RoboCop (2014) Review
The reboot of RoboCop is not bad, it’s actually pretty good. And nobody is more surprised than me. The acting was good, the characters are interesting, the dialogue was for the most part good, and Samuel L. Jackson had me in stitches. The science fiction is interesting, focusing on a very topical plot point of the use of Drones; I thought the idea of the near future predicted here isn’t all too insane. The new and old takes from the first film work, like the Omnicorp having a marketing guy keeping polls on social media, Jay Baruchel was a good choice for that role. I’ll go into much more detail below but for now bookmark this if you are waiting to see the film, if you have seen the film then check out the spoiler sections and I will look forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts.
“Dead or alive you’re coming with me!”
In RoboCop, the year is 2028 and multinational conglomerate OmniCorp is at the center of robot technology. Overseas, their drones have been used by the military for years – and it’s meant billions for OmniCorp’s bottom line. Now OmniCorp wants to bring their controversial technology to the home front, and they see a golden opportunity to do it. When Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) – a loving husband, father and good cop doing his best to stem the tide of crime and corruption in Detroit – is critically injured in the line of duty, OmniCorp sees their chance to build a part-man, part-robot police officer. OmniCorp envisions a RoboCop in every city and even more billions for their shareholders, but they never counted on one thing: there is still a man inside the machine pursuing justice.
Tim’s Film Reviews Recommended
Story: 75% Acting: 85% Characters: 80% Dialogue: 80%
Sci-Fi/Crime Thriller: 85% Style/Sound: 75% Visuals: 85%
The story follows the basic framework of the original and whilst I understand some complaints about originality I wish the Total Recall remake had followed more of the original story, this film essentially changes the content and it works. The questions raised remain pretty much the same. Where does the man begin and the machine end? How would a world run and policed by one corporation work? Is it ever right to make a man into a machine? The only thing I think is missing is the Ronny Cox villain, there really isn’t a replacement, it doesn’t need one but it’s something I miss. The acting was solid, the Murphy was a much better actor than the original, the supporting cast where all very talented and none of them simple phoned it in, except maybe Michael Keaton but it may simply be the laid back attitude of the character. Gary Oldman played a conflicted scientist struggling to do the ethical thing rather well, but Samuel L. Jackson steals the show with his extremely biased news presenter role, so funny.
Before going onto the visuals I just want to say I appreciate the use of the original music and the little bits of other music referring to robots or the Tin Man of Wizard of OZ. However because very little of it was original music it can’t get a higher score. The visuals where very good, there were a few hiccups here and there but nothing stand out and otherwise it was very well done. I would have liked more world building and more future technologies featured, such as weapons and just day to day stuff. Although I suppose the film is only set about 14 years in the future so not all of those things will have developed so much. RoboCop looked pretty cool most of the time and don’t have many complaints about that, well maybe the one time he runs, which didn’t look cool…at all.
Leave this section if you haven’t seen the film, do it now! At the end of the film the Bugs from Starship Troopers start invading the Earth and this leads into another Verhoeven remake. Haha that would actually have been 1 part stupid and 2 parts great. The opening of this film so totally threw me that I think all of my hatred and my biased views pretty much went out of the window. Samuel L. Jackson’s opening voice prep was a perfect way to cut the tension of a new film. Did anyone else get really surprised by how little of Murphy was left in the robot body, it was literally a head, lungs and a hand. So weird. So what did everyone think of the film? Sound off in the comments.
The best reviews I found would be these:
“José Padilha’s RoboCop reboot is much better than the lame duck attempt to adapt Total Recall a few years back. It’s a functional action film, structured well enough to stand on its own two feet as a science-fiction thriller. There are the obligatory explosions and CGI, but there’s also a clear enough story populated by reasonably well-drawn characters with just the faintest hint of social commentary at the core. It is solid and functional on its own terms, even if it suffers in comparison to its source material.” The Movie Blog. Full Review
“After a promising start, this film gets bogged down and just turns silly, annoying and predictable. The engagement with political issues of the day might be refreshing (depending on your point of view) but it is doubtful that it will make this feel worth your while. Though if you are a Samuel L. Jackson fan, then this is probably worth grabbing on blu-ray down the line so you can just fast forward to his hilarious scenes.” Beermovie.net. Full Review
“2014’s Robocop more or less offers the same ingredients as the 1987 original but the recipe isn’t quite the same, more often than not leaving a sour taste in the mouth. With a stronger central lead, a tighter script and a larger measure of action it could have been great – approach with caution!” GEEK BLOGGER UK. Full Review
“In conclusion RoboCop, as much as I hate to say it wasn’t that bad. I really wanted to leave the film saying I hated it, but I can’t deny that there were elements I did enjoy. The film still doesn’t hold a candle to the original for me, but it is one of the better reboots of recent years. Put it this way, I’ll take this any day over the 2012 Total Recall remake.” The Hypersonic 55 Review. Full Review
My favourite scene would have to be either RoboCop going after his own killers or Samuel L. Jackson in pretty much any of his news shows, just so funny to me.