FUTURE COP (1976)
Article 2834 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 2-9-2009
Posting Date: 5-17-2009
Directed by Jud Taylor
Featuring Ernest Borgnine, Michael Shannon, John Amos
A street cop is assigned to do rookie duty with a new cop who is actually an android.
This is another one of those TV-Movies intended as a pilot of a series; in fact, this one actually did become a series, but it didn’t last very long. On premise alone, I would have suspected this one to be a stinker, but, oddly enough, I found it quite likable. Sure, it can’t resist the humorous possibilities of a literal-minded android confusing jargon-laced instructions (much as Hymie the robot did in “Get Smart”), but the movie downplays this approach and decides to actually create a bond between the human cop and his android partner. This is a pretty difficult trick to pull off, but when the movie manages to establish that men do indeed bond with machines (with a pinball machine as the catalyst), I bought into it, and the premise didn’t seem quite as silly. Oh, there are problems; when the movie tries too hard to tug at the heartstrings, it falters. I can also see why the series would have failed; it would have been rather difficult to maintain the delicate balance necessary for it to work. Nevertheless, I liked this one a lot more than I thought I would. Borgnine’s performance is a plus, and I like the decision not to make the android indestructible and superhuman. Though I will not be covering the series, I will see a follow-up movie called COPS AND ROBIN at some time in the future.
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