Summary: In a crime-ridden city, a fatally wounded cop returns to the force as a powerful cyborg with submerged memories haunting him.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 6th February, 2014
Australian DVD Release Date: TBA
Director: Jose Padiha
Screenwriter: Joshua Zetumer, Michael Miner (1987 version), Edward Neumeier (1987 version)
Cast: Philip Akin (Dr. Alan), Jay Baruchel (Tom Pope), K.C. Collins (Andre Daniels), Matt Cook (General Monroe), Abbie Cornish (Clara Murphy), Wayne Downer (Marcus), Jennifer Ehle (Liz Kline), Aimee Garcia (Jae Kim), Patrick Garrow (Antoine Vallon), Maura Grierson (Kelly), Zack Grenier (Senator Hubert Dreyfuss), Noorin Gulamgaus (Navid), Jackie Earle Haley (Rick Mattox), Samuel L. Jackson (Pat Novak), Marianne Jean-Baptiste (Chief Karen Dean), Jordan Johnson-Hinds (Jerry White), Daniel Kash (John Lake), Michael Keaton (Raymond Sellars), Joel Kinnaman (Alex Murphy/RoboCop), Dwayne McLean (Thomas King), Meysam Motazedi (Arash), Marjan Neshat (Sayeh), Gary Oldman (Dr. Dennett Norton), John Paul Ruttan (David Murphy), Evan Stern (Walter Karrel), Robert Thomas (John Biggs), Douglas Urbanski (Mayor Durant), Michael K. Williams (Jack Lewis)
Runtime: 117 mins
OUR ROBOCOP REVIEWS & RATINGS:
Please check Adam’s RoboCop review of that is available on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #67
Please check Greg’s RoboCop review of that is available on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #67
The curse of the remake finally hits the classic RoboCop and while the end result isn’t exactly the absolute dog of a film that many people expected it is certainly very different to what you imagine director Jose Padiha had in mind when he took this project on. While Padiha might have made some pretty decent action films in his time here he finds himself well and truly blocked by a studio that were hellbent on making a PG rated film.
Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) is a righteous cop in the 2028 version of Detroit City that is now completely over run by criminals and violence. To make it worse it now seems that corruption is also now running rife in the Police Department as well. Just how corrupt that department is becomes painfully obvious when local gangster Antoine Vallon (Patrick Garrow) is able to get two Police Officers to blow up Murphy’s car critically wounding him.
The news couldn’t be merrier for business Raymond Sellars (Michael Keaton) who has been looking for a cop in this position so that he can sell the idea of having robotic cops to the American people and the Senate. While initially Murphy’s wife, Clara (Abbie Cornish) and son, David (John Paul Ruttan) think it is great that the technology designed by Dr. Dennett Norton (Gary Oldman) can bring their husband/father back to them, that all changes when the ulterior motives come to the surface and it is becoming more obvious that RoboCop is an experiment that could easily spiral out of control.
The behind the scenes battle between studio and director really seem to have affected RoboCop as a film. First of all aiming to get a PG rating for this film is completely ridiculous. The film aims to tell a story in a violent city where violence is a key to the main themes at hand, yes this needed to be a film in the vein of the remake of Dredd yet instead we end up with a ham-fisted PG rated action film that will only disappoint fans of the original.
The film itself does have its moment, at times it brings out some suspense but then at other times, including the disappointing ending, the film turns to Hollywood clichés that sadly let it down. Then there is the whole Novak storyline. Sure the idea of having snippets, interviews and footage from a fictitious television show fronted by the Andrew Bolt inspired Pat Novak (Samuel L. Jackson) may have seemed a good idea on paper but when it comes to the screen the idea at times becomes annoying and seems to be a lazy screenwriting tool for bringing out the film’s agenda on drone strikes etc.
What saves this film however is the screenplay’s handle on characterisation. The character of Alex Murphy is an interesting character and watching him battle to save his humanity is one of the highlights of the film. Again the characterisation of Dr. Dennett Norton is also a highlight and watching the inner turmoil his character goes through provides the elements of suspense that this film lacks during some of its action sequences.
Like the rest of RoboCop the acting performances of the cast are also up and down. Gary Oldman overcomes a fairly lacklustre beginning to really hit his strides when his character faces some inner turmoil. Likewise Michael Keaton delivers when the script provides him with some good dialogue but then seems to flounder when his lines and actions become a terrible cliché. The great Samuel L. Jackson just seems to glide through his role while Abbie Cornish really should have been given a much stronger role. The big casting problem however is Joel Kinnaman who just doesn’t have the acting range to pull off a role that requires both action and drama. Most of the time he just seems to spend his time in RoboCop looking like a second rate Michael Shannon.
RoboCop ends up being one of those forgettable action flicks that you see at the cinema once, talk to your mates about and then never bother with again. Let’s hope that some of the other remakes that are due to hit our screens this year are a little bit better than this one.
Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘RoboCop′: Please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #67 for our full RoboCop review.