June 11, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT

RoboCop Trilogy

Current Status
In Season
We gave it a B+

Yeah, the sight of a corporately funded, man-turned-cyborg cop cleaning up a futuristic urban wasteland still rocks. But what makes Robocop more than just a brutally effective sci-fi action flick is its humor and its humanity. At heart, it’s a satire of ’80s excess, epitomized by the mock news reports and TV commercials that lampoon the values of the Reagan era. But the movie’s soul is its mechanized avenger, haunted by memories of a family he can never return to. In the not-bad Robocop 2, he continues his existential struggle, while waging a war on drugs. In Robocop 3, our hero, now played by Burke, joins the rebel underground, learns to fly — and jumps the shark. EXTRAS Three making-of docs provide lots of fascinating anecdotal info. So does audio commentary by, among others, director Paul Verhoeven — who is often quite funny, especially when he calls Robocop a modern ”American Jesus.”

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