Thursday, June 18, 2015

Robocop (2014)

Director: Jose Padilha
Starring: Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Abbie Cornish, Jackie Earle Haley, Michael Kenneth Williams, Jennifer Ehle, Jay Baruchel, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Samuel L. Jackson, Aimee Garcia, Douglas Urbanski, John Paul Ruttan, Patrick Garrow

In 2028, robots help maintain warfare under the leadership of OmniCorp who are pushing to market themselves for a takeover of local law enforcements, as long as the candidates mental stability is able to handle it. Enter Alex Murphy (Kinnaman), whose been injured in an explosion arranged by a crime boss seeking revenge.

Typical scenario sees a highly acclaimed foreign director (Brazilian Padilha won the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival for the 2008 film Elite Squad) taken to America and signed on to remake a film that (1) isn't even that old and (2) has anything wrong with it that it needs to be remade. Whatever relevance its themes hold in todays society gets lost in logistics.

The only reason for this film is to make dollars and you would think that after the massive success rate of these futuristic films - invigorated by District 9 - they might have spent some time developing a better story and using the special effects to their advantage. Instead, we have a leading character, and actor, that aren't particularly likeable in a scenario that makes itself up as it goes along, and in the meantime doesn't inform us of anything interesting.

If we're being really honest, the film isn't offensive or really that violent in terms of the modern gorefest, which is interesting since the original and director Paul Verhoeven's other films (Total Recall, Starship Troopers) are quite jokingly violent. Oldman certainly tries his hardest and Jackson is terrific, but everything else just drones along. Despite being a box office success, I can't see a sequel in its sights.


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