Why RoboCop is Kinda Awesome

“RoboCop or RoboFlop?”

The reboot of the classic 1987 RoboCop definitely had high standards to meet; not only do reboots have to match the standards set by its predecessor, with modern day technology, we expect reboots to be significantly better in several aspects. Does RoboCop 2014 meet these criteria? In a word, no.

A reboot of the original which has such a huge fan base seems like blasphemy to most, and die-hard fans will unfortunately be disappointed with the latest take on the once great RoboCop.

The story is set in 2028 Detroit, when Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) - a loving husband, father and good cop - is critically injured in the line of duty; at which point, the multinational conglomerate OmniCorp seizes the opportunity to create a part-man, part-machine police officer as an attempt to persuade the American nation to vote in favour of allowing robots to take over as the police force.

“RoboCop now has a… Black Suit?

The film does have redeeming factors - not many, but it has some. First of all, the obvious improvement when compared to the original has to be the special effects. In the original, the special effects were laughable, at best. Sure, for its time, the original had amazing special effects, but with the rapid improvement of technology, they just don’t stand up to the test of time. The reboot however has pretty much flawless special effects; everything looks crisp and finely detailed, so much that it’s completely believable that all of the things we see really do exist.

Another positive note (and the only other that I can think of) would be the casting. While the casting choice for RoboCop himself may have been rather weak, Joel Kinnaman did provide us with an adequate Alex Murphy and RoboCop; sure, the performance didn’t blow us away, but it was far from the worst aspect of the movie. The supporting characters played by the likes of Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Jackie Earle Haley, and Samuel L. Jackson were definitely the major redeeming factors of the film; each played their role flawlessly, and brought some believable, likeable characters to the film. You could argue that’s one of the bad things about the casting… the supporting characters made a bigger impact on the audience than the lead character.

“Gary Oldman gives yet another amazing performance”

Onto the negatives; first things first, the story is nowhere near as good as the original. At times, some people will find it hard to follow; you have to fill in the blanks, most of the time, to get from point A in the story to point B. The whole “Directive 4” plot point of the original RoboCop has been replaced by “Red Priority Targets”, which seems to make anyone with a red light on their body able to effectively shut down RoboCop. The ending also feels extremely rushed, and leaves the audience with a rather disappointed and bitter feeling. As well as the rushed ending, I personally felt that it took far too long to really get into the film. The first half is filled with Alex Murphy as a regular police officer, and then a short training montage when he finally becomes RoboCop, while the second half is pretty much pure action and little story development, such as a shootout in the pitch black darkness (which was actually part of a major plot point).

Do you remember how much brutality was in the original RoboCop? Do you remember how you would see someone being literally shot into pieces? Of course you do. Do you remember anything similar happening in the reboot? No? That’s why the original RoboCop had an 18 rating, while the reboot only has a 12A. The only reason to lower the age rating is to appeal more to the younger audience, and that’s what the film did: it attracted old RoboCop fans, only to disappoint, and appealed more to the younger generation. The 12A rating censored pretty much everything about the film; sure, there’s still violence, but you don’t really ‘see’ any of it. RoboCop slaughters 10+ armed guys in one scene, but all you get to see is RoboCop’s new red lights, because the entire scene is in pitch black.

“A perfect representation of the age rating”

Overall, the RoboCop reboot isn’t the worst thing to hit the cinemas this year, but it’s definitely not going to be in anyone’s top 10. If you’re planning on seeing it, my advice would be to dramatically lower your expectations; if you loved the original, try your best not to compare the two.

Final Score: 5.5/10

Until next time, this has been Evil Josh writing for The Awesome Update.

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