Alex Murphy getting brutally dismembered courtesy of several shotgun blasts in the original Robocop will forever be ingrained in my memory as one of the most violent sequences I’ve seen on film.
Can’t say I remember much else about the 1987 version though and I won’t go back and watch it again because I doubt I can stomach 80’s sci-fi (stop-motion ED-209 anyone?) Nevertheless, it seems that it’s considered something of a classic in the geek world. Now that almost 30 years has passed since Robocop lumbered onto the big screen, naturally Hollywood decided it was time for a reboot. And, as with another sci-fi ‘classic’, Total Recall, the updated effort is decidedly ordinary.
To be fair to Total Recall, at least Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel made out in an elevator. What’s that? They fought in an elevator? Oh alright, well.…I’ll keep my version thanks.
Anyway, there’s hardly anything memorable about Robocop 2.0. His flip down helmet was cool I suppose. See how I’m reaching here?
That actually reminds me of a different emotionless law enforcement officer with head gear. Dredd. Another reboot sure but at least it was somewhat entertaining. The hyper-violence and blood splatter played a major part in that. Something the original Robocop had in spades too.
There’s nothing close to that level of bloodshed in the PG-13 rated 2014 (2028?) Robocop. It’s quite shallow and morbid, but could that have been what was missing, aside from an engaging story of course?
*Something about the parallels between the modern age of technological advances and the ‘man in the machine’ idea on which the movie is based*
Sorry the movie didn’t make me care enough to go into any type of deep analysis.
Onto the actors…
I hadn’t heard of Joel Kinnaman, a.k.a Robocop’s face, before this and unfortunately I can’t see this movie catapulting him to super stardom. Not that he could possibly expect it to given it’s a role for which Keanu Reeves is ideally suited.
Michael Keaton, looking every last one of his 62 years, was a passable if not entirely convincing villain. Come to think of it, Gary Oldman probably would’ve been a great choice to play the evil head of OmniCorp. All the same, his turn as a doctor battling with his conscience is probably the best performance in the movie.
Fun fact: Hugh Laurie was originally supposed to play the bad guy. While I might have preferred that, Hugh may have dodged a bullet here.
Samuel L. Jackson on the other hand is never shy to take a bullet as he plays a crazy-eyed host of a futuristic CNN-type program in his first major role of 2014. Of course he’s due to appear in 14 more films in March alone. All different genres but somehow he’ll be the same character and, as is his legal obligation, he will utter the word ‘motherfucker’ at least once in each.
A special mention for Jay Baruchel. If you’re reading, you are incredibly unfunny and annoying (I did like ‘She’s Out of My League’ though.)
Robocop wasn’t a complete waste. It prompted me to make a Tumblr post, something I haven’t done in a while. Hopefully, I’ll do some more writing now, I have a few ideas rolling around in my head.