Robocop (2014)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
A…black Cylon?

This film was selected from ‘The 250’


The first Robocop film was released one year before I was born, and if you remember correctly, there were three total films starring the legendary Peter Weller. I’ve seen these films and am old enough to even remember having a Robocop action figure. I also remember loving the movies as a child, but I’m sure they are filled to the brim with really cheesy moments – and especially horrid-looking robotics…but I can’t be sure. That’s part of the reason that I don’t actually want to re-watch the movie. I want to preserve what good memories I actually have of the old series. So I can’t compare the remake of Robocop to the original very well. I now have to think about the kids now. Will they remember this when they’re pushing thirty? I seriously doubt it, but it’s not as bad as I’ve heard it was.

Let’s see, there’s this big political debate going on in the nearby future questioning if the United States should allow robotic police. They are completely efficient and quick on reflexes, but they lack human emotion, which comes in handy with certain situations like a child dying. The company responsible for the recent robotic police decided the publicity stunt they would go for is to put a human being in a machine to ease everyone’s minds. Their subject was Alex Murphy, a man that was recently victim to a car bombing, completely disabling him. He is then put inside a robotic body, much like in Inspector Gadget, and the people have their answer. Only, this company has full control of Alex’s body, including free will and emotion, which they play around with to make the perfect toy. But when it comes to his family…man-made restrictions may have met their match.

From what I can tell regarding the story and from what I can remember with the original film, it seems to have given a lot of respect. There are the Star Wars-like walker machines that roam the streets, there are the basic functions that Robocop actually has, there are the general battles between ethics and efficient work… it’s all there, but what I also realized was…the iconic bits weren’t. I’m the type of guy that can easily sense nostalgia, especially for classic movies like Robocop. I didn’t sense that at all here. They merely teased the Robocop Suit. The same one from the old movies – that might give you some nostalgia, but alas, they don’t use it. They use some kind of bullcrap Tron: Legacy/virtual reality suit that’s completely black and utterly forgettable. We have seen that type of suit everywhere. Every modern space movie has something similar, or like in the G.I. Joe movies…it’s just so frustrating. The Robocop suit alone was part of why that movie was so memorable, but I get it – they had to do their own thing. That’s fine if the new one is just as iconic, it’s not.

The guy playing Robocop was alright. He wasn’t the best by far, and was certainly no Weller, but he did what he could, which was okay most of the time. There just wasn’t enough cool things going on. It showed you a little of what goes on inside that helmet, and what he looks like without a suit, which is cool, but they just needed more visual stuff that shows how he ticks. Those mathematical equations that are laid out for him before he does some cool trick – those are awesome, show more of those. I don’t think the movie is terrible, honestly, but I do think they missed out on some really cool opportunities. I mean, this is Robocop, a film that transformed the way people saw movies. They made a video game with him and the Terminator, for crying out loud. He made an impact…why not focus on that?

Samuel L. Jackson is a cool dude, no joke, but his role in this film was a bit annoying. He was playing the Stanley Tucci of The Hunger Games, or the Ryan Seacrest of life. He just stood there and told the news all important like, but he was like the Muses in Hercules – good for an introduction, but overused throughout the movie. Then again, it really was like The Hunger Games, because when we get right down to it, the movie was playing to the tune of popularity instead of justice. The whole reason Robocop exists wasn’t because the government cared about him and wanted him to live, it was because they wanted to show the public their new toy in order for them to agree to have mindless robots roam the streets. He was a tool used to meet one man’s hidden agenda. In that regards, it was smartly written. I just don’t think many people will….care.

The Good:

Robocop does a good job at portraying the symbolism behind ethics vs. popularity and how far the government is willing to go in order to 1. Get a paycheck, and 2. Satisfy the public’s entertainment and what that means in terms of total disregard towards people’s feelings and wishes.

The Bad:

When people think Robocop, they still think of Peter Weller, they think of his iconic suit and the way he spoke, because iconic and nostalgic moments are completely gone here. The suit looks like it was copied off of numerous other films in its sleek black entirety. So, as good as this film was on paper, there’s not a whole lot that ties the audience to the film itself, which will ultimately keep them away if a sequel ever happens.

Memorable Quote:

Threat Level: None. Totally Stoned.


2 thoughts on “Robocop (2014)

  1. A better remake than I expected. Which may sound like faint-praise, but truly means that it does some interesting and fun things with its premise, even if it doesn’t fully live up to the ambitions it sets for itself. Good review Dave.


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