On July 17th, 1987 Paul Verhoven's RoboCop was released in theaters. The film introduced a modern-day knight in shining armor destined to protect his city of Detroit, Michigan. With a silly title like RoboCop, audiences expected a super-hero like romp on the big screen. With Verhoven's satirical eye and finger on the social pulse, audiences received much more than expected.
A peek into the technological advances of the future was showcased along with an allegorical resurrection story of the hero's journey. Over thirty years later, RoboCop continues to resonate with audiences and has seemed to mirror society now more than ever. Here are 10 RoboCop Moments That Predicted The Future.
10 GPS Tracking
In a more technological prediction, RoboCop introduced a concept related to a Global Positioning System (GPS). As Omni Consumer Products (OCP) hovers above the film, so does their technology. The corporation views and acknowledges RoboCop not as a person but as a byproduct of their company's mission. They have guaranteed RoboCop's pacification of crime in Detroit.
With that guarantee, comes the tracing of a product's whereabouts and progress. In this case, OCP has installed a tracking system upon RoboCop's person. Wherever he goes, they know. This is close to today's GPS apparatus that is used daily and frequently.
9 Kevlar Armored Vests
RoboCop visually as a character invokes a simple premise. He's a robot and he's a cop. That's pretty cut and dry. The complexities and prophecies stem from his robotics. Within the film, the process of his assembly is showcased within snippets of detailed flashbacks.
A portion of that evokes the details of his protective armor. RoboCop's armor is laced with a strong synthetic fiber known as Kevlar. RoboCop's near indestructive presence demonstrates the effectiveness of the material. So much so that police officers today have been provided with Kevlar vests to protect from knives, bullets, and slugs.
8 Privatization of Public Services
Capitalism is a heavy presence within RoboCop. The mass representation of capitalism within the film is Omni Consumer Products (OCP) along with its key business players. At the very beginning of the film, the audience is informed that OCP has purchased and will now operate Detroit's police force.
The notion of privatization of public services such as law enforcement draws many red flags. An idea like this should never come to fruition. The showcase of this travesty is the bloodthirst within the yuppie bullpen at OCP. Each business player viciously competes with the other in a race to create a profitable substitute for the average police officer. Their lust for rank costs officers and citizens their lives.
That level of greed has leaked into businesses of today attempting to capitalize on the weaknesses of some public services.
7 Mechanized Weaponry
"We practically are the military," Dick Jones professes about his equipped firepower within his urban pacification division at Omni Consumer Products (OCP). Dick Jones is a character obsessed with rank and not so much with results. Hence his investment and production in ED-209, an Enforcement Droid created to supplant an average police officer. The bulky law enforcement appliance stumbles upon a few glitches that hinder its productivity and make it a menace.
"Who cares if it worked or not?" exclaims Dick Jones pertaining to ED-209. The mechanical beast brought upon results that stemmed towards a profitable deal from military intrigue. Corporate weaponized advances developed at home for government foreign endeavors.
Drones, jammers, and special operations uniforms are just a few technological advancements that were only seen in sci-fi films like RoboCop.
6 Gutting A City For A Profitable Endeavor
The Future Has A Silver Lining. This slogan is Omni Consumer Product's (OCP) mission statement to polish, renovate, and advance Detroit into a harmonious paradise, Delta City. This declaration, however, is corporate sugar coating at its finest. OCP has garnered its funds to purchase and operate Detroit's law enforcement division.
This business endeavor has given birth to RoboCop, who's prime directive is to eliminate crime in Detroit. This is an effective smokescreen to shield OCP's true mission: the gentrification of Detroit for the foundation that will become Delta City. The "silver lining" pertains to OCP's big wigs lining their pockets.
Recently and sadly some American cities have adopted this form of "advancement". However, protestors have pitched tents and rallied against this form of displacement.
5 Smart Technology
In today's era, smart technology can be found in nearly every crevice of life. Smart tech guides people's transportation. It bridges people's communication. It also conducts people's appliances. RoboCop instated hints of technology's ever-growing intelligence.
A prime example of smart tech in RoboCop occurs when RoboCop visits the former residence Alex J. Murphy called home. He is greeted by a virtual realtor with a goal to sell Murphy's home to a possible new resident. While RoboCop wrestles with memories of his warm past, he is bombarded by the frigid future he has now awoken to. Nowadays, people talk to smart appliances developed by companies to assure them an easier way of living at home. RoboCop predicted that.
4 Rising Tension Within Law Enforcement
Once the film opens, it presents to the audience its status quo. Police officers are upset by their dwindling numbers, city's violence, and place within Omni Consumer Product's (OCP) scheme. They are pushed to the brink and on the verge of a strike. Tensions rise between the citizens being gutted out of Detroit and the officers set to enforce the law now dictated by corporate ownership.
This can be taken as a distant warning to not allow mishaps like this to happen. However, in today's day and age, an argument can be made that society has succumbed to a light version of this already. With current movements against police brutality, the line has definitely been blurred between what is just and what is not. RoboCop proves that a badge does not give you power over citizens but that it is your duty to protect said citizens even if it's against corporate interest.
3 Product Of The System
"He doesn't have a name. He has a program. He's the product," states Bob Morton in reference to RoboCop. Omni Consumer Products (OCP) doesn't see Alex J. Murphy anymore. They see RoboCop, a corporate tool to utilize for their journey towards Delta City, a privatized expansion of Detroit.
RoboCop's struggle to regain his humanity and rise against the corrupt system that drives him are two themes that an average audience member can relate to. The Old Man, Dick Jones, and Bob Morton are the silver-tongued showrunners of corruption in Detroit veiled in designer suits. Unfortunately, some company executives or CEOs today can still fit the mold as to what RoboCop was stating about money-hungry three-piecers back in 1987.
2 Corporate Interests Dictate Progress Or Lack Of It
The notions of profit and excess are amassed by personal avarice. Within the film RoboCop, that concept is literally pushed into the foreground with extreme violence and vulgarity. Even though it is heightened to hyper-realism, it is still based on a realistic sense.
The corporate entity of Omni Consumer Products (OCP) continues to gut the slums of Detroit, Michigan for the sake of their privatized dream of Delta City. OCP and its employees adhere to ruthless business tactics with battered Detroit as their playing field. Those caught in the crossfire include Alex J. Murphy, Detroit's police force, and its citizens.
This prophecy has come to fruition when major American cities bulldoze over small businesses, public services, and housing in order to construct a "new form of lifestyle". Companies usually negate lower-income citizens that can only afford the "old form of lifestyle".
1 Humanity Drives Technology And Its Advances
Alex J. Murphy is RoboCop. Epic titular film characters cannot escape their humanity. As many technological advances are showcased within Paul Verhoven's RoboCop, the soul of the film is truly Murphy. Metallic shells guard hearts. 93R Berettas are aimed by hands. True justice is served by humans. RoboCop personifies that at the source of every machine is an operating human. A pilot pilots. A plane does not.
The future is dictated by humanity and its present morality. Normal humans in today's age set off medical, scientific, and moral breakthroughs for the benefit of society. As developments soar, civilization can only hope that mankind soars along with it.