A remake of Paul Verhoeven’s original masterpiece, this installment is centered around the character of Detroit cop Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) who gets critically injured in his line of duty. As a response to gain support for legalizing an automated police force in the United States, multibillion dollar tech company OmniCorp led by Raymond Sellars (Michael Keaton) takes up the duty to “repair” Alex Murphy by transforming him into a cyborg. The Robocop is now brought to life and sent out to the streets of Detroit to uphold public safety and garner support for OmniCorp’s business plan to sell their products in America.
Along with Michael Keaton, Joel Kinnaman and Gary Oldman, Samuel L Jackson also plays a major role in this movie. He plays the host of a highly politicized talk show host, who speaks his mind on OmniCorp and their mission. The weirdest things come out of Sam Jackson’s mouth, which I felt was the result of giving him free reign to do whatever he wanted. I mean you can’t really say no to Sam Jackson amirite? His character arc didn’t irritate me or anything but it did have a very different taste and tone to the rest of the movie.
Speaking about the rest of the movie, ‘Robocop’ (2014) is centered around two major story arcs, that I found very interesting. The first story arc was political; OmniCorp’s mission to repeal an existing bill in the United States, which bans the usage of robots as law enforcement. The second story arc was more personal to the main protagonist. It dealt with the family dynamic pertaining to Alex Murphy and his wife and son, after he became Robocop. He is without any organic body parts and has his emotions stripped off of his consciousness. So it was definitely interesting to see how his relationship with his family changed after his operation. These two story arcs, which this movie hinges on, kept me entertained throughout the runtime of this film.
I also appreciated the new design of Robocop. Unlike the 80s version, this Robocop had greater mobility, cooler abilities and a more sleek look. I also loved the combination of the matte black suit and red eyepiece (see poster above). Unfortunately, it was the person behind the metal and armor that I had distaste for. Joel Kinnaman as Alex Murphy was terrible. His performance was not up to par to lead this film. He was so uncharismatic and had low energy. He was literally playing a robot both before and after he became Robocop, which is not a good thing at all. I mean I get that he has to play someone with no emotion after he is transformed into a Cyborg, but I could see no difference in his performance when he was just Alex Murphy.
Another big problem with this movie is that it is too damn predictable. This movie is typical of the current ‘Hollywood machine’, which is sometimes notorious for regurgitating original material from the 80s or 90s and presenting it in the modern day as a cheap ripoff of the original. Robocop (2014) felt like a movie made by a committee rather than a director due to the predictability in its narrative. I feel like the most of you will be able to guess what happens in this movie by just reading the synopsis.
But overall thankfully Robocop (2014) isn’t one of the worst remakes I’ve ever seen. It succeeds on two major fronts; the design of Robocop and some of its story arcs which I discussed briefly above. However this movie is just another product of the Hollywood of today, which lacks in originality and shamelessly attempts to regurgitate original material from the past in a desperate attempt to bag revenue from the mass audiences.