I wasn’t sure I liked the idea when I first heard that they were going to do a reboot of Robocop, but I am happy to say they absolutely did it justice.
“Dead or alive, you’re coming with me!” – Alex Murphy, Robocop (2014)
Joel Kinnaman stars as Alex Murphy / Robocop. He is excellent in the lead, but I think it’s his co stars that really make this film.
“The human element will always be present! Compassion, fear, instinct, they will always interfere with the system!” – Dr. Dennett Norton, Robocop (2014)
Gary Oldman plays Dr. Dennett Norton, a well intentioned genius in the field of robotics, we first meet him as he’s trying to help a man with robotic hands relearn how to play the guitar. He refuses to make weapons, but agrees to undertake the Robocop project to fund his work. It’s his relationship with Alex that really gives the movie heart.
“Make him more tactical. Let’s go with black.” – Raymond Sellers, Robocop (2014)
Michael Keaton is Raymond Sellers, the head of Omnicorp. He is hell bent on putting robots on the streets of the USA in place of police to make the company more money, while telling everyone who will listen that he’s trying to save lives. His endless greed oozes off the screen in every scene he’s in.
“What is bigger than a hero?” – Raymond Sellers
“A dead hero.” – Rick Mattox, Robocop (2014)
Jackie Earle Haley is Rick Mattox, who is in charge of robots in the field, often referring to them as “my guys.” He’s convinced that the human element can never be better than the machine.
“Why is America so robophobic?” – Pat Novak, Robocop (2014)
But the show is absolutely stolen by Samuel L. Jackson as Pat Novak. He’s a right wing nut job cross between Bill O’Reilly and a Fox News anchor (not much difference there really) whose television show is essentially Omnicorp propaganda. It’s hard to even recognize Jackson under the hair, and his scenes were some of my favorites.
With awesome action sequences and amazing affects, Robocop certainly lives up to and perhaps surpasses the original. I absolutely loved it and highly recommend it. Assuming it does well enough, there is almost certainly a sequel to come.
A few very minor spoilers ahead.
The first thing you need to understand about this film is that it is not a remake. They took the setting and basic story and character elements and crafted a much different story that includes lots of references to the original. So don’t expect to see them watching “I’d buy that for a dollar” on television, but you can be sure that line made it into the movie, as did other iconic lines.
One of the biggest differences between this film and the original is that they have taken out all the silly malfunctioning robots in favor of a more serious plot. Early on in a pretty intense scene, suicide bombers attack a group of robots doing a security sweep in a foreign country. While Novak is billing this on television as a routine safety inspection (or words to that effect) people are clearly being forced from their homes so the robots can scan them for weapons and confirm their identities. The sequence ends when one of the bombers’ sons grabs a knife and runs outside after his father has been killed and is cut down by the robots when he refuses to drop his weapon.
I think the more serious tone works well, but the movie is certainly not devoid of humor. There are some great funny moments too.
Thanks for reading!