robocop (2014) – dead or alive, he’s made it to the big screen

After much hesitation I decided to check the new Robocop it out, it’s about a cop in Detroit who’s injured beyond saving, so they have to make him in to a cyborg to save his life, at the same time he’s still on the force, part man, part machine… all cop. It’s a remake of one of my favorite movies from the eighties.

The good; it’s a new take and not a simple remake. The action sequences and the sound design are amazing. I can hear the foot steps of Robocop and his gun shots. Joel Kinnaman does a pretty good job as Murphy, both in and out of the Robocop suit. The first version of this Robocop is a great nod to the original design before they move on to the all black suit.

I like the update to today, where Omnicorp is actually utilizing their products on foreign soil, that part was only hinted at in the Media Break sequences of the original film. So seeing the corporation’s international reach was a nice touch, even Robocop himself was “built” overseas.

There’s a scene where they show you what’s left of Murphy’s body, pretty shocking stuff. They really amped up the action in this one, feels like this movie would’ve done better with a summer release. And we get to hear the original theme by Basil Poledouris in this movie, bravo for using it.

Gary Oldman does a great job as Dr. Dennett Norton, it’s just funny to see Michael Keaton and Gary Oldman in the same scene, it’s Batman and Commissioner Gordon from two different Batman worlds. Gary Oldman just embodied this scientist role whole-heartedly.

The bad; the original Robocop (1987) movie is one of my favorites, so I’m a little biased. But here we go…

Get a tripod Jose Padilha (director), not every scene in this movie needs to be hand held, we were on the border of being a Michael Bay Transformers movie, and we don’t need a fourth one… oh wait. There’s some great special effects in this movie but with all the shakey-cam stuff we miss seeing the wonderful renderings that people slaved over.

I’m not sure what was gained by having the Lewis and Reed characters having their genders reversed.

The Robocop suit looked too much like an Iron Man suit, it even breaks apart, was that really needed? Not all the pieces needed to go underground like Tony Stark’s armory. It’s also never explained why they decided to keep his right hand human.

Detroit as a character is absent, it’s just another Canadian city masking as America, it’s not the blue collar motor city, they could’ve set this movie in any other city, nothing said Detroit to me.

Gary Oldman, I know I put him above as one of the things I liked, but to me he’s the real main character of this new film. His character has the biggest arc, and his moral struggle is fair more relate-able, I mean Robocop/Murphy does have an arc, but it’s not really one of character, I’ll give too much away if I say any more.

Gone is the political and social satire.

Overall, I’ll gladly take the original any day, but this is one of the better remakes out there, despite my gripes. I was against the motorcycle, but they made it work. It’s also weird not having OCP own the police department, the argument is now shifted to allowing robots to be the police… don’t know if that’s better?

Let me leave you with a quote from Dick Jones, he’s number two guy at OCP, “I had a guaranteed military sale with ED209! Renovation program! Spare parts for 25 years! Who cares if it worked or not!”

Fade out-
Eugene

 

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