Director: José Padilha
Writers: Joshua Zetumer (screenplay), Edward Neumeier
Stars: Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Abbie Cornish
Synopsis: In 2028 Detroit, when Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) – a loving husband, father and good cop – is critically injured in the line of duty, the multinational conglomerate OmniCorp sees their chance for a part-man, part-robot police officer.
In 1987, Paul Verhoeven introduced us to RoboCop. Since its initial production two sequels were made in 1990 and 1993 respectively. In typical Hollywood fashion, they choose to remake a classic. José Padilha is the man in charge of rebranding RoboCop in 2014.
Within the first 10 minutes of the film, Director José Padilha clearly shows us that this film is not trying to upstage big brother, but rather please him. One thing that auidences will notice is that this film is more focused on political ideologies and technology control rather than action. The reason for RoboCop’s creation in this film is rooted in politics. OmniCorp CEO Raymond Sellars plan is to create a man-machine which, through the endorsement of pro-robot media will convince voters and politicians to finally allow Robot enforcers in the USA. Padilha rather than focusing on one concept, focuses on several themes which were too rushed. The film has a rough last act as it is very rushed with poor camera shots and rushed ending. One obvious difference from the original is the choice to make the suit Jet Black. Seeing the Jet Black suit was refreshing because it gave the film its own identity and of course the suit was amazing. One thing I did not like was the poor use of the Detroit City. Taken place in a futuristic Detroit, we did not really get any glimpse of the city as the best scenes in the film took place in other parts of the world.
The story itself, as I stated above, is not really about RoboCop, but rather how OmniCorp is trying to be a financial juggernaut and RoboCop is merely the “Spider-Man” of Detroit. What I really liked about the story is that there is that battle between the Man and the Machine. Alex Murphy in this film deals a lot with his emotions especially his love for his family and it is nice to see that even love can override a computer. The film has more scenes dealing with political jargon than it does actual action and for me it was a huge distraction. The action scenes were nothing special and in fact those who play Call of Duty or Halo are going to find the shooting scenes very comicial.
The saving grace of this film is the great acting by all the main actors. Joel Kinnaman played Alex Murphy well and RoboCop even better. Gary Oldman played Dr. Norton, the man responsible for creating the RoboCop suit also very extremely well. Michael Keaton, played a very convincing Raymond Sellars. The political newscaster was played by none other than Samuel L. Jackson and I always enjoy everything he is in.
Pedro Bromfman did the score and his efforts were very weak as the score was very repetitive and bland. There were moments when I expected a Cloud Atlas like soundtrack but no it thought that by being louder will draw more emotion. It did not work.
IS IT WORTH IT?
RoboCop is going to be a hard sell because the movie was not bad, but it was not great either. The original film was done so much better on all cylinders and unlike most other remakes I am sure most people have seen the original in some regard. I answer the big question on whether it’s worth it or not? The movie to me was enjoyable, but it is not worth more than the matinee ticket price.