Detective Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) is the cop who had it all, a loving wife, a beautiful son, and a job, even though dangerous, he enjoyed doing. When multiple injuries in the line of duty nearly kill him, science comes to the rescue. Rebuilt from scratch, he becomes a criminal’s worst nightmare. As cliché as that sounds, his life becomes worth living again as an organic robot bent on destroying crime without pity.
This 2014 film, a remake of the 1987 hit RoboCop featuring Peter Weller as crime’s mechanical nemesis, contrasts the original by delving into Alex’s relationship with his wife who ultimately makes the man inside the armor better. A better man. A better husband. A better cop.
After his injuries, all Alex has on his mind is the thought of his wife, and if she’d accept him for the new man he has become. Clara doesn’t have to think about it, he will always be her husband. Her willingness to overlook his appearance and go beyond the shell makes her responsible for Alex’s future actions as a powerful crime fighter.
Beyond being Alex’s wife, she’s also her son David’s inspiration, leading him to accept his father’s new life. Through her constant vigilance of David’s welfare, she manages to protect and guide the boy without her father’s presence in his life, always reminding that his father loves him, no matter what.
Clara’s role doesn’t end there. Her bravery surpasses all expectations when she stands in the middle of a street, stopping RoboCop’s motorcycle as it screams toward her. For months, she hadn’t had contact with her husband and she wanted to know where he had been hiding. The man in charge, Dr. Norton (Gary Oldman), kept Alex from her, but she couldn’t deal not having access to him. When she stands in the middle of traffic with her hand out, she does it knowing she could lose her life in the process.
The hardest thing Clara has to endure is not knowing. Not knowing what happens to her husband in the care of Dr. Norton. Not knowing if she’ll ever see him again. And not knowing if Alex would be the same person as he once was when they first met.
Clara’s strength comes from inside. Where others would have given up on their spouses, she stayed with him through it all without ever wafting from her center.
If there ever was a character with the resilience to fight back, Clara Murphy is that character.
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If you’ve seen it, what did you think of the movie RoboCop? How does it compare to the older version?