Robocop - 1987
The movie opens with a news report advertising the way of life in this future, which seems to be far from ideal. Among other stories, three police officers have been murdered and a fourth, Frank Frederickson, has been left critically injured in an attack by unofficial Old Detroit crime boss Clarence Boddicker (Kurtwood Smith), wanted for the deaths of over 31 police officers.
The Detroit Metropolitan Police Department's union representatives blame Omni Consumer Products (OCP), who have recently entered a contract with the city to run and manage the DPD, for putting their men in such dangerous environments. At the Metro West Precinct in Old Detroit, officers respond to a variety of cases when veteran officer Alex Murphy (Peter Weller) arrives, having been transferred in from another department.
Desk Sergeant Warren Reed gets Murphy a set of riot armor and introduces Murphy to the other cops, who are not happy about how OCP seems to be trying to run the police into the ground. As Murphy and the other cops are suiting up in the locker rooms, one of them suggests that they go on strike to pressure OCP into giving them better working demands. At that point, Reed and another officer come in, carrying an evidence tray.
Reed removes Frederickson's nameplate from his locker, announcing that Frederickson has died, much to the disappointment of the other cops in the locker room. Reed admonishes them harshly about striking. Murphy is brought upstairs where he sees a criminal assaulting his arresting officers. The female officer involved quickly beats the suspected criminal into submission. This is Anne Lewis (Nancy Allen), a hardened cop.
Reed decides that she will be partnered with Murphy. They leave to go on patrol; Murphy insists that he drive the car. The action changes to OCP Headquarters, where executives Donald Johnson (Felton Perry) and Bob Morton (Miguel Ferrer) are on their way to a board of directors meeting. They converse on the elevator ride up about what the meeting could be about.
Johnson figures that the Old Man is greenlighting the Delta City project, despite Morton pointing out that OCP never does anything ahead of schedule. Morton thinks that Dick Jones is trying to show off his ED-209 series. The Old Man (Daniel O'Herlihy) starts the meeting off by reminding everyone that he has had a vision for over a decade, of demolishing "Old Detroit" and redevelop it as a high-end utopia called "Delta City."
There's a problem with Old Detroit: it's riddled with crime, and this crime must be eradicated before they can build Delta City. To that end, OCP President Richard "Dick" Jones (Ronny Cox) has funded the development of a new type of law enforcement robot: the Enforcement Droid Series 209, ED-209 for short. To demonstrate the droid's effectiveness, Jones asks a younger executive, Kinney, to volunteer as a test subject to simulate a typical arrest and disarming procedure.
Kinney is handed a Desert Eagle pistol, and Jones instructs him to use it in a threatening manner. Kinney aims the pistol at ED-209. When he cocks it, ED-209 immediately turns on and aims its machine guns at Kinney, ordering him to drop his gun in the next 20 seconds. Kinney immediately tosses the pistol away, but ED-209 suddenly steps forward, growls and tells Kinney he now has 15 seconds to comply, as he is in violation of Penal Code 113, Section 9.
The board goes into chaos and the scientists frantically try to shut ED-209 off as Kinney tries to hide among his fellow executives, who push him back into the line of fire. When ED-209 reaches zero, he declares that he is authorized to use physical force and opens fire, throwing Kinney onto the model of Delta City and riddling him with bullets. He continues to shoot Kinney for fifteen seconds, only stopping once the engineers are able to unplug him.
The Old Man is not happy with the outcome of Jones's product, citing the expense involved in designing the droid and the potential for lost interest payments, even though Jones insists that this is just a glitch. Morton takes advantage of the opportunity to tell the Old Man about his own project. He and the people at Security Concepts have been working on a backup plan in the event that ED-209 would not function properly, known as "RoboCop."
Morton also states that he hopes to have the first RoboCop in prototype within 90 days, and he's had the police force restructured so that the best candidates for the project are in the highest risk areas. The Old Man is impressed by Morton's idea and decides to put his project up as priority. Jones, however, is not pleased at being upstaged. Meanwhile, Lewis and Murphy are out on patrol and stopping for coffee.
Murphy is relaxing by spinning his pistol on his fingers, which he explains to Lewis a move he learned from a television show that his young son watches. He thinks that all good cops like him need to be role models to their kids. They are interrupted by a radio call about a pharmaceutical company being robbed by a group of men driving a silver panel truck. Murphy and Lewis jump into their car and drive off to track them down.
In the back of said panel truck are Clarence Boddicker and his gang - Bobby, Leon Nash (Ray Wise), Joe Cox (Jesse D. Goins), Steve Minh (Calvin Jung), and getaway driver Emil Antonowsky (Paul McCrane), who have just successfully robbed a pharmaceutical company and emptied the store's safe of money. Boddicker is furious to find that Bobby has burned all the money, rendering it useless.
He goes off on a tirade on Bobby, slapping him several times, but is interrupted when Emil looks in his rearview mirror and yells that there's a cop chasing them. Leon rushes over to the back doors, looks out the window, and sees Murphy and Lewis following them. Boddicker orders Emil to slow down so they can ambush their pursuers. Emil thinks Boddicker is crazy, but reluctantly obeys, as Boddicker and the other gang members begin loading their shotguns.
In the police car, Murphy radios for help, but to his and Lewis's dismay, there is no backup available to assist them. He draws his pistol and Lewis's sidearm as well and they speed up, hoping to take the panel truck by surprise. On Boddicker's signal, Bobby kicks open the back doors and the gang members open fire...on empty air. They wonder where the unit has gone, until Emil looks out the passenger window and sees Murphy and Lewis driving alongside them.
Boddicker rushes to the passenger window, shotgun in hand and fires at Murphy, who fires back with twin pistols. Lewis drops back behind the truck, and Murphy opens fire again. Suddenly, Bobby falls, two bullets in his right leg. The other gang members continue shooting, and riddle the car with bullets. Boddicker decides that Bobby is no longer useful to him. The other gang members grab him and Boddicker asks, "Can you fly, Bobby?"
Bobby pleads for his life, only for the other gang members to throw him onto the police car, crushing the windshield. Lewis, startled, spins the car out while Boddicker and his gang drive away, cackling manically. Lewis and Murphy back up, rolling Bobby off the car, and then drive off in pursuit. Murphy and Lewis track the truck down to an abandoned steel mill. They become separated as they split up to search for Boddicker and his men.
Lewis stumbles on Cox as he is relieving himself. He attacks her and pushes her from a catwalk, knocking her unconscious. Murphy finds Emil and an unnamed henchman watching the terrible sitcom It's Not My Problem on a TV set. Surprised by Murphy's appearance, the unnamed thug tries to grab a shotgun, but is shot dead by Murphy. He forces Emil to surrender, saying "dead or alive, you're coming with me".
But as Murphy is about to put his handcuffs on Emil, Steve Minh and Leon Nash appear with shotguns in hand and train them at his head. As the two advance on Murphy, Emil disarms Murphy, then grabs his own shotgun, pumps it, and declares, "Your ass is mine!" At that point, Boddicker himself shows up, and kicks Murphy to the ground with the butt of his shotgun, demanding to know where Murphy's partner is.
This is answered when Cox enters the room and jokingly talks about taking out Lewis. Boddicker puts his hand on the side of Murphy's neck and asks the cop what he thinks of him. Murphy replies, "Buddy, I think you're slime." The other gang members laugh, and Boddicker admits that there's one problem: cops do not like him, and he does not like cops. Boddicker then aims his shotgun as he moves it across Murphy's body while miming the sound of a tracker, until he shoots off Murphy's right hand.
Murphy tries to stifle the bleeding with his left hand as he stands up and tries to stagger away. Emil then takes his turn and fires, the bullet ripping off Murphy's right arm at the shoulder. Murphy screams in agony as Emil, Leon, Cox, and Minh proceed to empty their shotguns into Murphy, riddling his torso with bullets. Lewis is a witness to most of this, though she doesn't see Murphy getting hit, but from behind a chain link fence, she can see the gang shooting firing-squad style.
Amazingly, when the gangs' shotguns run out of ammo, Murphy is still alive. Boddicker casually lights a cigarette, then pulls a pistol and shoots Murphy in the face. Murphy falls dead, while Boddicker and his men depart. Once Boddicker leaves, Lewis finds Murphy's mutilated body. Murphy is rushed to a nearby hospital but there is little that the doctors can do and he is declared dead.
The next few scenes are seen from an unknown perspective as Bob Morton and his staff take Murphy's body and turn it into RoboCop. RoboCop is built with a unique set of schematics and state-of-the-art equipment. Several months later, Morton unveils RoboCop to his fellow OCP executives. A large convoy of scientists and engineers transport him to Murphy's old precinct.
At the station, Reed is dealing with a repeat offender at the desk when a large team of scientists and men and women in lab coats start wheeling equipment in through the front door. Reed is about to protest to Morton and his assistant when he is interrupted by odd-sounding footsteps. Behind a pane of frosted glass, we see RoboCop striding in.
The other officers eagerly run through the halls to see what is going on as RoboCop is led to his charging station and command center in the holding cells. At the command center, the engineers tell Morton that RoboCop is fed a rudimentary paste to sustain his organic systems. Johnson tries the paste out and finds that it tastes like baby food.
To make sure RoboCop works, they use a pen to test his tracking abilities, and a voice stress analyzer to test his ability to record and play back. Morton then asks RoboCop what his three "prime directives" are. 1. Serve the Public Trust, 2. Protect the Innocent, and 3. Uphold the Law. Unknown to Morton and most of his staff, a fourth directive has also been uploaded but is not revealed, listed only as "Classified".
Lewis and some other officers are next seen on the shooting range, but everyone's attention is distracted when RoboCop shows up and begins shooting his own custom pistol, as part of a test of his sharpshooting skills. RoboCop is a straight shooter, successfully using his gun to obliterate the cardboard target. After the demonstration is complete, RoboCop puts his gun away, and we notice that he twirls it around his fingers on his right hand before storing it in a leg holster built into his right leg.
Morton tells Reed that RoboCop needs a car. Reed grabs a set of car keys from his desk and tosses them. RoboCop snatches them out of the air and departs. Morton watches him, saying, "Go get 'em, boy!" RoboCop's first night is quite active. It starts at a mom-and-pop convenience store, when a robber wearing a trenchcoat enters, and buys a magazine. As he is paying for it, he asks the owners to empty their cash register and safe.
When they stall, he whips out a rifle and orders them to give him their money. The robber trains his weapon on the husband and orders him to open the safe. The husband stalls, and the robber, furious, kicks aside a pile of beer cans to reveal the safe, and threatens to shoot the wife. As he is counting to three, RoboCop suddenly barges in and orders him to drop his weapon.
The robber fires at RoboCop, but his bullets only dent the machine's bulletproof casing. He continues shooting until RoboCop uses his super strong hand to bend the barrel of his rifle. The robber decides to try fleeing, and RoboCop delivers him a blow and throws him into a refrigerator. RoboCop is later driving when he receives a report of a molestation in progress.
Two lowlifes are chasing down a blonde woman and attempting to cut her hair and rape her. One of them is about to cut her dress and get at her genitals when a police car screeches to a stop. RoboCop emerges and draws his firearm. One of the two men grabs the woman and threatens to slit her throat. RoboCop's second directive activates.
He tracks, aims his pistol, and fires it with an aim so precise that the bullet goes through the woman's dress between her legs and hit her hostage taker in his testicles. While the hostage taker collapses, screaming in pain, the grateful woman rushes up to RoboCop and hugs him gratefully, and he offers to call a rape crisis center.
Later still that night, disgruntled ex-city councilman Ron Miller enters City Hall with a submachine gun and takes the mayor and his staff hostage, and kills an aide who refuses to cooperate. The police and SWAT team arrive and set up a perimeter. Reporters gathered at the scene are interviewing Lt. Hegecock, the hostage negotiator, but are distracted when another police car arrives, breaks through the crime tape and comes to a stop.
RoboCop climbs out and is swarmed by the media. The police work to get the reporters out of the way, and RoboCop tells Hegecock to stall Miller, while he himself goes inside and starts making his way to the second floor. Hegecock gets on the mike and offers to hear out Miller's demands. Miller demands to have his old job back. He also demands a bigger office and a new car on the city's bill, specifically a car that has reclining leather seats, goes really fast and gets really shitty gas mileage.
Hegecock offers the 6000 SUX, but eventually Miller loses his patience. He grabs the mayor and pushes him to the window. As Miller prepares to execute the mayor, RoboCop punches through the wall, grabs Miller and pulls him backwards, his submachine gun firing wildly into the air. RoboCop then spins Miller and punches him out a glass window, and he falls to the street.