Being born a few months before the first Robocop went into production it took me quite a while to get around to watching and understanding the original. Parents telling you to cover your eyes as Alex Murphy is blasted to bits and riddled with clips did not help much either. Fast forward to 2014 and we are given a new Robocop. Forget what you knew and welcome the new hero of Detroit.
Let’s be honest, the minute the PG-13 rating was announced red flags went flying high. However, viewers will be surprised to see that this movie is far from being light-hearted. Robocop 2014 is not intended to capture the tweens. Instead, it is gritty, darker and I am pretty sure only contains one joke. This is what is enjoyable about this reboot; it offers a solid re-telling of a great story. This is not a get rich quick scheme to make a buck off of fan-boys and kids. Robocop 2014 is a clever story that focuses on politics, humanity, justice and greed. In fact, Jose Padilha actually rebuilt Robocop instead of re-telling it. This Robocop is a whole new machine!
The movie is set 15 years into the future, America is still fighting in the Middle-East and still believe that they are God’s gift to the planet. According to Pat Novak (Samuel L. Jackson), in order to prevent the loss of soldiers’ lives, the US military is making use of robots in combat. The robots may have stopped crime abroad but in America it has been decided that robots are prohibited. Desiring to win over the people and alleviate the act that prohibits robot production, Raymond Sellars (Michael Keaton) tries to present the people of America with a new hero, an enemy of crime, a man within the machine, a Robocop.
Joshua Zetumer gives us a good script that ensures viewers of seeing some great action scenes and Robocop suits. Whilst the film is not nearly as violent as the original, there are moments that will make your stomach cringe a little bit. No, Alex Murphy is not blown to pieces by Red from The 70’s Show in this one, instead he falls victim to corruption…in the literal sense. He is left maimed, disfigured and near death. Yes, he did not have to die to become Robocop in this reboot. His wife, Clara, decides to nominate him as the test subject for Omnicorp’s Robocop project. She wants her husband to survive as she cannot live without him, whilst Omnicorp wants to campaign an idea that will make robots more acceptable in the American society.
What follows is believable character development and great action scenes as the viewer is introduced to just what this new Robocop is capable of. His A.I. is next level; he is agile and athletic. I am afraid to say it but classic Robocop does not stand a chance against Robocop 3.0. However, beyond the great action sequences the story could have been so much more. It is great to see that this Robocop is more attached to his family, the emotional aspect is there and it works, but the lack of a solid villain powerful enough to pose a threat to our protagonist is a bit of a let-down that leads to a rather rushed ending, which is fairly predictable. Despite its inconsistencies some brilliance manages to shine through. Alex Murphy is not a God amongst men; he is still a tortured soul, a man that has been a sacrificial lamb for corporate gains.
This is definitely a blockbuster that will be a hit in the IMAX. To not view this in the cinema would be a great injustice to a movie that has taken something old and made it more contemporary. It involves more technology, more corruption and more CGI. Robocop 2014 is doomed to always be compared to the 1987 hit, but is a great movie in its own right, one that’s Pros outweighs its Cons by far.