For crying out loud --- why we had to have a remake of this truly awful film is beyond the realm of comprehension. Unless you are a thirteen-year-old boy or addicted to video games, there is absolutely no good reason to see this shameful reboot.
Director Jose Padiha can dress this up with a very talented cast including Samuel L. Jackson as Pat Novak, Jackie Earle Haley as Rick Mattox, Gary Oldman as Dr. Dennett Norton and Michael as Raymond Sellars, but the fact remains that a ridiculous and terribly violent screenplay by Joshua Zetumer, Edward Neumeier and Michael Miner cannot be redeemed by actors, no matter how good they are.
The first huge mistake of this "RoboCop" was the selection of Joel Kinnaman to play Alex Murphy, the good cop, loving father/husband --- yadda, yadda,
yadda --- working the mean streets of Detroit. Kinnaman is not a very good actor, nor does he really seem to even like his adorable wife, Clara (Abbie Cornish) --- talk about no chemistry. But poor Clara does her mightiest to stand by her man, when severely injured Alex is turned into RoboCop.
Jackson is delightfully smarmy as Novak, the TV crusader who has a show that the Fox News Network would be so proud to air. He's pushing hard for OmniCorp and its president, Sellars, who wants desperately for the RoboCop prototype to be a success. You see, there is never enough money for capitalists like Sellars and their henchmen. I understand "big business" doesn't like
"The LEGO Movie" --- wait until they see this one.
I find it sad and demoralizing that movie studios like SONY Pictures can't find better material than this. The first "RoboCop" wasn't worth the time and now here we have a trumped-up remake. Even though this film has a PG-13 rating, the gun violence and overall violent action is appalling. Think twice before seeing "RoboCop", I don't care how badly you want to see Samuel L. Jackson play a black Bill O'Reilly.
Opinion: Don't Bother!
This latest version of the half man/half machine story is forgettable. It stars Swedish-born Joel Kinnaman as Alex Murphy, the police officer and family man whose body is decimated by an explosion, and who is "saved" by Dr. Dennett Norton (Gary Oldman), a modern-day Dr. Frankenstein. I use quotes because all that's left of Alex are a couple of operating lungs, a brain that can be programmed, his right hand and his face.
Alex is covered almost head-to-toe in a metal suit, a la "Ironman", but there are no Robert Downey, Jr. wisecracks or savvy comic lines. "RoboCop" (2014) is all seriousness, no lighter moments, and no chemistry between his wife, Clara (Abbie Cornish) and their son, David (John Paul Ruttan), or between Alex and his cop buddies. As a result, for an action film, it is deadly dull --- the level of emotional detachment, at least by this critic, was palpable.
Even the talking head host, Pat Novak, of a futuristic TV show (an intentional reference to controversial journalist and TV host Robert Novak?), played for kicks by Samuel L. Jackson, falls flat. Although the few chuckles that do exist in this film can be found here.
The story in brief: because mechanical law enforcement men have been prevalent overseas --- they can detect if someone is a threat as a suicide bomber, for example, or not --- OmniCorp, the company that makes and markets them, to the tune of many billions in profits, wants a foothold in America, and they see Alex Murphy as their entry ticket to do so.
Since there are two political sides to every issue in the U.S., we have Raymond Sellars (Michael Keaton) owner of OmniCorp for the pro side, and Sen. Hubert Dreyfuss (Zach Grenier) opposing the idea because, as he cites a hypothetical situation, (paraphrasing) --- "what if a Robocop accidentally kills an innocent child? How would he feel?" The answer is "nothing".
So to win over public opinion, Alex Murphy provides the solution --- a mechanical law enforcement individual who has emotions, who can still relate to his family. What they don't count on is Alex trying to solve his own "murder" by going after the perpetrators of the bombing (we won't reveal how it happens, but it's pretty obvious).
Overall the acting is mediocre, at best. I normally admire Jackie Earle Haley, the consummate character actor, but as Rick Mattox, he was over-the-top. Jeanne will write that "RoboCop" will appeal to teenaged boys --- it's akin to video games --- and she would be correct. At least it's not being released in 3-D. The violence is everywhere, but it's bloodless, thus it garnered a PG-13 rating, which will ensure a much larger audience than an "R" would have.
Opinion: Don't Bother (unless you're between 13-17 years old)