In the year 2028, OmniCorp rules the world in robot technologies. Their robots are deployed all around the globe keeping law and order on the streets, except in one country, America. The U.S. has the Dreyfuss Act -- a law forbidding the use of drones on its street. OmniCorp's CEO, Raymond Sellars (Michael Keaton), sees a way of getting around the law and comes up with the idea of a drone with the feelings of a human, a RoboCop. With the help of his chief scientist Dr. Dennett Norton (Gary Oldman), OmniCorp starts to search for a candidate and discovers Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman), a cop from Detroit who was targeted by criminal gangs and left for dead after a car bomb explosion on his driveway.
José Padilha's movie is based around the Sellars and Norton characters rather than Alex Murphy. The focus is the greed of a CEO of one of the largest companies in the world playing a delicate game of chess with his chief scientist, who tries to play the ethical move, but doesn't realise he is being outmoved until it is too late, and play it well they do. Both were shining lights, along with Samuel L Jackson, in what was a fairly frigid cast lineup. In fairness, Joel Kinnaman's portrayal of Alex Murphy isn't too bad, but that's as far as I would go in praise.
As a RoboCop fan, I thinks it's a shame, as I really wanted this movie to stand on its own without people saying it hasn't got this or it hasn't got that from the original movie, but the truth is you can't remake a movie without that happening, so unfortunately fans of Paul Verhoeven RoboCop are going to be disappointed. True, we live in a different age than that of the late 80's, and to get the PG-13 rating (12A in the UK) that studios crave, the violence that's on the streets to justify OmniCorp's presence on every street corner is not present at all.
Sure some things have improved -- the CGI and action sequences are as you would expect miles better! A great fight scene between some of the ED-20s and Murphy really was the high point. Many things from the 1987 movie do survive. The politics of whether it's right to have these drones on the streets and the ethics remain, but gone are the satire and raw violence that made Verhoeven RoboCop such a success and still loved by many some 25 years or more on today.
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 102 minutes
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Robocop images are © Columbia Pictures. All Rights Reserved.
Mr. Kate's love affair with the movies started at a young age and has remained an integral part of his life. Although favoring the action/thriller above all other genres, his interest doesn't stop there. He will watch anything from period dramas to science fiction. Not only is Paul Kates a fan of the silver screen, he is also fond of US TV dramas, notably Arrow, Game of Thrones and The Blacklist. His favorite movies include The Lord of the Ring trilogy, and the Jason Bourne movies, while still having a soft spot for Disney animation which still to this day evokes memories from his childhood.
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Physical Media: Blu-ray Review
The end result of the Robocop remake is that it simply wasn't necessary but it isn't bad. If you're going to watch it at home, though, the Blu-ray is well worth the cost.