Posted February 19, 2014 by editor in Film Reviews

Robocop Review


The Horror franchise get’s the week off as 80’s action and romance classics get a wrist protruding spike to the neck this week from the Hollywood remake machine.

And while About Last Night and Endless Love are another story, this one has been long in the making. But there was a time when big arty named directors (Darren Aronofsky anyone?) were looking to fix the remake, and it looks like we were going to get an adult themed and rated film that took the concept of the original to a new level.

Instead we get this. A fairly unknown director, watered down themes and a 12 certificate. This alone would be enough to put any fan off and to leave a new generation of kids to make of it what they will. But the biggest hump that fans seemed to have before the film reached screens were the leaked photos of what the new design of the titular character would like. In short – Terrible. And the film does little make this any better.

The black sleek design looked more like an armoured batman minus his cape and cowl as opposed to the classic design by Rob Bottin from back in 1987. In truth you do get a design that is closer to the original, but this one is so much beefier looking (if you can use that term for a man made of metal), like a badly produced action doll version of the original. And it’s a shame too as one of the many things was not in need of any kind of reinvention was the damn suit.

All this pre-movie quibbling aside – in all honesty the new film isn’t anywhere near as terrible as you would expect. It is better than the TV series, better than Robocop 3 for sure, and parts are better than even Robocop 2. But there is not one scene in this film that holds a candle to the original.

What it does have is a large supporting cast of familiar names who get to act big (Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Jackie Earl Hayley and Samuel L Jackson all ramp it right up). This leaves very little room for the man in the can Joel Kinnaman as the new Alex Murphy to manoeuvre.

The plot – well, Murphy is all but destroyed in a car bomb outside his house.  His wife signs what remains over to Omnicorp. Michael Keaton’s head honcho wants a man in a suit to be the new cop on the streets. Gary Oldman builds him. Jackie Earl trains and antagonises him. And Sam Jackson stands in front of a blue screen ranting. It takes forever to get going and when it does it barely knows where to head.

In the end the third act seems rather pushed in the direction they want a typical action film to go without much thought put to the logic of it all, and it manages to break its own rules (not to mention directives) along the way.

It seems then that 80’s action films don’t not fare much better n the remake platform than those damn ”Dunes” horror remakes.

Die Hard, Predator, and Terminator watch your hides!

2 Stars




Steven Hurst