Police officer Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) is getting close to some drug lord and gets blown to bits for his troubles. He's put back together again by OCP, a greedy robotic corporation and becomes half man, half machine and all cop!
I worship the original RoboCop
, it is one of my top films of all time but unlike the masses, I didn't groan when a RoboCop re-do was announced. Why not? I sure bitched and moaned when that weak-tit Total Recall remake
came out. Well I actually yearned to see the character in action on the big screen again and I had a hard time believing that this update would disgrace him more than the second sequel RoboCop 3 (1993)
and that lame ass RoboCop The Series TV show (1994–1995) already did. If I was able to digest that RoboCrap back then, I'd be able to take this sucka now I thought. So I went into RoboCop 2014 with an open one brain cell and I was locked and loaded to have a good time. I stuffed the original in the back of my noggin being that I didn't want to compare the two as I watched this new film and you know what? It worked for me.
No I won't spend the bulk of this keyboard-vomiting playing tit for tat with the original and this update. What's the point? Paul Verhoeven's 1987 classic is an elevated and untouchable one-off that was ahead of its time. Done! And in a sly move by not trying to be a cookie cutter version of it, I was able to enjoy RoboCop 2014 as a movie on its own. This bad-boy sucked me in right away into its not so distant future world with a funny turn by Samuel Jackson (who once again played himself but with a wig– great role!) as a flag waiving in the name of che and ching FOX News-ish anchor. The flick then blew my mind with an effect heavy prologue that let me know right away that this was gonna be its own animal as opposed to a lazy aping of the original and then it was off to the races!This one had me in its grasp till the end! I was randomly moved and definitely entertained the whole way! And that is the bottom line for me these days when it comes to big budget movies like this. They mucho focused on Murphy's "from half a man to full on Cyborg badass
" training and the psychological toll that it had on him and his family. Although clumsy at times, the film did have a heart and aimed higher than the norm. That made it more than just a wam-bam, thank you Mam affair for me. Throughout there was an internal struggle within Murphy; man versus machine, who's on top? And I relished watching it go down. Joel Kinnerman truly shined when he was in the suit. He conveyed so much via his intense eyes and I adored the pinch of anger that was brewing behind them.
Action wise, José Padilha went all out and delivered the wow! His style was a mix of the gritty realistic action scenes that he displayed in the Elite Squad movies (expect lots of hand-held) and some video game FPS type aesthetics tossed in there for good measures. That resulted in a rollicking good time in my seat as I gawked at RoboCop kinetically mowing down all kinds of baddies. Sure squib shots would have been nice, but more on that later. Then we had the visual effects and production designs which were simply stellar! The ED 209s, the cool updated “Knight Rider” Robo suit, the “unmasked” Murphy (I am surprised that made it into a PG 13 film...brrr) and the drones all looked like the money to me! Add to that a handful of clever moments (loved the use of "If I Only Had a Heart" from The Wizard of Oz), some fairly solid performances by Joel Kinnaman (he started off wooden but then found his groove), Gary Oldman (who owned the role), Michael Keaton (who was subdued evil at its best) and Jackie Earle Haley (as the token a-hole) and a handful of cute winks at the original for the hardcore fans (the use of Basil Poledouris iconic score made my fanboy funny-bone tickle) and you get a gripping, at times humorous and action packed ditty with its money splashed on the screen!
On the flip side; Joel Kinnaman once said in the press “I sincerely hope they’re going for R cause I can’t imagine how RoboCop could be PG-13. That would be a huge mistake. If I have any say in it, I will fight very hard for it. It has to be violent.“
And I agree with the lad. This re-do begged for some
blood and cuss words. The neutered violence lessened some of the impact of the shoot-outs and the lack of cuss words hurt the reality of the flick. Is this a crime ridden city or Romper Room? Come on! Moreover, the villains were pretty f*cking weak here. Keaton aside, there was nobody that truly stood out. I've seen bad-guys in Steven Seagal movies with more gravitas than the half-assed thugs found here. Huge fail on that front! Finally there were a couple of dumb story turns to serve the plot and I wish they had given hottie Abbie Cornish more meat to chew on. Here she just looked pretty and cried a lot. That was it. The actress and the character for that matter deserved more than that.
Overall; this new RoboCop lacked edge and some smarts but it looked sleek, moved fast and tossed enough fun grenades my way in terms of stand-out visual effects, funny moments and visceral action set pieces for me to have a good time with it! Your move creep!
It kinds of blows my mind that they were able to show what's left of Murphy in the film, which was pretty disturbing, but they weren't able to toss in a couple of CG squibs in there. The flick begged for them!
Put that RoboDong away, nothing to see here.
I had a blast with RoboCop 2014! Plain and simple. This new take on the character did the right move: it strayed far enough from the original for me to be able to assess it as a film on its own. The flick looked sharp, had solid action scenes, sported fairly good performances and the visual effects were top notch! Too bad the blood-less violence, clean language, occasionally shoddy storytelling moves and a wasted Abbie Cornish worked against it. On that, I am down with a sequel and I will check out the film again if it comes out unrated on Blu-Ray. If you're able to put the original aside for 2 hours, you may have fun with this one like I did, if not, then don't bother. Like I said, RoboCop 3 already pissed on the character for me, so this update was actually a step in the right direction! Thank you for your cooperation.
Darren Aronofsky was attached to direct the remake for a long time, he eventually dropped out.
Michael Fassbender and Matthias Schoenaerts were considered for the role of Murphy.
Clive Owen was in line to be the OCP chief, but Michael Keaton got the role.