Monday, March 17, 2014

Movie Review: "RoboCop" (2014)

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Director: Jose Padilha
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 57 minutes

In the near future, robots have become a major part of peacekeeping efforts around the world. They are developed by a private security firm, OmniCorp, in war-torn nations to help maintain peace. The CEO of OmniCorp, Raymond Sellars (Michael Keaton), wants to bring his security robots to America, which would mean a great financial gain for his company. A US law called the Dreyfuss Act prevents robots from being used as police. Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) is a good Detroit cop who is suspicious of corruption in his own department. He believes the cops are being paid off by drug lord/gun runner Anton Vallon (Patrick Garrow). A tip from these corrupt cops allows Vallon to have a bomb planted in Murphy’s car. The explosion almost kills Alex and has left him severely disfigured. OmniCorp offers a deal to Murphy’s wife Clara (Abbie Cornish): they will save her husband's life if she allows them to turn most of his body into a machine. OmniCorp turns Alex Murphy into RoboCop, their way around the "robot problem" and the Dreyfuss Act. Murphy struggles to deal with his new body and tries to come to terms with figuring out if he’s actually a man or a machine. He also wonders if he’s really in control of his own actions, all while being haunted by memories of the attempt on his life. With the help of sensationalist news reporter Pat Novak (Samuel L Jackson), OmniCorp plans to use RoboCop as a marketing tool to get the Dreyfuss act repealed no matter what damage they do to Murphy and his family.

This movie ain't half bad, except for the fact that a tin can act better than Joel Kinnaman.

If you treat this movie as a separate entity from its predecessor, it's not too shabby, but it's still not the original. There are many glaring differences, but this is not the worst remake of a movie, by far. The special effects are excellent, especially with the ED-209 robots, though they could have been used as a more integral part in this film. Really, the CGI is pretty damn least they poured money into the right parts of this remake.

The best character, in our opinion, is Samuel L. Jackson's Pat Novak, a character whose entire part is a satire on modern-day sensationalist cable news fear-mongerers that are all too common today. He plays this role so well and with such fervor that you almost want to believe what he's saying (also, the problem with cable news stations like this). Gary Oldman's character Dr. Dennett Norton is also well-played, but these wonderful European actors need to start learning how to turn down movie roles (Bill Nighy, since I know you're reading, I'M LOOKING AT YOU...we're still silently judging you for "I, Frankenstein"). It's good to see Michael Keaton return back to the big screen! We hope he stays around a while.

The rest of the movie is fine, but it is lacking the blood, violence, humor, one-liners, and 80's flair that we've all come to love of the original "RoboCop." This remake was clearly only produced as a "safer" version for up and coming adolescents whose parents might have a problem with the level of violence in the first one. That being said, this is still a decent PG-13 action film that is a toned-down version of the far superior initial film. A lot of the actors here are interchangeable and some cannot really act at all, but that doesn't stop it from being an okay time-passer popcorn flick.
Watch this if you have seen the original. Thank us later.

My Rating: 6/10
BigJ's Rating: 6/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 49%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

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