Starring: Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson, Jackie Earle Haley, Abbie Cornish
Directed by: José Padilha
Written By: Joshua Zetumer
Rating: PG-13 (US) Running Time: 1 hr 48 min
I’ll be honest, I was one of the many people appalled at the idea of a RoboCop remake. I mean, why? The original RoboCop back in 1987 is a classic. After the release of the remake’s first trailer my mind wasn’t changed. It looked awful! A retooled scene for scene ripoff and what’s this, RoboCop gets to keep his hand? – what?! Why? Grrrr. Nerd rage! I shall take to the halls of Comic-Con and protest!
But then I saw the new film, and while it owes its existence and title to the original movie. RoboCop 2014 absolutely stands on its own, and the explanation for keeping the hand actually made sense!* This is a re-imagining of the source material. Sure there are some nods to the classic (that’s just being respectful). But from this point forward it would be unfair to compare the two versions of this film. They are different beasts entirely.
RoboCop 2014 plays a global political game. Corporate greed looking for ways to influence public opinion to sway the US government to support its agenda. RoboCop/Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) gets placed as a controllable(?) piece on that game board. This movie, like its inspiration, is a product of its time. We have right-wing talk show hosts praising corporate power over government control and big business trying to get around the law to meet their goals, regardless of the people they hurt. Sound familiar?
If you saw and loved the 1987 classic RoboCop, do NOT expect more of the same. This is a different kind of film. No where near as violent, and it does not have the dark humor of the original. This perhaps isn’t as clever as 80’s RoboCop, but I thought its development of the RoboCop character was carefully planned and executed well.
The visual effects are first-rate. Liked (not loved) the ED 209 re-design. Not a huge visual experience but a matinée is still recommended. At home a HD showing.
Best element for me: << mild Spoiler >>
This film really benefits from the available CGI effects available today. Ever wondered what the remaining biological elements of Alex Murphy looked like. You’ll find out in this film! 🙂
* Marketing at OCP figured the public would be more willing to accept a robotic police officer if they see he’s part human, and can greet you without breaking every bone in your hand!