RoboCop (2014) REVIEW
Director: Jose Padilha
Writers: Joshua Zetumer, Edward Neumeier & Michael Miner
Stars: Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Abbie Cornish, Jackie Earle Haley and Samuel L. Jackson.
No point in hiding it. RoboCop (2014) doesn’t even compare with the original RoboCop released all the way back in 1987. There was just something about the violence, the comedy and the outright joke it makes of the media. Simply brilliant.
Lets talk about the remake RoboCop (2014). Its just that, a remake. I don’t know what people consider a remake, but I’d like to think a remake is taking the familiar elements from the original, and making them over again with a fresh spin. Then again, a reboot is the beginning of a fresh continuity, which this film also does…so frankly, I have no idea what the hell I’m talking about here…but if you’ve read this far, then you don’t mind my erratic nature of reviewing.
RoboCop (2014) takes place in Detroit, 2028. Drones, created by multinational OmniCorp (OCP), patrol all countries outside of USA to great success. Crime and terrorism is down. However, OmniCorp is having issues getting their drones in use within the US thanks to the Dreyfuss Act. Because Drones feel no remorse when killing, it prevents them from use on American soil.
As a way of bypassing that act, CEO of OmniCorp, Raymond Sellars (Michael Keaton) decides to put a man inside a machine. This will give the public a face to support and not just a product, and hopefully show the American Government that with RoboCop lowering crime it will hopefully turn them against the Dreyfuss Act.
Thats where Detective Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) steps in. After being injured in the line of duty, Dr. Dennett Norton (Gary Oldman) rebuilds him as RoboCop. With all the benefits of a machine, and the mind of a man, OmniCorp releases RoboCop to the press…and so the movie goes.
Look I could go on about the entire plot of the film, but there really isn’t any point unless you want spoilers. And I have no intention of doing that here. Maybe in another post later on.
I’ve read a lot of reviews online that have really gone on about the lack of violence in this film, but the fact of the matter is, RoboCop isn’t trying to compete with the original classic. Its trying to be its own beast, and it does it well.
First and foremost, in the acting department we have the always dependable Gary Oldman. Even in a bad film, he gives a stellar performance and like most times, using an american accent. I like knowing that when I go into a movie, so I’ll make mention of it. His scenes alone are worth the price of a ticket. Before this film, I’d never seen Joel Kinnaman in anything. I had heard his role in The Killing was a testament to his acting chops, but I haven’t seen that show, so I’ll take their word for it. However from his role as Alex Murphy, I’m sold this guy will make a pretty big impact.
Speaking of making an impact, lets cut the crap and talk about former Batman himself, Michael Keaton. After he retired from his role as Batman, Michael Keaton as been a little quiet. However his role as Raymond Sellars, had some really good moments, followed by glimpses of Beetlejuice popping out every now and then. I loved him in this film and it was a pleasure to see him on the big screen again. Welcome back.
This film is filled with solid acting. I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t give their best. Even the minor role of Fox News type, Pat Novak, as played by Samuel L. Jackson is a real treat. Where the original film played up the media aspect, RoboCop (2014) plays it up in a different way. Ripping on the way Fox News manipulates (so I’ve heard) the public with sided and opinionated stories, Novak does the same thing. Jackson, steals the show. Not only does it break up the drama and action, but also helps to expand the world and plot as it’s needed.
What this film also does really well is the use of drama. Everything screams action, and it does deliver on that front. Although it breaks it up really well with quiet scenes between RoboCop and Norton. Hell, the first time Murphy wakes up in his new Robo body and coming to terms with his situation, you and the character go from a burst of exhilaration to complete and utter sorrow as the entire situation is fully realised. I was almost in tears, and that wasn’t the last time in this film.
I really didn’t expect that at all. I went into the film, and was truly surprised.
Drama, check. Action, oh yes. This movie isn’t flooded with action, but it has its moments. I was worried at one point when the shaky camera work started, but thankfully that was only in one action scene…that I can remember. Seeing the new, more agile RoboCop in action is amazing. Don’t get me wrong, the slow robotic approach to the 1987 film worked for that, but this is 2014 and technology has advanced a great deal. Within the context of the film, and for me, it just makes sense. Part man, part machine.
This film had me hooked from beginning to end. I was happy with its different approach and glad it didn’t (completely) tread over old ground. The visual effects looked spectacular on the big screen and the sound effects blew me away.
Last but not least, the human element is really brought to the forefront of this film. You’ll find more scenes with RoboCop dealing with his struggle between being a man or machine, mostly because he is called Murphy even while in he Robo Suit.
My major complaint, and only real complaint is the suit itself. The new sleek look of RoboCop looks brilliant on screen, but I can’t help but prefer the two tone, silver on black. It makes the suit look more…machine.
Rating: You would usually find a rating out of 5 stars, but thats not my style. I prefer my rating to encompass my entire written review. So if you’ve read the review, read that as however many stars out of 5.