Director: José Padilha
Starring: Joel Kinnaman, Samuel L Jackson, Michael Keaton, Gary Oldman, Michael Kenneth Williams, Abbie Cornish . USA. 1h 57m
It’s taken me a long time to watch this as I have such a deep connection with the original film, for me Robocop is a saint and I was almost insulted that anyone would dare to remake the movie, but this is a very loose remake that pretty much relies on you having seen the original too get make sense of some of the benial content. But don’t take my low rating as a sign that I am a total fangirl of the Verhoeven classic, I have taken a lot of energy to think outside of my little box.
In this rendition of the tragic life of Alex Murphy (Kinnaman), he’s a brilliant righteous cop who is on a questionable case that keeps giving him and his partner Lewis (Williams) the slip.
For the most part, the film follows the original story in terms of Murphy being obliterated and rebuilt as Robocop. But in the real world Robocop already exists and therefore team didn’t seem to feel confident in presenting their audience with Robocop instead they present a familiar Robocop then change him into something more efficient, embodied by the tall Swedish born Kinnaman who adds some manliness.
Murphys long suffering wife Clara (Cornish) who is constantly crying and their son play bigger roles in the movie which breaks down into a sentimental science lesson. And makes me realise why Mrs Murphy was cut out of the first film, chicks just complicate things.. Everything about Murphy is analysed and discussed in detail, which greatly reduces the amount of time he spends kicking ass. I really don’t care about his dopamine levels I just want to see him shoot some rapey guy in the balls.
It does draw some of the old classic elements but only in order to ridicule them, “I wouldn’t buy that for a dollar” gets mentioned totally out of the blue, but it seems that Murphy’s bigger issues are political or emotional. His glory run of busting people in impressive ways is strangely short.
Oldman and Keaton add some strength to the cast, although the biggest let down is the script, maybe due to being Padilha’s first English production I don’t think he was fully aware of the lack of decent dialogue and the constant repetition. He really adds is a great talent for dynamic action scenes, these usually involve Jackie Earle Haley as a robot tech who’s not too thrilled with robots controlled by a face and lungs taking over. Despite the dazzling action don’t expect the film to attempt to outdo the two classic violent scenes from the original, there is no Kenny vs ED209 and there is no gundown in an abandoned factory, now these scenes weren’t essential but it did make Robocop very re watchable and it would have been decent if there was some insane violence that would have to be cut out when the BBC tries to show the film.
Robocop doesn’t have a driving force of being something powerful and new, and equally the booming soundtrack that accompanied the original is replaced by I fought the law, which is catchy but just not worthy. I would have preferred a movie that gave me more action to think about than trying to bamboozle me with technical jargon then insult my intelligence.
R: Robocop (1989),
L: Terrible remakes, Art house remakes,
Vs: Robocop vs Robocop