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RoboCop (2014)With the slew of remakes and reboots flooding the gates of Hollywood… More With the slew of remakes and reboots flooding the gates of Hollywood these days you wouldn't really be surprised to see anything get that kind of treatment. Usually when it does the first question asked tends to be "do we really need another (insert movie here)"? I can happily say with Josť Padilha's reboot of Robocop that the answer is a big fat yes! Padilha alters certain elements of the 1980's cult classic (and probably to the dismay of a lot of die hard fans) like Robo's partner is now an African American male, they change his origin story as well. The changing of the partner was a minor difference in the grand scheme of things, and the changing of Robocop's origin fit better with the overall theme of the movie. Where as Robocop in the 80's featured themes about the media, gentrification, corruption, authoritarianism, greed, privatization, capitalism, identity, dystopia, and human nature. The 2014 remake covers a lot of the same ground and in fact has even more meaning today as many of those thematic elements still exist of have worsened since 1987. Furthermore Padhilha's remake touches on drone attacks, removing the human element from work, and privacy (all of which are very hot topics). So Robocop has the themes locked down. How does it play as a film? To my surprise it easily surpassed the bar I had set for it. Originally this movie was not pre-screened for critics which is usually a bad sign about how well it will be received. But after it's conclusion I found myself excited and eagerly awaiting a sequel (something that the ending leaves plenty of room for). While it isn't a gory as the original this new incarnation of Robocop packed in a ton of great action scenes, and while it shied away from being overly gory it certainly wasn't your standard "PG Style" action. From a cinematic standpoint everything looked great. The visuals looked solid throughout. What really hooked me was how much Joel Kinnaman brought to the role of Alex Murphy/Robocop. As Robocop he certainly channeled Peter Weller at times but brought his own thing to it. In fact I feel like he added more humanity to the character and even maybe deepened it a bit more. I was truly caught off guard how real he made such a ridiculous character seem, he took what could have been some really awful scenes and totally made them work. Michael Keaton also gets a ton of credit as Raymond Sellers the big bad guy in the film. Keaton really manages to walk the line of "he's a bad guy, but I can kind of see where he is coming from" and those types of villains are the best villains in the world. As the movie draws to a close there are a few moments though where he starts twirling his mustache a little bit too much. Gary Oldman and Sam Jackson in secondary roles are both pretty darn solid throughout the movie as the voices for using Robocop to his fullest potential and for remembering that he is still a human being and should be treated as such. Even though there are some flaws that might be worth quibbling over the ultimate result is a movie with a relevant message while still being a fantastic science fiction action movie with lots of PEW! PEW! and BANG! BANG! but it is also well made, and obviously with some love for the original. Given that you have no choice in whether this film would get made.......what more could you ask for? Oh and hardcore Robo fans....... Don't worry to much about that black suit Alex Murphy dawns for the majority of the flick...... Let's just say it doesn't make until the end credits.
23 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes