Friday, February 14, 2014

RoboCop Review

The present day in Hollywood is a day of remakes. Yes, I will argue that there are plenty of original films made today and plenty of remakes done in past decades, but nevertheless the number of remakes done today are much greater than in the past. Usually, I am the first one to complain about remakes. If the original is good, why make it again? Occasionally, though, I find myself eating my words after enjoying a remake.  The remakes that make me go through this often are remakes that attempt to do something interesting and unique with the movie instead of making an exact replica of the old one. Thus they justify their existence. With RoboCop, I wasn't expecting much, but I found myself rather surprised with how much I enjoyed it. So yes, the RoboCop remake has justified its existence.

The two RoboCop movies are actually quite different with different intended audiences, so for the most part I am going to focus completely on the new one. What I will say is that the old RoboCop is famous for it's over-the-top graphic violence. Some consider it one of the most violent movies ever made. Thus the intended audience is those people who love strong bloody violence in their movies. The new RoboCop is trying to appeal to more broad audience. It takes away all the over-the-top graphic violence and delivers a solid action movie that focuses more on the story than the action. It's more of a philosophical and emotional version of RoboCop.

The story takes place in Detroit in the year 2028. Most countries around the world have implemented a robot police force except for the United States. Congress has decided that they want real people with emotion as their police force and not robots. So of course the comprise that the company OmniCorp comes up with is a half-robot, half-human. Officer Alex Murphy becomes the perfect candidate when he nearly dies in an explosion intended to kill him. Initially this seems like a perfect plan for OmniCorp, but things quickly become complicated for all parties stemming from the fact that, despite the strings that OmniCorp tries to pull, Alex has not lost his memory and begins to fight against his programming.

RoboCop/Alex Murphy is played Joel Kinnaman and he does a fantastic job at carrying this movie. While he himself isn't a very well known actor, he is surrounded by an excellent, star-studded cast. Michael Keaton plays the President of OmniCorp, Gary Oldman plays the lead doctor that works on RoboCop, Abbie Cornish plays RoboCop's wife, and Samuel L Jackson plays the passionate newscaster. Also scattered throughout the movie is Jay Baruchel from How to Train Your Dragon, Michael K Williams, and Jackie Earle Haley. Everyone combined makes up for a very good cast, all of whom do a great job in the movie. I actually really liked the story in this movie. Surprisingly we don't get a whole ton of action in the first half of the movie, but I really enjoyed the development of the story and the characters. And when we did get action in the second half of the movie, it was quite awesome. Not bloody and over-the-top, but well done and entertaining.

Overall, if you are here to watch a RoboCop movie that focuses solely on bloody, over-the-top action throughout, you are going to be rather disappointed because that's not what this movie is. This movie is a well-acted, well-thought action movie that is more focused on the intriguing and emotional story than the action. I really liked that about the movie. Do I think it's better or worse than the original? I'm not going to make that call. They are two very different movies. Of course there are going to be plenty of haters towards this movie that will try to tell you it's a watered-down pathetic remake of a classic. My advise is to not listen to them. Haters will hate. The RobocCop remake is worth your time and money. I give it an 8/10.

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