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Behold the fearful symmetry of Robocop

Not even a lackluster remake can hide the fact that Paul Verhoeven’s Robocop remains a near perfect film that is continually rewarding viewers many years after its release. Blogger Robert Lockard has written a piece about how Verhoeven’s 1987 film is almost perfectly symmetrical, the two halves of the film pivoting around the point when the dad from That 70s Show is arrested. Lockard illustrates in great detail how Robocop is, in his words, a ‘cinematic chiasmus,’ meaning that the events of the back half of the movie mirror the beginning, except in reverse order. For example, the film begins with the title, then a media break, and then Murphy introducing himself; the second half ends with Robocop identifying himself as Murphy, then a media break (deleted scene), and then the Robocop title again. Couple this with the director’s own discussions about how Robocop is a Christ figure, and you have a much more complex backstory for a film that contains a toxic waste mutant. It’s an interesting read that adds to the mounting evidence for why Robocop deserves that sweet, sweet statue in Detroit.

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