Saturday, March 1, 2014

'Robocop' Review

While not a die hard fan of the movie I still have an appreciation and respect for the original "Robocop." It was a film that truly pushed the boundaries in terms of gore and violence, very much deserving its hard R rating. But the movie's true uniqueness lied in its innovative use of social sattire and the deft rendering of 1980's Detroit as a socially stratified distopian society were even the the law enforcement is powerless in the face of the soulless and power mongering corporate entities that rule the land. Alex Murphy, a blue colored beet cop whose body is nearly eviscerated by bullets during a botched takedown of a vicious street gang is resurrected by corporate moguls on the cutting edge of robotic science as a man/machine cyborg designed to function as the perfect tool in the fight to stem the tide against the growing wave of crime in the motor city. The heart of the film is Alex's struggle to regain his humanity and compassion in the face of the cold corporate programming that is now ingrained in his system.
This struggle for the most part remains intact in the 2014 remake of 'Robocop,' although in a different way as instead of learning to be more human, he has to learn to become more robotic before finally tempering the two warring factions of his new identity. The action is decent, though hard to get too invested in due to the robotic nature of it. One of the films biggest letdowns is probably the absence of any good villains. Unlike the original were Red Foreman's (can't think of the actor's name) character terrorized the city as a vicious drug cartel leader the villains in this movie are unfortunately pretty lame and forgettable. Probably one of the highlights of the movie for me was Gary Oldman's performance as the doctor whose technology saves Alex's life and helps turn him into robocop. He really does a great job of conveying the emotional quanderie of being torn between wanting to save a man's life but at the cost of being pushed to take away his soul. Overall, while not as enduring as the original I thought the new Robocop was a pretty solid movie and probably worth taking a look at.