“Dead or alive, you’re coming with me.” That is about the only consistent thing this revamped version has with the original 1987 release. Of course I’m exaggerating, but you get the jist. So it’s time to put my writing hat on and give our readers what they want – a look inside the new Robocop.
Before watching this movie, there are two things that should be kept in mind:
- Forget about the old Robocop
- This movie is approximately 2 hours long.
These were two things that I had not done. When I found out this movie was almost 2 hours long (2.5 after the credits), I thought to myself, “How in the heck did they make Robocop 2 hours long???” Here’s how:
The story line in this reboot is completely different from the original. Sure, the premise is the same. There is Officer Murphy suffering some tragic ordeal that consigns him to the fate of becoming the cyborg enforcer, and there of course is some conspiracy surrounding criminals involved. But this new version takes plot development to a whole new level. It’s more intricate, involving politics, conspiracies, and – dare I say it – love. The role of Murphy’s family is not some brief memory, but is actively involved throughout. And interestingly enough, Robocop retains his identity. There is no split from his former self, but a struggle of acceptance. Telling it this way makes the movie sound very entertaining and dynamic, and for the most part, it was. But the biggest drawback is that it took too long to develop. I was probably over halfway into the movie before any real action took place; and that is probably the movie’s biggest flaw.
When it comes to the visual appeal of the movie, the CG sequences, costumes, and set design were well done. Instead of the infamous metal bulk that we’re used to seeing Robocop in, the suit design is sleek and a polished black. He’s equipped with a matching motorcycle and gun. (It’s obvious that the studio had thoughts of pushing a Robocop 2014 toy line with the release of this movie.)
Also, the action sequences were pretty good…when the movie finally got to them. There was a pretty cool blackout scene where we see the fight from Robocop’s POV. His movements were pretty fluidic and natural, making Robocop more like a man IN a robot suit instead of a robot in a man (if that makes sense).
The acting was alright. Joel Kinnaman (Safe House) did an alright job. Granted, he had more dialogue in this movie and was able to portray Murphy’s internal struggle as Robocop pretty well; but this took away from the character of Robocop. He was too human. Reflecting on the movie, I realize how little Robocop was a robot, and more like a man. The rest of the cast did alright as well: Michael Keaton as Raymond Sellers, Gary Oldman as Dr. Dennett Norton, Jackie Earl Haley as Rick Mattox. Even Samuel L. Jackson added a little comedic element. But that was all the acting was: alright.
Overall, the movie was okay. Comparing it to the original, I’d say the original was better (although even that one was pretty terrible). I can say this: if anyone is wondering whether it’s worth seeing in theaters, I’d say wait. It’ll be good on DVD/Blu-ray.
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