

    This show, not to be confused with Prime Directives, which is absolute trash.
     
  4. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2001
    Location:
    Ferguson, MO, USA
    I liked both the original movie and the TV series a lot, but I wisely skipped the movie sequels (I don't even remember Prime Directives at all, but that was probably a good thing).
     
  5. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Location:
    Regina, SK, Canada
    Prime Directives had some good moments.

    But yeah, I like this TV show.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    I hated Prime Directives. For one thing, RoboCop was completely miscast -- the guy was too small for the suit and got no movement coaching to speak of, so he flailed around like a kid in a Halloween costume. And he was written and played like a generic wisecracking tough cop, nothing like the fascinating man-machine hybrid of R:TS. Also, from what I recall of it, Prime Directives forgot that, as I said before, the original film was a comedy, a satire. PD didn't have the humor of the original or R:TS, so it was dull in comparison. Anyway, I found it so unpleasant that I only watched the first two installments at most; I'm not sure I even finished part 2.
     
  7. diankra

    diankra Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    I'm with Christopher here - I though the TV series was pretty terrific, particularly in the way it accepted that it had to be 'family friendly' and then played with that situation, recapturing the satire of the original movie better than almost any other follow-up.
    A personal favourite of mine is the Inside Crime episode, with its (sorry, spoiler for a 15 year old show!) final end voiceover announcing the launch of "A great new series, Those Darn Vigilantes". That's almost heading towards Nigel Kneale territory.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2013
  8. Lance

    Lance Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 9, 2012
    Location:
    The Enterprise's Restroom
    Very interesting stuff, Christopher. :) I have to agree, aside from the sanitisation of the material (which as you rightly said is more in the way it is presented than it is in actual content), "The Future Of Law Enforcement" did feel to me much more like a true and proper follow-up to the original movie. Definitely more so than did RoboCop 2. It's interesting to note that it was scripted by the original scriptwriters of the first movie, and that it bears all the first movies' hallmarks of striking a delicate balance between drama and humor. I always felt RoboCop 2 in particular lost sight of that. It always felt like a very bitter movie experience, excessively so.

    I'm aware of course that Madigan develops in a very different direction in subsequent episodes, but certainly in terms of this script she's a basic replacement for Lewis (I've read that characters were renamed from the movie for rights reasons, and can easily imagine a first draft where Madigan was named Anne Lewis). While I never really got the chance to enjoy the series at the time, I do recall the action figure line. I had the Robo, Madigan, Robo's squad car and Captain Cash figures. Without the context of having seen the series, Madigan's uniform appearance always struck me as basically being Lewis. Its a perception which unfairly colored my viewing of the pilot, but I am interested in seeing where they go with her.
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Yeah. R2's attempts at comedy were just crude and heavyhanded, usually using ultraviolence as the punchline for everything.


    Oh, I don't disagree about the pilot. She's obviously a renamed Lewis there, which is one of my biggest problems with the pilot. But fortunately that didn't extend beyond the pilot. It becomes pretty clear that Madigan was Murphy's partner before he was transferred and met Lewis. And that worked well. I mean, Murphy was killed during his first shift as Lewis's partner. They knew each other for a few hours. Madigan had more of a history with Murphy, which made for a better, more convincing relationship between her and RoboCop.
     
  10. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Location:
    Behind the mask of Donald Draper
    I remember seeing the Pilot and seeing a few episodes and enjoying it. This thread has made me interested in seeing it again.

    On RoboCop 2, the story was from Frank Miller. That explains it. I do not mean that as a compliment, I have never been a fan of his writing. I am aware the finished film is different from his original script but his influence was still clear.

    My Dad took me when I was 12 years old to see this. Which looking back was crazy. He was the type who did not concern himself to much with what my bother, sister, and I saw in term of violence in movies. But afterward even he felt this was was too much for us and knew if our mom knew what it was really liked she would be angry.

    It was different back than. Without the internet it was not as easy to know what the content of a movie was before seeing it. My Dad was, and still is not, the type to read reviews. Which reminds he took us to see Howard the Duck thinking it was cartoon. But later realizing some of the mild sexual stuff and the monster at the end was a bit too much for us. I was 8 and my brother and sister were younger. I just remember it being cool to see the girl who played Marty's Mom in Back to the Future again.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2013
  11. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Location:
    Regina, SK, Canada
    His original story was even more over the top, actually. They did it in comic form a few years ago.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Oh, no question. It's become clear over the years that gratuitous excess is Miller's trademark. Even looking back at the things he did when he was still any good, like The Dark Knight Returns, they're still laden with excess and as far from subtlety as you can get.


    But that's what ratings are for. You'd think the banner saying "R: Restricted -- Under 17 Requires Accompanying Parent or Adult Guardian" would've tipped parents off that this wasn't a kiddie film.


    To be fair, the first half-hour of RoboCop 2 does feature some decent character work, delving into Robo's angst and his pain at losing his family, before completely going off the rails into crass excess. The Series drew on those character dynamics, though taking a different direction continuity-wise (in R2, Murphy's wife knew that his "remains" had been turned into RoboCop, but in the series, she didn't know and Robo didn't want her to find out). So R2 deserves credit for contributing that, at least, but overall the series handled things better.
     
  13. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Location:
    Regina, SK, Canada
    Has anyone here ever read any of the Marvel Comics Robocop series? That had some good stories in it, and I liked the "Beyond the Law" 3-part finale.
     
  14. Sephiroth

    Sephiroth Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Location:
    Sephiroth
    they rsn this on sci-fi in the late 90's and I remember liking it, should look around for it...
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    I've never read any RoboCop comics. However, the second episode of R:TS, "Prime Suspect," was adapted from a 1992-3 comics miniseries of the same name from Dark Horse.

    I did watch RoboCop: The Animated Series, which was part of the Marvel Action Universe in 1988. I remember it was a decent show, unusually dark for its day, although quite toned down from the movie (it even retconned the film so that Boddicker and his gang were still alive), and with a more futuristic environment. Was there any connection between that and the Marvel comic-book series?

    It's odd that animated adaptations like R:TAS and the later, stupider RoboCop: Alpha Commando had the rights to the supporting movie cast (R:AC confusingly had Sgt. Reed voiced by Blu Mankuma, who played R:TS's Sgt. Parks), but R:TS had to rename or replace them all.
     
  16. Lance

    Lance Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 9, 2012
    Location:
    The Enterprise's Restroom
    Six months later (boy doesn't time fly when you're busy with work? ;)) and I've finally watched the next two episodes of this.

    *** Possible spoilers below, so a warning for those who don't want to be spoilered, etc. :) ***



    "Prime Suspect" (4/5)

    The series proper starts out with an episode where Robo is framed for the murder of a televangenist who had been running a hate campaign against him.

    I've seen this episode refered to online as being Robocop: The Series attempt to do "The Fugitive", complete with a few visual allusions to the hit 1993 movie version starring Harrison Ford. While I can see it, I think this thumbnail description considerably undersells the unique spin that "Prime Suspect" puts on the premise.

    I can totally see why Christopher raves about Richard Eden, his portrayal of Robocop is awesome. He straddles the line perfectly between paying homage to those that went before him, and bringing something totally new to the character. He manages to emote very unemotionally in a way that reminds me a little of our favorite Vulcan. ;) Some of the scenes are very touching, where he laments the reverend declaring him as an 'abomination' which is 'without a soul'. You're never in any doubt that Robocop has got a soul. A very human one.

    The plot is servicable and I have to say that even though you might argue the 'twist' of who the real villain is is a little telegraphed, I have to admit I didn't see it coming. :D

    Although the series does err on the side of 'family friendly', it does maintain both a stylistic similarity to the first movie as well as adapting it's uniquely satarical flavor. Just about the only thing I've recognized as missing is the over-the-top violence of the movies... and to be honest, I'm not missing it one little bit.

    A random observation: I like the way the series' title sequence recaps the broad events of the movie. :techman: Oh, and I love the double-meaning in the episode title: Robocop is both the 'prime' suspect in the murder case, and he refuses to say what really happened because it breaks his 'prime' directive. Nice. :techman: :techman: :techman:



    "Trouble In Delta City" (3/5)

    A little tougher to swallow probably because it has one or two really goofy elements, but the things that are good about this one are very good.

    The back-handed satire of capitalism continues with OCP marketing a brand new super diet drug, which (it is revealed) has a side effect of making everybody a little... crazed and dangerous. :eek: The drug has also got a heavy addictive quality. Yes, there's something of an 'anti-drugs' message here, but it is subtle enough to not feel like an anvil being dropped. :)

    I actually kind of, um, 'like' this 'bad girl' version of Madigan. Or at least, I like actress Yvette Nipar's way of playing "bad and desperate". Does that say something about me? :adore:

    I wasn't so enamoured of the cartoonish Pudface from the pilot episode coming back in this one, but I sort of got used to him a little bit by the end of the episode. I don't know why he insists on running around with his 'normal' face though, when he can affect a disguise as convincing as the one he does here (dodgy hairpiece aside! :lol:)

    The series remains fairly faithful to the premise of the first movie. Some truly laugh-out-loud moments in this one, many of them coming from Robo himself. A stray comment he makes about a beaurecrat that is seen sniffing around at Metro South made me grin ear-to-ear, as did his silent reaction when he is asked by Lippencott if he is carrying his OCP issued 'freeze-spray'. :guffaw: I've definitely taken a distinct and immediate liking to Richard Eden in the lead role, he completely seems to understand the Robocop character.

    Diana Powers' single scene here does feel a little tacked on in this episode (at least in "Prime Suspect" she did have a role in helping Robo recover), but it's still a nice little scene that underlines that she is in many ways now Robo's true soul-mate. Not in a romantic sense, but more in that they are effectively characters with a shared, troubled life.

    Not sure if I feel Madigan being the b-f-f of Nancy Murphy isn't a bit contrived. But I guess this is Metro South, the place Murphy worked at before moving to Metro West as seen in the first movie, so there is something of an excuse for maybe his wife being considerably personally closer to Madigan (as Madigan was probably Murphy's first partner?).

    All in all it's another good episode, though like I say a few of the goofy elements (the freeze spray) and Pudface's over-the-top acting are both a little on the nose at times. Still recommended. :techman:
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    It's a good, solid title sequence, aside from Gadget's annoying "Wow!" It efficiently recaps the backstory, it incorporates the use of news anchors that's so central to the movie and series, and it has a good original theme that incorporates the Poledouris movie theme as a bridge. One of the things I love most about R:TS is the incidental music, and it's a shame that the only soundtrack album the show ever got was a compilation of rock songs.


    I think it says something about her. Very talented and very gorgeous.


    As much as Pudface claims to hate RoboCop for making him look the way he does, I think he has too much ego to really want to hide his true self. As the rest of the series makes clear, Pudface is something of a showman, a classic supervillain who likes being the center of attention.


    I like it that Robo's various allies and confidantes all related to him differently. Diana was someone he could have a unique connection with, and was the only one who called him "Alex." Madigan was his partner, Charlie was his support system, Parks was his boss, the Chairman was an occasional ally, but it was nice that he had Diana as a friend. I guess Gadget was a friend too, but in a very different way.

    Yes, quite. Also, given that Madigan can't tell Nancy that her husband is still, in a sense, alive, it makes sense that she'd want to compensate for that by befriending and taking care of Nancy.


    Actually I like the various nonlethal ordnances they used in the show -- not just because I don't like guns, but because there was some plausible police futurism to a lot of it. Executive producer Stephen Downing was an ex-cop, and so the show had pretty good police procedure and included some gadgets based on real-life research into nonlethal weapons. As I recall, the spray here wasn't a "freeze spray" so much as a traction-reducing foam for crowd control, for making the ground too slippery for rioters to keep their feet. I think that's based on some real-world research into advanced crowd-control techniques.
     
  18. Lance

    Lance Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 9, 2012
    Location:
    The Enterprise's Restroom
    I do like the vibe of the series a lot. It's Robocop to the core, but in a lot of ways it really is, in a good way, a conventional cop show too. It can play realistic when it needs to.

    I forgot to mention another line in "Trouble In Delta City" that made me laugh out loud: the chairman, after the truth about No Gain becomes evident, I love the way his first instinct is to say "My God... somebody get my spin doctors in here!" :rofl:

    I'm going to watch some more tonight, I'm hooked on it now. :techman:
     
  19. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Location:
    UK
    Maybe I missed something, but my memories of this show back when it came out was that it was pretty bad. Like way over the top cheesy, almost cartoon like acting and stories.

    Granted I was a kid at the time and I think I only ever caught the first episode and was probably unfairly critical because I was such a huge fan of the original (yeah, I was way too young to see the movie when I did. One of the benefits of having a brother 10 years your senior!) Mostly I remember how silly they made Robocop look when they had to tone down the violence. Like he'd pull out his gun and point it at a bad guy...then shoot the leg out off of a conveniently placed wardrobe which falls on him.

    If you're saying it gets a lot better then I might actually check it out. Certainly there's not much point watching the reboot and if I'm honest, out over every thing else they did with the IP over the years, only the first movie was any good. :/
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    It was definitely cartoony, especially toward the beginning, but cartoons aren't automatically bad. RoboCop was always intended to be a comics-style superhero, and the original movie was intended as a broad satire. The cartooniness was intrinsic to the concept. Perhaps we've gotten so used to overblown violence and gore in action movies that we miss the point that RoboCop was supposed to be a parody of action-movie violence, exaggerated to a farcical degree as in a Monty Python sketch. I think a lot of filmmakers -- particularly the makers of RoboCop 2 -- took the wrong lessons from the original. The problem with satire is that a lot of people don't get the joke.


    That wasn't silly. What was silly was the way RoboCop 2 turned him into a mere thug whose every shot was a kill shot. That was gratuitous and stupid. See my comments in my first post in this thread about the show's use of force and how it relates to the first movie and to real police procedures.


    It does gain depth over the course of the season, and there are some emotionally potent and dramatic episodes later on. And it does tone down some of the goofiness of the early episodes. But it continues to have a sense of humor about itself and to embrace the comic-book aspects of the premise.