Maybe I should take a deep breath and relax. Maybe this all means nothing. If it was just one actor who had appeared in both Robocop and 24, I might not even have noticed. If it were two actors, I’d probably just chalk it up to coincidence. I even managed to handle three actors, but after seeing the seventh season of 24 and spotting yet another actor who was in Robocop, I’m convinced something’s up. Is there some type of conspiracy going on? What does it all mean? Will Kim Bauer return on a 24 reboot only to side with a cell of Eastern European terrorists led by the ED-209? Only time will tell, but let’s look at the actors shared by 24 and Robocop.
Weller is the most recognizable actor to appear in both Robocop and 24. In Robocop, Weller plays the protagonist Alex Murphy, a police officer brutally murdered while on duty. Murphy is rebuilt and upgraded, becoming part man, part machine, and all awesome movie tagline. In 24, Weller plays Christopher Henderson, a lethal ex-CTU agent who manages to “out-Jack” Jack Bauer. Henderson helped to recruit and train Jack, but ditches CTU to make some paper that the government can’t provide. Hendrickson is ultimately shot to death by Jack, which is a shame; Henderson was a great villain on the show. It’s too bad they didn’t keep him around. Christopher Hendrickson was way more intriguing than, say, Habib Marwan.
Unlike Peter Weller, Ray Wise is a somewhat obscure actor whose presence in either Robocop or 24 may have gone unnoticed – but not by me. Wise plays Leon Nash in Robocop, a hardcore gangster involved in the Boddicker/Jones crime ring that runs Detroit. He doesn’t have much power within his own criminal organization, but running with Clarence Boddicker equates to mad street cred. In 24, Wise finds himself with remarkably more power in the role of Vice President Hal Gardner. Gardner is second-in-command only to President Logan (a worm of the worst kind), but enjoys a brief stint as president when Logan is arrested. Wayne Palmer becomes the president the next season, so we can only presume that Gardner lost his bid for re-election. I never bought Wayne Palmer as a president, by the way, and it’s got nothing to do with the color of his skin. Do you really think the American people would elect a bald dude with a goatee as their president? Uh uh.
Paul McCrane is the guy from Robocop that is in the scene that everyone remembers: the infamous toxic waste scene. Like Leon Nash, McCrane’s Emil Antonowsky is part of Boddicker’s group of gangsters and has no regard for the safety of others. Emil wields a COBRA gun, threatens gas station attendants who study geometry on the job, and makes it his mission to destroy Robocop. But of course, that’s not why we remember him. After failing to crush Robocop with a truck and instead plowing into a vat of toxic waste, Emil is instantaneously transformed into a grotesque monster, his skin literally oozing off his body. Emil is crushed by a speeding car. Classic cinema right there, my friends. In 24, McCrane plays Graem Bauer, Jack’s brother. Graem, like Emil, is a bad dude – he manipulates President Logan and sells Sentox nerve gas to Russian separatists. Graem is killed by his own father so that he won’t release crucial information. This may seem cruel, but it doesn’t compare to getting covered with toxic waste. God, the toxic waste scene NEVER gets old.
Smith – who you probably recognize from That 70s Show – was the latest Robocop alum to join the cast of 24. In Robocop, Smith plays the boss Clarence Boddicker, answering only to the corrupt Dick Jones. Boddicker, after his henchmen plug Murphy with countless gun blasts, delivers the final and fatal shot. “Cops don’t like me, and I don’t like cops,” he taunts. Did you know that that line is sampled in Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “One Time’s Got No Case?”
So, does all this mean anything? Did the producers of Robocop come across some photos of the producers of 24? We need to ask questions, people. How many more actors from Robocop will appear on 24 before it’s too late? Something huge is going on – I can feel it in my bones – and I think only Jack Bauer can figure it out. Too bad he’s not coming back to the show. Will there be a 24-Robocop tie-in? Nothing would make me happier. I need more ED-209!
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