RoboCop is a cop. Then he turns into a machine. Then, through the power of the human spirit, he becomes a man again. But also, he's all cop. That's pretty much the plot, and again we're talking about the original masterpiece, not the rebooted vomit-bag.
The sad parts of this movie are difficult to find for guys, because we're too busy cheering the ultra-violence, or almost vomiting at the ultra-violence. (Let's just say the new movie doesn't have an R-rating for a reason.) Hidden in all that awesome movie is a touching scene where Robo-Murphy is starting to remember his human life. He walks into his old home, currently for sale with robo-realtors at the ready, and starts recalling his family. He sees pictures of his family and electronic static pulls back to show us that moment in time. This scene almost becomes more applicable today, with military heroes coming home to find their families have moved on, or grown up unrecognizably. Murphy can no longer identify himself as a father and husband first, and a cop second. He doesn't even have the ability to identify himself as anything other than a cop. It's so emotional, Murphy's only recourse was to punch a computer monitor in the face.
We understand, Murphy, we do.
I know, this film was just mentioned last week, but good god the thumbs-up scene! After a contemplative discussion of why humans cry and how emotions work, there's nothing so tender as a machine that has learned about emotional longing. "I know now why you cry," the giant Austrian kill-bot says, "but it is something I can never do."
Arnold, back when that name meant something, being lowered to his doom NOT because an enemy was attacking him, but because he knew he represented the possible enemy of the future. The father figure that the characters and we the audience had grown to love sacrificing himself to protect us from the future war of bad Terminator sequels. (Perhaps he should have found hotter molten steel?)
I know I harp on this moment so much, but think about this: the machine is completely logical in choosing to destroy himself, but what is logical about giving that thumbs-up? Nothing. It's emotion. He wanted to communicate with his friend one last time regardless of what it would accomplish. He learned that much.
Like what you see? Secure enough in your masculinity for more? Check out more Guy Cry Cinema or watch Dan on No Right Answer, the weekly debate show that knows what's really important: Pointlessly arguing about geek culture.