As part of introduction to the setting, we're shown a live conference as part of The Novak Element. They obviously wanted to show citizens of the US how the military robots help securing Teheran.

However, things go south as soon as a kid with a knife is shot into pieces by one of the walkers, essentially creating a giant PR disaster for OmniCorp.

Later on in the movie, there's a direct competition between one of the military humanoid robots and RoboCop to test his performance. Segment after segment, it's becoming clear that he's always slower (i.e. less efficient) due to the human component.

Remembering the beginning of the movie, I expected this one ultimate proof that the project isn't just some huge waste of money and it would help to boost acceptance in the US:

At once there'd be a kid as a target, once again witha very ineffective/unclear weapon, like a knife. The robot would shoot (off screen), while Murphy would try something else, maybe even disarming it by hand.

Yet such a situation doesn't appear. RoboCop as-is is considered ineffective in comparison and that's it - test complete.

Since I don't think there's any reason stated for not doing what I mentioned above and I guess that the whole Teheran incident is pretty much public knowledge, it feels a bit like a lost chance. Did they do it on purpose just for the sake of the story the way they wanted it to be? (Assuming there's any information available regarding that.)

  • 1
    This is incredibly subjective, Mario. Someone is going to have to argue directly against your idea of a 'better movie', and they're obviously not going to win your favor in doing so. I'd say the paralleling you've stated above would be incredibly obvious and off-putting to see in a movie: there are subtler ways (which the movie actually used) to get this point across than to recreate an earlier scene... scriptwriters have been avoiding doing this since post-modernism, people see it coming a mile away. Jul 10, 2014 at 11:03
  • Yes, true, but then again the finale has the same "can't shoot him" scene twice, just with slightly different ending.
    – Mario
    Jul 10, 2014 at 11:06
  • so there's that, which was obviously a scene in homage to the original.. you'd put two of these self referential devices in? there's at least a reason for the second instance... Jul 10, 2014 at 11:17
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    I thought the point of a human/machine hybrid was to bypass the Dreyfus Act (which doesn't allow the use of robots in US law enforcement).
    – Oliver_C
    Jul 12, 2014 at 11:17

2 Answers 2


I know many people are thinking it, so I'll just spit it out. No groaners, please. No one wants to say this.

It's a Plot Device. No, that's not just a band-aid answer. We all know them. We all see them. Some of us die a little at the over-use of them. Every movie has them, the really good ones just don't make them obvious.

Whyfor a plot device then? In order to make the movie go along in the direction that the director's vision takes it... as well as the writer's vision, since he came up with it first (unless a director thought it up and wrote it... or... wait, I digress). The movie you watched, every scene... every shot was considered, planned out, and executed. The fact that Murphy made a better overall cop with his humanity was actually irrelevant to the plot of the story at that point.

The plot of the story was that the Evil OCP wanted a perfectly controllable killing machine they could use as a wedge to bring in the REAL machines. It was never about making the best cop with a mix of technology and heart. For OCP, it was about bringing the robots home. To them, Murphy was a step in that direction and nothing more. Rather... the idea of the cyborg wasn't what they wanted. They just made one to soften the people up to the idea of technology policing them. They didn't want to prove he was superior to the machines. They wanted to prove he was under their control. Remember... when he was beating the robots, he was actually just another Robot himself.... he just thought he was the one controlling his body.

So... the story was written, and plot devices were used in abundance... and that one just kinda... sticks out. A bit.


Warning - speculation ahead:

I would guess that they did not want to remind the public about the incident and were a little worried about the tiny chance that the bug which caused the behaviour might reoccur.

  • I don't think that test has been publicly available or anything. It appeared to me like some closed testing before they're letting him "off-leash".
    – Mario
    Jul 11, 2014 at 12:07
  • I thought it was reported as news? Did I misremember?
    – Stefan
    Jul 14, 2014 at 11:47
  • Don't think so. Why would they make it public, especially since he could have failed as well (and they obviously knew he'd be a failure in comparison)?
    – Mario
    Jul 14, 2014 at 15:49

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