Most mainstream movies rely on common story tropes. It’s been argued that there’s really only seven types of stories and that anything you’ve ever watched or read is a variation on very basic ideas. The same can even be said of our most popular legends and myths. My point is if we have only so many options, we are missing out if we don’t spice up our lives with stories that touch on the same ideas but are way cooler than what we settle for.
Take Easter for example. The tale of a man- Jesus- who only wants to do good in this world before being murdered. He is tortured and killed for trying to uphold what he believes is right. He is miraculously restored, and saves us all. It’s a rousing story that is full of miracles and empathy where we see death overcome, and all of us made better through the actions of a messiah.
But why settle? Why do we take this tale at face value when we have a much better and more contemporary story that we could easily take solace in? A similar legend but one that is imbued with the power of modern movie making. Not only is our hero resurrected, but he comes back stronger than ever and takes sweet justice against the men who tried to destroy him. The story is, of course, “Robocop.”
It’s not a controversial statement to say that “RoboCop” is a retelling of the Christ story. Director Paul Verhoeven, himself a scholar who has written whole books on the life of the messiah, has been candid about seeing RoboCop as “an American Jesus.” The guy literally walks on water towards the end, so it ain’t exactly subtle. So, on this upcoming holy day, I suggest running with the idea and making your day a RoboEaster. With the 4k release of RoboCop only coming out days ago in the US, there’s never been a better time to show your children the majesty of Murphy.
If you need more examples of why it’s a great Easter movie, here’s some facts you can tell your family when you try to talk them into watching it.
1 Our Savior Was Mocked
We first meet Alex Murphy who is a family man, he has rigid morals and knows what’s right and what’s wrong. While he’s out fighting crime for the greater good, he’s ridiculed and laughed at by Clarence’s men. Similar to how people mocked and ridiculed Jesus as he hung on the cross.
2 When Jesus Hung on The Cross
When Clarence and his team of ruffians shoot up Alex Murphy one of the scenes depicts his right hand being blown off. Much like the nails through Jesus’ hands as he was nailed to the cross. And while he was being shot, he was impaled what seems like hundreds of times. Similar to how Jesus had to undergo a whipping that was seemingly unending. And though Murphy’s final blow is a shot to the head and not a stab to the gut, we still find these situations parallel to Jesus being put on the cross.
3 The Resurrection
Murphy is taken to a place just before his resurrection much like Jesus is taken to the cave. And just like Jesus’ resurrection, he was celebrated by the people who put him there. In this case, the scientists that worked on Robocop.
4 A Prime Directive
Jesus had the ten commandments, Robocop had a Prime Directive. Like Jesus who only preached six of the ten commandments, Robocop chose to go against his. In his directives number 4 was “Any attempt to arrest a senior officer of OCP results in shutdown. He becomes physically unable to arrest anyone connected with the OCP, it works out however but you’ll have to watch the movie to find out how.
5 Spear of Longinus
He was pierced in the side with an iron rod, much like the spear of Longinus or the Holy Lance. In the bible Longinus stabs Christ with the spear to make sure he’s dead before removing him from the cross. In the film, Clarence stabs Robocop with a spear because well it looks cool for one. And for two it’s a subtle way that Verhoeven was able to connect the two characters together.
6 Walking on Water
Robocop walks on water in a scene at the end. Much like Jesus did in Matthew 14:22-33. When Robocop is seen walking on water it’s so that you understand he is the savior. He’s taking down the bad guys and becoming the hope of the city.
7 Verhoeven Said So Himself
Plus this direct quote from Verhoeven himself:
“The point of ‘RoboCop,’ of course, is it is a Christ story,” Verhoeven said. “It is about a guy that gets crucified after 50 minutes, then is resurrected in the next 50 minutes and then is like the super-cop of the world, but is also a Jesus figure as he walks over water at the end.”