2013 / Director. José Padilha.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
Remaking classic movies is never a good idea and it's no secret that I am generally opposed to most remakes. Most film geeks would agree that Paul Verhoeven's 1987 film has stood the test of time and is as good now as it was then. When it was announced that ROBOCOP was being remade I immediately leaped to the defensive. I saw no reason to tell the story again when the original was still so visually strong... the early concept art and leaked images of the new Robocop suit has me worried. Oh dear... so when I finally got around to watching this new incarnation I was relieved to see how fucking awesome it was. Wow. I am more than happy to concede that my reservations were in vain. ROBOCOP 2014 is a ripper of the movie and serves the franchise well. It's not exactly a remake in a traditional sense but rather it takes the concept and builds upon it. The original film was a simple premise. Cops gets killed. Cop gets turned into a cyborg. Cyborg is used to prevent crime. I mean it's overall story arch has more to it but that was essentially the film in a nutshell... BUT this new movie takes that concept and introduces a whole lot of new concepts, dilemmas and themes. Robocop now has a fully functioning brain, capable of emotion, feeling and every other trait of his former life. He has a family he longs to be with and a strong sense of revenge for the crime that was committed against him. I think this human element to the character adds a lot of strength and depth to the series. I was also thrilled that they kept the original design of Robocop for a substantial portion of the film before upgrading him to a new, sleeker, more tactical design... this new look was off-putting in the promos but it works so well within the context of the story. The action is fantastic (although disappointingly bloodless) and the cast is great. Joel KInnaman is an excellent replacement to Peter Weller and his support is strong with Michael Keaton, Gary Oldman, Abbie Cornish, Samuel L Jackson and Jackie Earl Haley all bringing extra cred to the film. Perhaps my expectations were so low that I have overreacted to this new ROBOCOP but I was truly impressed and I would love to see more instalments. There are so many new ideas for possible sequels and plenty of room for new original stories that needn't take cues from the earlier sequels.