RoboCop (2014)

DVD Cover (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)
Genres: Action, Sci-Fi Action, Science Fiction
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Josť Padilha Josť Padilha
Joel Kinnaman Joel Kinnaman
Gary Oldman Gary Oldman
Michael Keaton Michael Keaton
Abbie Cornish Abbie Cornish
Jackie Earle Haley Jackie Earle Haley
Movie Connections:
> RoboCop (1987)
> RoboCop 2 (1990)
> RoboCop 3 (1993)
> RoboCop (2014)

6.1 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Crispy
Added: March 23, 2014
I don't mean to open with a cliche, but here we go with yet another in a seemingly never-ending stream of remakes. Tonight's redo is of the ultra-violent '80s action movie, RoboCop.

In 2028, Omnicorp is making billions overseas by selling robotic soldiers to countries to police their streets and keep crime down. However, back in the good ol' U.S. of A. we've apparently seen The Terminator one too many times and don't want anything to do with it. In fact, one particularly adamant senator was even able to pass a law into effect outright forbidding robots from that role. As all great multi-billion dollar conglomerates, OmniCorp isn't one to let something as trivial as the law get in the way of profits, and are racking their brains to come up with a loophole as human beings continue to risk life and limb to keep the city streets safe. One such human being is officer Alex Murphy, who's undercover operation leads him to a suspect in a different case, Antoine Vallon, that seems to be untouchable. Fearing that Vallon is being protected by dirty cops, he and his partner, Jack Lewis, move in on their own. Their efforts land Lewis in the hospital and, following a car bombing later that night, Murphy on life support. This was just the door Omnicorp was waiting on, and they quickly swoop in to automize the fallen cop. After billions of dollars and months of testing, Murphy is re-awakened, now more machine than man. However, while trying to upload feeds from the city-wide security cameras, including footage from his own murder, he starts to go into seizures from the emotional overload, and they're forced to kill his emotions so he can handle the load. Even so, RoboCop is a hit with the public, but whether you want to call it human nature, the soul or just sheer force of will, Murphy's conscious slowly begins to override his programming, and begins investigating cases OmniCorp doesn't want to be dug up.

Now, I could simply tell you that it's a decent action movie that might entertain you for two hours before you forget it completely, and I'm sure everyone would know exactly what I mean and I could end the review right there. However, I know you faithful readers come here for more than that, so we might as well get the obligatory comparisons out of the way. In that regard, my god does this fucking suck. One of the biggest problems is the lack of violence. As soon as I saw that PG-13 rating, I knew this was going to be an issue. By far the worst part of these remakes of violent movies is the way they water them down for the added bucks that rating will bring in. Robocop is a violent franchise, and that's what people want to see when they shell out their cash to see it. I mean, half the time he's shooting non-lethal taser packs. It's a huge part of why RoboCop 3 sucked, and twenty years later, history repeats itself. Also, while they threw us a "buy that for a dollar" line, there were so many other little necessary touches that were ignored. Lewis was given an unneeded sex change and a drop to the tertiary level, the classic theme was used way too sparingly, and there was no gun twirling. While that might seem like mere nitpicking, it was a defining trait of the character. It's the same reason so many people had such a problem with 1989's Punisher for simply not putting a skull on his shirt. And let's not get into how bad his new "tactical" look was. The comparisons to The Dark Knight have all been made, and they hit the nail on the head. In the original trilogy, he actually looked like a robot. Now he just looks like a guy in a suit.

Unfortunately, even on it's own, it's really not that great of a movie. It's pretty obvious that the plan was "throw together a quick flick and make bank off the RoboCop name" instead of "make a good movie." There were just so many subplots that were brought up and abandoned just as quickly. The dirty cops arc, the tension with his family, the relationship with Lewis. Every one of these things were in desperate need of fleshing out. The action scenes were decent, but there just wasn't enough of it throughout the running time, and the scenes it did have focused more on flash than anything else. For example, when RoboCop storms Vallon's base and he cuts the light out, seeing the cyborg's red visor in the darkness looked pretty cool, but at the expense of actually being able to follow the action. Finally, while it wasn't horrible, the acting wasn't nearly good enough to save anything. Sure, Samuel L. Jackson and Jackie Earle Haley are always fun but neither Michael Keaton or Patrick Garrow were able to convey a ruthless corporate mongrel or a bloodthirsty criminal respectively. And not to harp too much on the originals, but when you're coming off of Dan O'Herlihy and Kurtwood Smith those bars are set pretty fucking high. In the eponymous role, Joel Kinnaman seesawed too much between robot and human to really get into the character. Again, after seeing how well Peter Weller fused both sides of Murphy, this wasn't going to cut it.

So yeah, it's a decent action movie that might entertain you for two hours before you forget it completely. 5/10.
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