Man and Machine: A “Robocop” Review

Yep, I am part of the generation who knows that this is a remake because we’ve seen the older film. Dammit I feel so ancient.
In the year 2028, the US Military have started using “Robot soldiers” in battle instead of having a military force. OmniCorp, the company behind the robot technology, is aiming to extend the reach of their business in civilian law enforcement – something which the public is not yet very open to and prevented by law through the Dreyfus Act. In an effort to sway public opinion, the company equipped policeman Alex Murphy, who has been critically injured from an explosion, with an advanced mechanical body and software, making him Robocop. But even though his brain is already tampered with robot technology, the human element in Alex still finds its way to prevail.

Robocop Trailer

My memory of the first Robocop movie was blurry because I was still a kid when I got to watch it (to be fair with me, I wasn’t born yet when it was released), so it’s tough for me to make a decent comparison of the two. However, it is also this reason why I as excited about the 2014 remake. I was looking forward to refreshing my memories and see how it would look like when done today.
“Does this suit come with apps?”

The quality of this Robocop reboot wasn’t exactly able to rival my excitement for it, but in general it turned out to be fine. The plot of the movie revolved around Robocop as we knew him to be, banking on his original story of being a tough but virtuous police officer who fortunately (or unfortunately) was given a second chance at living by becoming half-man, half-robot. The movie spent enough time on this “transformation”, focusing on his emotional trauma, his relationship with his family, his struggle for accepting how he is, and this is good because it adds more soul to the movie. The movie wasn’t all about making a character look cool to the kids (*cough Iron Man cough*), it also had an emotional and even social investment in it. The story was more about a dad who is struggling with his predicament, than a humanoid fighting crime. Although I’m not saying that I didn’t enjoy the action. In fact I loved how the movie’s gunfight reminded me of Counter Strike (ahhh memories). Not to mention that the new Robocop suit looked so sleek and badass.
There were also several social allegories in the film, which is good and admittedly, something we must have more of in movies these days. At some point in the movie, Alex is made to think that he is the one controlling his actions, when in reality it’s the software in him that does the deciding. It shows An illusion of free will, and directly reflect some aspects of our society right now where we think we’re the ones in charge when truth is our opinions and decisions are being manipulated by a powerful few.
Joel Kinnaman was refreshing to see on screen taking the lead this time. His profile and performance fit well with the character, but I think he needs to work more on owning it. Gary Oldman was undoubtedly the one who stood out the most in the movie. I’m seriously suspecting he’s the reason why at some point the movie reminded me of Dark Knight.
The 2014 reboot of Robocop wasn’t as exciting as I hoped it would be, but it still turned out pretty well, being able to portray Robocop the way we have always known him to be.  Maybe we can watch out for a remake and hope it will be better.

Robocop Cast

Joel Kinnaman as Alex Murphy
Gary Oldman as Dr. Dennett Norton
Michael Keaton as Raymond Sellars
Samuel L. Jackson as Patrick “Pat” Novak
Abbie Cornish as Clara Murphy
Jackie Earle Haley as Rick Mattox
Michael K. Williams as Jack Lewis
Jennifer Ehle as Liz Kline
Jay Baruchel as Tom Pope
Aimee Garcia as Jae Kim
John Paul Ruttan as David Murphy
Patrick Garrow as Antoine Vallon
Marianne Jean-Baptiste as Karen Dean
Douglas Urbanski as Mayor Durant
Zach Grenier as Senator Dreyfus

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Credits to the images and videos used in this post go to “Robocop” and/or to their respective owners. I do not own these materials. No copyright infringement intended.
Geoffrey Ledesma


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