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Customer Review

3.0 out of 5 stars Can sci fi ever be cheap and cheerful?, 28 Sept. 2009
This review is from: Robocop - The Prime Directives (Special Edition 4 DVD Box Set) (DVD)
Robocop is a character who found fame in the 80's blockbuster movie. Alex Murphy is a cop killed in action, only to be bought back to life as part of a project to become the future of law enforcement. A half man half machine programmed to follow three prime directives.

Protect the innocent.
Serve the public trust.
Uphold the law.

These films reprise the character of Murphy for these straight to boot sale, sorry, I mean straight to video, movies.

If you intend to watch any of these films the boxed set is worth buying, simply because each film is really only setting the scene for the next in the sequence, plus at the price you'll pay is negligable so you may as well. Buy the cheapest set you can as this will not the be type of set you watch over and over. This review is really based on the presumption you'll spend less than a fiver.

Although the films see a return of the Robocop character from the 80's film, this is a far departure from the stylised creation in a motion picture full of moral and spiritual questions. It is a mini series type set of action movies that will hold enough sway with hardcore fans desperate for any kind of Robocop fix. In every way this does not really come close to the films that went before, but that bar was always going to be to high to ever beat, so as one of the fanatics mentioned above overall I was entertained enough.

The film is missing a few of the elements that made the first two films in particular a success, Peter Weller as Robocop was simply perfect, he had a mime like ability that made you believe you were watching a machine in motion. His voice, helped by special sound effects was the perfect computerised tone. The bad guys were REALLY bad guys, the vision of the future in the setting of Delta City was so believable you could taste the polluted air.

In this set of films the lead, Page Fletcher, never quite makes you suspend disbelief long enough to believe you're watching a robot - the comical walk is not the only reason either, the films looks more dated than the original and relies too much on special effects for its back drop of Delta City and the OCP building. We are fed too many new main characters within a very small cast (8 main characters over all 4 films) to digest, Murphy has a grown up son working on the board of OCP, then there's Robo's partner Cable, his ex wife is on the board too, there are other examples. Never in 6 hours will you see so many people fall through pains of glass in slow motion, only to get up and do it again.

So, the positives, there is a decent musical score, even though it is performed on synthesisers and sounds a bit 'wild west'. The suit and the gun are truly authentic and don't look cheap, thank god as this surely would have been a step to far. And for all of the amateurish presentation, dreadful special effects and even the slightly 'off' acting is forgivable and all because you feel that who ever made these made them with a real love for the subject matter, did the best they could on I'm guessing was an extremely limited budget and gave Robo one more outing fans to enjoy.

If you're new to Robocop, please start with the Orion originals, 1 & 2 in particular, not these. If you are excited at the prospect of 6 more hours from the future of law enforcement you may forgive this 'ok at best' set all of its many failings, just as I did. It is such a pity the franchise isn't going as strong as Terminator, Batman and others and this is the best we've had in a long time.

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