Released 1987 (USA)
American, in English
Director - Paul Verhoeven
Stars - Peter Weller, Ronny Cox, Miguel Ferrer, Kurtwood Smith, Nancy Allen
In future, crime-ridden Detroit, when police officer Alex J. Murphy (Weller) is killed by a gang of thugs, he’s turned into a cyborg by the corporation that runs the police department. Cox co-stars as Dick Jones, the #2 man at the corporation; Ferrer as Bob Morton, the guy who came up with the idea for the cyborg; Smith as Clarence Boddicker, a crime boss with a connection to Jones; and Allen as Murphy’s partner on the force, Anne Lewis.
Extreme violence; extreme gore; extreme blue language; brief female nudity (breasts only); brief male nudity (butt only); attempted rape; drug use.
The special effect for the ED-209 (a prototype police robot) is laughably terrible. I can’t even tell what it is (Claymation? Stop motion animation?) but it looks bad, bad, bad.
It’s way too violent. This isn’t the kind of thing I normally complain about, so you know it’s got to be pretty dang awful for me to bring it up.
The cyborg suit that Weller wears in it is noticeably cumbersome. I found it a bit distracting. There were multiple scenes of him shooting guns with his non-gun arm cocked at a weird angle and it took me out of the scene as I thought to myself, “He needs to do that because he can’t balance properly in that awkward suit.”
I really enjoyed Ferrer’s performance. I’ve had a soft spot for him ever since the TV show “Crossing Jordan,” and it’s fun to see him play out of type. Usually I find his characters likable but I absolutely loathed Bob Morton. So, good work!
It’s an interesting idea, very different from anything else that was out at the time. And, for the most part, I think it was executed well.
Thank goodness for an action film without a shoehorned-in love story. I also appreciated that the only prominent female character wasn’t a romantic interest.
I spent most of the film thinking I was going to give it 4 stars, but then I got to the big fight scene toward the end and it was so ultra violent that I decided to knock a quarter star off of it. It’s really over the top. [SPOILER] I mean, a guy gets doused in toxic waste and spends several minutes wandering around, melting and wheezing, before exploding into bits after getting hit by a car. So incredibly unnecessary. [SPOILER] I do like it & think it’s a really solid action film with interesting ideas, a believable plot, and some good performances. I just wish it had dialed it back a notch.
I give it 3.75 stars.