RoboCop is a 1987 American science fiction action film directed by Paul Verhoeven and written by Edward Neumeier and Michael Miner. The film stars Peter Weller, Dan O'Herlihy,Kurtwood Smith, Nancy Allen, Miguel Ferrer, and Ronny Cox. Set in a crime-ridden Detroit, Michigan in the near future, RoboCop centers on police officer Alex Murphy (Weller) who is brutally murdered and subsequently revived by the malevolent mega-corporation OCP as a superhuman cyborg law enforcer known as "RoboCop".
RoboCop includes themes regarding the media, resurrection, gentrification, corruption, privatization, capitalism, masculinity, identity and human nature. It received positive reviews and was cited as one of the best films of 1987, spawning a large franchise, including merchandise, two sequels, a television series, two animated TV series, and a television mini-series, video gamesand a number of comic book adaptations/crossovers. The film was produced for a relatively modest $13 million.
In the near future, Detroit, Michigan is on the verge of collapse due to financial ruin and unchecked crime. The mega-corporation Omni Consumer Products (OCP) enters into a contract with the city to run the police force. OCP plans to destroy "Old Detroit" and replace it with the utopia of "Delta City". Recognizing that human law enforcers are insufficient to stop the crime spree, OCP runs several programs to find robotic replacements. One program, the ED-209 enforcement droid, headed by senior president Dick Jones (Ronny Cox), malfunctions and kills a junior executive during its demonstration. As a result, the OCP Chairman (Dan O'Herlihy) opts for a cyborg program helmed by middle-ranking executive Bob Morton (Miguel Ferrer), named "RoboCop".
Veteran police officer Alex J. Murphy (Peter Weller) is transferred to a new precinct in Old Detroit and is partnered with Officer Ann Lewis (Nancy Allen). On their first patrol, they chase down a team of criminals led by crime boss Clarence Boddicker (Kurtwood Smith) to an abandoned steel mill. Lewis is later rendered unconscious by one of the gang, while the rest of Boddicker's men corner Murphy and brutally murder him. Murphy is pronounced dead at the hospital and OCP subsequently takes his body and utilizes parts of the remains in the construction of the first RoboCop.
RoboCop is able to single-handedly deal with much of the violent crime in the city, causing the rest of the police force to become worried they may be replaced. Unbeknownst to his human monitors, RoboCop still retains memories of his life as Murphy, including brief glimpses of his wife and son, and the action of spinning his gun before holstering it, a trick Murphy had done for his son. Lewis recognizes these elements from Murphy's mannerisms and tries to learn more from RoboCop, but due to Morton's orders not to ask questions about RoboCop, she is forced to remain silent on the issues. Because of RoboCop's success, Morton is promoted to become one of OCP's vice-presidents.
Morton's success and arrogance leads Jones to have Boddicker, secretly in his employ, kill the young executive. Meanwhile, an armed gas station holdup by one of Boddicker's men, Emil (Paul McCrane), allows RoboCop to track down Boddicker to a cocaine factory. RoboCop bursts into the facility, kills nearly all of Boddicker's associates and "interrogates" Boddicker by tossing him through several glass windows; Boddicker reveals his alliance with Dick Jones. Boddicker is arrested and RoboCop visits Jones at his offices at OCP, intending to arrest him as well.
During the confrontation, RoboCop's previously unknown fourth directive, preventing him from arresting or harming any senior executive of OCP, activates and incapacitates him. Jones sends an ED-209 against RoboCop. The ED-209 proves incapable of descending a stairway, making it possible for RoboCop to escape. When RoboCop enters the parking complex of the building, a police SWAT team is waiting for him with orders to destroy him. The hail of bullets severely damages RoboCop's armor, but Lewis saves him.
Meanwhile, the police launch their long-threatened labor strike, sending the city into chaos. Jones arranges for Boddicker and his men to be released from prison and provides them with "Cobra assault cannons" that use explosive rounds capable of puncturing RoboCop's heavy armor. Using a tracking device provided by Jones, Boddicker's team converges on the steel mill where RoboCop was recovering from his injuries. RoboCop and Lewis defend themselves and kill the entire gang. Lewis is wounded but survives.
RoboCop returns to OCP headquarters, uses a Cobra cannon to finally destroy the ED-209 guarding the building, and presents evidence of Jones' role in Morton's death to the OCP chairman. Jones quickly grabs a gun and takes the chairman hostage. The chairman, after being told about the Fourth Directive by RoboCop, fires Jones, allowing RoboCop to shoot him. Jones then crashes through the window and falls to his death. The chairman commends RoboCop for his skill and asks for his name, to which RoboCop replies: "Murphy".
- Peter Weller as Officer Alex Murphy / RoboCop
- Nancy Allen as Officer Anne Lewis
- Ronny Cox as OCP Senior President Richard "Dick" Jones
- Kurtwood Smith as Clarence Boddicker
- Miguel Ferrer as OCP Executive Robert "Bob" Morton
- Dan O'Herlihy as "The Old Man" (OCP Chairman)
- Paul McCrane as Emil Antonowsky
- Ray Wise as Leon Nash
- Jesse D. Goins as Joe Cox
- Calvin Jung as Steve Minh
- Michael Gregory as Lt. Hedgecock
- Robert DoQui as Sergeant Warren Reed
- Felton Perry as OCP Executive Donald Johnson
- Lee de Broux as Sal
- S. D. Nemeth as Bixby Snyder (TV comedian)