In 2028 Detroit, when Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) – a loving husband, father and good cop – is critically injured in the line of duty, the multinational conglomerate OmniCorp sees their chance for a part-man, part-robot police officer.
Directed: José Padilha
What we think: If you’re going to remake one of the 80s most iconic action films you’ve got to do it with some balls.
Sadly José Padilha dropped this particular ball, pretty spectacularly in fact, to give us a sorry remake and leave fans of the original baying for blood (something which was clearly missing in this).
It’s a story that was disjointed, rushed and ill-conceived in every possible way, with a leading actor who was miscast and totally non believable in the role he was trusted to uphold.
Kinnaman is Alex Murphy a Detroit Detective whose ill fated sting operation ends badly after his cover is blown leaving him high on the villains most wanted list.
In the background is OmniCorp a leading company in robot technology priding itself on making the world a safer place with drones and the all too familiar ED-209 looking to serve and protect.
Lead by CEO Raymond Sellars (Michael Keaton) the initiative has not reached American soil due to Government legislation and a bill that prohibits the use of robots on the streets.
Needing a new way to reach the public, Sellars turns to Murphy as a part man part machine creation to reach out and grab justice by the throat and give America the hope it longs for, and a hero to put their faith in.
The PG-13 rating and lack of graphic violence is stark contrast to the original, while the action scenes might be slick and bolstered with nifty CGI it does little to hide the fact that there isn’t a drop of claret anywhere to be seen.
While not completely adhering to the original it nods in its direction a few times, but only because it has to in order to appease the die hard fan. Once Robocop is up and about after being resurrected under the watchful eye of Dr. Dennett Norton (Gary Oldman) he goes on a quick hunt to bring the perpetrators who tried to have him killed to justice.
Unlike Clarence J. Boddicker, Antoine Vallon (Patrick Garrow) is only a bit part villain, hopelessly moving illegal guns around the city he’s duly finished off in one of the film’s more colourful action shoot outs.
The film is comical but not in a good way, when Murphy demands to see what is behind the suit you almost laugh and then hang your head that Padilha could have included and thought up such a ridiculous scene.
Supporting cast do little to add much either, Samuel L. Jackson waves his arms and shouts a lot as a current affairs news anchor that in some way pays homage to the cut to’s of the Casey Wong era.
Abbie Cornish is shockingly bad, and Jackie Earle Haley as much so, all in all a pity. Only Oldman provides any shinning light in something that was slumping before it had even made it half way through.
Robocop continues his quest back into the Detroit Police department, where corruption is clearly rife and all trailing back to OmniCorps big cheese in charge, culminating in a finale that does little to finish on a high note.
Paul Verhoeven will be able to rest easy at night knowing that his 1987 classic will continue long in the memory of true Robocop fans, while its 2014 compatriot should be cast aside into the recycle bin.
View the trailer…
Visit the IMDB page for Robocop
What did you think of this Robocop remake, was it as good if not better than the original, or just plan awful?