‘RoboCop’ Actors: The Best And The Worst

RoboCop actors have been breathing life into the metallic Detroit police officer for 26 years following the character’s debut in Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 thriller.

Of course, most people know the original guy to don the suit, and maybe a few of you know who’s bidding villains “Your move, Creep” in the upcoming 2014 reboot, but did you know that there have been multiple RoboCops throughout the franchise’s history?

In all, there have been three theatrical features and a brief series run. So many guys have stepped inside the metal that we here at The Inquisitr think it’s time he got his own listicle.

So without further ado, we give you our favorite RoboCop actors (and the ones who kind of sucked).

The Best: Peter Weller

What kind of an idiot would disagree with this? The guy took pantomime classes to teach himself how to realistically move like a robot, and when he first stepped into the role of Alex Murphy in the ’87 classic, he made you believe a man could actually become one. Plus, at that point, the RoboSuit was a new creation, and so all the kinks hadn’t been worked out, so Weller really suffered for the role, losing three pounds per day in the sweltering contraption until producers finally approved a built-in air conditioner. Weller stepped into the suit again in RoboCop 2, which isn’t as fondly remembered as the first — with good reason — but for a sequel, it was still a lot of fun.

Great job playing hero from a guy, who has become so convincing as a d-bag (see Dexter Season Five and Star Trek Into Darkness).

The Worst: Robert John Burke

Poor Robert John Burke never had a chance. RoboCop 3 sucked from the very beginning. The script, the direction, and the PG-13 rating — talk about completely neutering a cool franchise. Honestly, we’re lucky to even be getting a reboot after how horrible the third film turned out to be. Burke’s delivery is comically robotic — way over-the-top — and it keeps the movie from becoming anything other than a film for kids — stupid kids — which is really odd considering in the first film characters were melted, stabbed in the neck with a dagger, and blown to pieces slowly via hundreds of gunshots.

If you want to see Burke in something worthwhile, get your hands on Dust Devil. He plays a serial killer, who may or may not be Satan himself. Well worth your time.


The Best: Richard Eden

Okay, Eden is no Weller. No one is when it comes to the RoboCop actors, who have taken the role. But this TV series, which enjoyed a one-season run from 1994 to 1995, could have turned out a heck of a lot worse. The show follows the sanitized-for-children version of RoboCop established in part three, but Eden brings some real humanity to the role, something Burke completely lacked.

The Worst: Page Fletcher

We were back in dark, satirical, violent territory with RoboCop: Prime Directives, the four-part mini-series. Would have been awesome had they spent more than six bucks on the budget. Page Fletcher isn’t a guy we like to rag on. After all, he was the horror host on HBO’s underrated anthology The Hitchhiker. But as RoboCop, he misses the mark. Oh sure, he has his moments. He’s particularly effective in the scenes where his helmet is off, bringing the right mix of humanity and robotics. Unfortunately, he forgets all of that and completely overdoes it while wearing the full armor.

Here’s a clip so you can judge for yourself:


The Best (So Far): Joel Kinnaman

Okay, so we haven’t seen him in the entire movie yet, but when you compare his performance in the trailer to what we get in other RoboCop actors, he looks worthy enough for a reboot. (Though possibly not worthy of the first film.) It’ll be interesting to see how this shakes out. Right now, there is a lot we like about the upcoming movie, which hits theaters February 2014. There are also some potential missteps. For one, it doesn’t look like RoboCop will be dealing with anything close to the villainy of That ’70s Show dad Kurtwood Smith from the first film. Also, the death of Alex Murphy, which in 1987 was one of the most powerful scenes in film history, looks to be pretty trivialized here with a simple explosion. Still, we’ll be watching. Here’s hoping Kinnaman can stay on the list.


Which of the RoboCop actors do you think is the best?

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