(SPOILER WARNING!!! This article does contain spoilers, if you haven’t seen the movie, just see the first paragraph to be informed without spoilers!!!)
Robocop had some decent action, with an interesting story line and new ideas, however, it does fall short of being as good as the original Robocop of the 80’s. Rating 3.5 out of 5 Stars.
Back when I was real young, Robocop was one of the first characters I became a fan of. I had an action figure and always got excited when it comes on TV, however, I never saw the movie. For a good reason, because until I finally did watch the movie, I realized how violent and gory that movie was. Yet, I was a fan, even though the sequels weren’t as good as the original. That’s why when I heard of a remake of this classic hero, I was so on board for it. I was one of the few fans that liked the black suit armor, because I thought it gave more a tough demeanor for a new Robocop. I was on board until the trailer came which shows that it might be a typical action movie with a story that didn’t make sense, and the PG-13 rating really disappointed me. Robocop, to me, was known for it’s gory violence, and a PG-13 rating tells me that the violence will be mild at the most. I know I’m not the only fan of Robocop that thought of this, but I was going to watch it regardless. After watching it, I was pleasantly surprised by how much thought they put in this movie, even though it doesn’t compare to the original (not even close), it was still entertaining for different reasons. I will start with what I didn’t like to what I like.
What I didn’t like is pretty much the third act of the movie. When OmniCorp decided to kill him, it madeDr. Dennett Norton, played by Gary Oldman, to free Robocop to escape. Then Robocop realizes that his family is in danger, and goes out to save them. During his venture he had to fight the big robots which was cool, but when he got to the roof where his family is at, and the main villain, Raymond Sellers, CEO of OmniCorp, and played by Michael Keaton. Sellers had the tech to control Robocop, but somehow Robocop overcomes it and kill Sellers. It’s just too easy if you ask me. Same in the middle of the movie where Robocop’s emotions took over what’s controlling him, which made him hunt down crime boss Antoine Vallen, played by Patrick Garrow. Like I said, too easy for Robocop to overcome with all the technology that suppose to control him. It sets up a scene where it looked cool at first, where you see people in either night vision or thermal vision, but the mixing of darkness and night/thermal vision got too messy for my eyes for me to really enjoy it. I hate action scenes that are too dark, there is no point if you can’t see what’s going on. Also, Garrow as Vallen was just a stereotypical movie crime boss, but i’m glad he wasn’t the main bad guy.
What I found so-so is the acting of Joel Kinnaman as Alex Murphy?Robocop. Kinnaman is a fairly new actor in the movie business, and it shows how he struggles with the American accent since he is from Sweden. With that said, you managed to brush it off, and enjoy this new kind of Robocop. His chemistry with his wife and son, played Abbie Cornish and John Paul Ruttan, had good spurts of it, but it wasn’t enough for me to feel it. I felt it more with his son than his wife, but I guess it was purposely written that way. The action for most of the movie was decent enough, if it was an R rated movie, I would’ve expected more blood and gore, but since it is PG-13, it was decent for what it is. My favorite action scene was Robocop against the big machine droids, it paid a good homage of the original movie, and put their modern twist on it which made it fun to watch. I’m a little disappointed that the original Robocop, Peter Weller, couldn’t make a cameo of some sort. Lastly, director, Jose Padilha, who is a new director and Robocop was his first big movie. I thought he did a decent job. He worked with the actors very well, and his action sequence were ok but I know he will do better in future action movies. I did read in a different article that Padilha was disappointed that he couldn’t get his way or point of view in some parts of the movie. Maybe that’s why some of the action scenes or loop holes are there for better or worse. Padilha has to learn that when you work with Hollywood at the beginning, you won’t get your way, you have to work for it to have that privilege,
Now what I liked in the movie. I have to start with the story line which I was quite impressed with. They went with a more political approach for this sci-fi/action movie. In the future they want to use more robots and machines to patrol the streets which almost guarantees safety for everybody, but the other side of the argument think that having machines is inhumane for people to take orders from, and will cost jobs for many people. The main focus is that machines won’t feel any emotion when they kill somebody, and that is not right which is why the Dreyfus Act denies robots to patrol the streets. The company OmniCorp wants to repeal the Dreyfus Act, so they can use their machines to really boost their business, and they decided to try a breed of half human and robot to appeal to the people, and that’s how Robocop got started. They definitely took a bigger political approach which i found it interesting. I liked the fact that they incorporated a political news show called “The Novak Element” which the host, Pat Novak played by Samuel L. Jackson, clearly trying to force people to support the repeal of the Dreyfus Act. Politics always plays a vital role of people’s thinking, and the movie showed how easily influenced people can be. I thought the acting was really good especially Keaton, Oldman, and Jackson. Oldman as Dr. Norton really shows how having a great idea can really work well, but with the pressure of people and corporations, how bad a great idea can be without the proper control. Oldman put a lot of emotion in his character, and in the end, he knows what is right for his creation. Keaton as CEO Sellers shows how greed can overcome you, and to make yourself look good, you take risks, even if they are very unethical. Jackson as TV Show host Novak, shows how one media person can make a difference to the regular people, whether they are right or wrong. The media can influence you and not think about the ethical lines being crossed. Everybody else in the movie acted pretty well, even Jay Baruchel as OmniCorp’s Marketing Director Tom Pope, worked well with Baruchel’s quirky acting.
With all that said, I thought this Robocop movie was decent, not great as the original. Maybe with the sequels for this franchise they will make Robocop more grittier, but one thing is for sure, the city of Detroit has a lot of cleaning up to do, and maybe they do need a real Robocop to come and do the cleaning in the near future!!! Rating 3.5 out of 5.