Robocop is probably a movie that didn’t need a reboot. Some may argue that it shouldn’t have been rebooted.
But it was, okay. So now I’m here to tell you a bit about what I thought of it, and whether or not you should take the time and spend 117 minutes of your life watching it.
The short answer: Well there isn’t one. It just depends on how snobbish you are, or aren’t. So here’s 3 things I thought they got right, and 3 things they got wrong. Read them and decide for yourself.
What it gets right
Motherf#$&er: It has Samuel L. Jackson doing an amazing impression of a Fox News anchor – only he’s an advocate for robotization, not “democracy”. Anyway, politics aside, his character is eccentric and fun to love to hate.
Artificial Intelligence: It’s not like the original franchise didn’t have a running commentary on the dangers of technology, and especially artificial intelligence; it’s just that the 2014 version delivers this quite powerfully with jargon-filled dialogue and improved special effects.
Murphy’s character: Everything about Murphy’s character can be appreciated in this portrayal – they built him up as a loving father and husband, and a damn good cop. Then they also tore him down (quite literally) physically, mentally and emotionally and made him a slave to his country, and some hardcore software. They managed to balance this out very well throughout the film. I also think that Joel Kinnaman is underrated, and he deserves some credit for having the guts to fill such a huge role, and do a decent job of it.
What it gets wrong
The Narrative: Poor narrative? Or is it the same narrative as the original? Well, kinda. The fact of the matter is that the differences (or similarities) are not endearing. While it’s not putrid, it’s also not unique enough to remember 30 years from now; is what I’m saying.
The standoff: The bad guys seemed all-powerful in the movie at some point, delivering a very hard-hitting sense of vulnerability for audiences living voyeuristically through our protagonist. But that final standoff just didn’t feel like it delivered the satisfaction of overcoming such a vast and overwhelming foe (or foes).
The cause: The 2014 version of Robocop has less on-the-street need and desire for robots than the original. As a result, you’re continually faced with the C-suite and laboratory arguments for robots to become a regular part of law enforcement. I guess this modernises the concept to a point where it’s more relevant for 2014, but it just felt wrong because you kind of want to see that dystopian Detroit with it’s citizens crying for a hero.
These 3 factors all may have a lot to do with how the reboot was re-positioned for a new market, donning a PG13 rating.
Memorable Moments: Dr. Norton reveals Murphy’s body (or what’s left of it) to him. This moment is shocking and spine-tingling.
Overall, a good film to watch as it’s got the shoot-em-up element, but has a hint of a real film and narrative (although not enough).
I’d say watch it with some buddies if you like, or put it on if you’re just chilling at home. Don’t set aside time to watch this movie specifically (maybe I’m the only one who does that kind of thing? Who knows).
About the Author: Stephen is from the future; maybe. Possibly. He also enjoys actually setting aside time to watch specific movies (sometimes not for the first time), because film is love, and life.