Movie Review: Robocop

robocop

Stars: Joel Kinnamin, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Abbie Cornish, Michael K. Williams, Jackie Earle Haley, Samuel L. Jackson

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action including frenetic gun violence throughout, brief strong language, sensuality and some drug material, Running time108 minutes, Action/Sci-Fi

Compare to: Dredd (2012)

While making some changes to the original, this Robocop remains relatively the same. Not much is improved on from the original save for new age technology that doesn’t seem as far away as it once did.

But is it good? Can you watch it and feel like you’re watching a complete movie on it’s own? More or less, sure.

Officer is critically injured in the line of duty. With most of his body severely damaged, multibillion dollar corporation Omnicorp sees this as a chance to boost their sales in robotics as police officers- by putting Murphy in a suit. But with Murphy’s brain and heart still human, it doesn’t take long before his superiors take notice that he’s not going to be the perfect robot they want in him.

"Wat duz it MEEN 2 B A HU-MAN?"

“Wat duz it MEEN 2 B A HU-MAN?”

You know how this goes. These remakes get made for the people that think this story as new as well as fans who want to see their favorite crime-fighting robot do all the things new age special effects will allow him to do.

One thing that’s a two-sides-to-one-coin kind of deal are the themes. The ones that the original held to so strongly are still seen here- human nature, greed, authoritarianism, and a word I rarely get to use- gentrification.

With these being the center pieces to the original, it’s crucial to Robocop’s story and while this one carries those themes over well, it also makes you feel like you’re watching the same movie. But with some solid performances, it doesn’t feel stale.

robocop3

While Gary Oldman and Samuel L. Jackson are amazing actors (Oldman may be number one for me), they’ve still been guilty of phoning in a performance or two at times. But not here. Jackson seems to be doing his best impression of Bill O’Reilly here as Pat Novak, starring in his one man political commentating tank, The Novak Element. He says anything he wants, censors anyone he doesn’t like and whenever movies and shows get a chance to take a stab at the media, Fox is the easy go-to target.

So how does Kinnaman fare as the C-3PO’s big brother? Eh… Nothing he does brings ruin to the role, the story, the character…but he doesn’t help either. The Swedish actor does his best impersonation of a fast (but low) talking city cop but I’m all hearing is Channing Tatum.

Not to say he’s talentless, but maybe a little dry. When Gary Oldman’s character as Dr. Norton, Robocop’s creator, begins to take out the human element of Murphy’s head, we notice Murphy’s voice becoming more robotic and I was completely fine with that.

On a positive note, there’s a decent pacing of action, story and drama here, which always goes unappreciated until you’re watching a movie that doesn’t balance the three so there are no problems on that front and it may be what makes this movie as watchable as it is. You might not like everything about it but there’s enough here to keep you entertained without being either bored or overloaded.

But did we have to use The Clash’s “I Fought the Law” in the credits? We can be more original than that, can’t we? Maybe not.

Positives- Good pacing and story, Michael Keaton is always cool.

Negatives- Nothing you haven’t seen before, Soundtrack is a bit sketchy and distracting at times, this PG-13 version might turn many off from the original’s R.

Grade- C

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