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The first Robocop was thrilling, hilarious, and totally original--none of which has as much to do with the film's spawning two sequels (plus two separate television shows) as its $50 million-plus take at the box office. Though the Law of Diminishing Returns inevitably applies to the theatrical trilogy, the central premise is so strong that each of the lesser sequels has at least a few moments worth catching. That's because the original (wherein Detroit cop Peter Weller, killed in the line of duty, gets transformed into a crime-fighting cyborg) set up an entire world. Director Paul Verhoeven spends as much time lampooning television news, commercial products, and big business as he does on the story; however violent or gory things get (and they get quite icky), the tone throughout is comic, even giddy. Robocop 2, helmed by Irvin Kershner of The Empire Strikes Back fame, sobers up considerably. The film is rather underrated; sure, there are fewer ads and newsbreaks this time around, but there are several inventive touches--Robocop is briefly reprogrammed into a homily-spouting Dudley Do-Right; drug dealers step in to bail out the financially strapped city--and the villains (including the most foul-mouthed, amoral 12-year-old in movie history) are less outrageous than in the first installment. Robocop 3, however, is profit-driven hash. Having Robocop (now acted by Robert John Burke) join a citizens' uprising is a nice idea, and even the ninja android could have been fun, but the movie tries too often to be heartwarming, an emotion thoroughly out of place in this wickedly satirical series.

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Special Features

Includes: Robocop (Extended Version), Robocop 2, and Robocop 3
Four deleted scenes
"Flesh and Steel: The Making of Robocop" featurette
"Shooting Robocop" featurette
"Making Robocop" featurette
Storyboard with commentary by animator Phil Tippett
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MG132271 Robocop Trilogy DVD (Robocop 1,2,3) $24.98