A reboot of the 1987 smash hit original, Robocop 2014 opens with a glitzy American style propaganda program, hosted by a smarmily perfect, over-the-top Samuel L Jackson, extolling the virtues of robotic peacekeeping forces in Afghanistan. The machines look a lot like the alien machines in TV’s Falling Skies ….and the War of the World machines. Hmmmmm
But anyway …..
As well as these machines, there are humanlike robots who the evil multi national corporation, Omnicorp, hopes will replace police of the streets back in the USA. There are billions to be made from these robots but the people dont like them. They need the human touch and when good cop Alex Murphy (Kinnaman) is almost killed by a car bomb, it seems their prayers are answered. The company is given permission by Alex’s grieving wife Clara (Cornish) to do what they have to do to keep him alive. Understandably, she just wants her husband and their son David’s (Ruttan) father back.
What is left of Alex is engineered by Dr Norton (Oldman) into the Robocop. Norton also has the arduous task of trying to help Alex understand what has happened to him and what/who he has become. Alex’s re-training goes to plan but he cannot be fully controlled as his remaining emotions over-ride the system. Omnicorp boss Sellars (Keaton) wants Norton to get rid of Alex’s emotions completely so he will function as the software is designed to function…..without mercy or question.
Norton is a good guy and only goes along with the plan after much cajoling and an agreement to fund his research program for at least 10 years. They keep Alex away from his wife which isnt good for public relations.
Robocop is successful and can do the work of many, many men. But they cannot completely wipe out Alex’s emotions and memories no matter how hard they try…. and he starts to unravel the mystery of his near death. The remaining movie is a race against time to try and save Alex from being eradicated completely and to solve the crime of his attempted murder.
I have seen but am not a great fan of the first movie and am not a great fan of this re-make either. Technically it is spectacular and the robotics and suits and bike and all that stuff is fantastic. But the script is empty and save for a few moments, it is devoid of…..something. Heart? Soul? Ironic I realise but there ya go.
It has everything it needs to succeed but for me, falls flat. Sure it’s not my type of movie but I know half-hearted rehashed popular mush when I see it. I’m sure this will be a big hit and is great for a mindless robot movie….but its been done and it was done better. Movie technology has come so far since 1987 and this kind of movie lends itself perfectly to putting all these new toys to great use but no. Not utilised much at all.
So not my kind of movie but the cinema was half full and many others seemed to enjoy it….. just not for me.
Love Flick xx
Director : José Padilha
Starring : Joel Kinnaman, Douglas Urbanski, Abbie Cornish, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Michael K Williams, Jackie Earle Haley, Samuel L. Jackson, John Paul Ruttan, Jennifer Ehle
Running Time : 118 minutes
Release Date : 6 February, 2014