‘RoboCop’ reboots man vs. machine tale for the modern world

The original RoboCop was a classic of its kind which caught American viewers by surprise with a mix of ultra-violence, dark comedy and social commentary. Action fans were wowed — and underneath it all was a political subtext. With a reboot hitting theaters, it’s worth asking whether it can approach the ingenuity and edge of RoboCop 1.0.

In 1987, RoboCop delivered wicked satire masquerading as an action film. It was a sci-fi adventure about a dead policeman who is resurrected with an industrial operating system and an armored body that turns him into a walking tank. Dutch director Paul Verhoeven’s American debut was a corporate “Frankenstein” tale dropped into a near future full of rampant crime. The filmmaker’s savage wit and penchant for pushing the envelope resulted in a vision so violent that he recut and resubmitted RoboCop 12 times before it was given an R-rating.

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