Paul Verhoeven's 1987 action opus "RoboCop" is twenty-seven years old and may be even more timely and subjectively pertinent today than when it was released. A few quaint optical effects notwithstanding—which, really, only add to its charm—the film strikes as auspiciously ahead of its time in its ruthless depiction of corporate greed and technology run amok, a vigilante thriller and empathetic character study with a socially satirical science-fiction bent. Serious when need be but also knowing how to have fun, the original "RoboCop" held nothing back, blitzing the screen with giddily unblinking carnage, superbly crafted action set-pieces, and a tricky but successful tone able to deliver a mainstream sense of diversion without marginalizing its poignant emotional through-line. Anchored by a complicatedly multilayered performance from Peter Weller and an ensemble of supporting players memorable in their clear-eyed specificity, the picture runs on all cylinders as the compelling, high-stakes story of a man saved from certain death at the expense of a piece of his soul.
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