Abbie Cornish (left) and Joel KinnaMan (Right) in Robocop
The Number of films remade today makes one wonder if we ever truly left the 80’s behind. In the last couple of years we have seen a new version of Red Dawn, Evil Dead, Carrie, and even Total Recall. It’s really no surprise that Robocop wasn’t too far behind.
Once word had come out that the classic Paul Verhoeven Film was getting an update, news hit the Internet that famed indie Director Darren Aronofsky had signed onto direct it. Aronofsky, However would leave the film to Direct Black Swan for various reasons concerning MGM. Brazilian Director Jose’ Padilha who has directed indie hits like Elite Squad and an Anthropological Documentary Secrets of The Tribe; eventually would sign onto direct the remake people would question the quality of.
An Em-208 Enforcer Droid
2028 Detroit, CEO of OMNICORP Raymond Sellars (Michael Keaton), is looking to sell his Robotic Enforcers popularly known as ED-209 and Em-208.The problem that Sellars is running into is the Dreyfuss act. A bill that is currently being voted on in the senate, if passed Sellars would not be allowed to use or sell his Robots within the United States. So to solve this puzzle Sellars decides he wants to put a man literally into a machine. Family man and undercover cop Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) becomes the man Sellars is looking for when he is severely injured by a car bomb. This comes as pure shock to Murphy’s wife Clara (Abbie Cornish) as she is given the ultimatum let OMICORP save his life or let him die. So With Clara’s approval Sellars immediately enlists Dr. Dennett Norton (Gary Oldman) to turn what remains of her husband into the character we’ll eventually know as Robocop.
However, this version of Character is painted black and the story everyone loves is turned into a political showboat with a greedy corporate CEO doing everything he can to ensure that he continues to make money. There are elements that are similar to Verhoven’s film, but a good portion of the film is taken up by the political element and not enough time is spent on the character’s origin. We do however, get to know the Family of Alex Murphy a little better and the characters are no longer flashbacks to the way things used to be before Alex’s transformation.
The acting from all parties is good, but Michael Keaton just feels out of place the entire time as the Evil Corporate baddie Raymond Sellars. Joel Kinnaman provides an excellent version of Robocop that we certainly don’t hate, but one that is a cross between a by the book cop and one who is teetering on the edge of mental breakdown. Veteran actor Gary Oldman is very believable as a doctor just trying to do his job, but also as one stands up for the moral code when things get quickly out of hands. Abbie Cornish whom literally doesn’t show up in the film until after the first twenty-minutes sizzles and reminds us all that we wish our wives looked that good. “The Novak Element With Pat Novack” Played by Samuel L Jackson is virtually a futuristic version of CNN’s “Situation room” with Wolf Blitzer. Which is fun to see mocked in Cannon such as this and is better than your local news segments seen in the original film. Finally, Jackie Earle Haley whose character Rick Mattox never existed in the original film plays his part well, but doesn’t ever really seam to hit his maximum potential expected for having trained the hero of the story in the first place.
Robocop is worlds different than the original film, which is fine to see every now and then, but isn’t entirely worth paying the big bucks to see it. The original was fun, fast paced, and knew when to bow out. Director Jose’ Padilla’s cut is ten minutes longer and throws in nods to the original last minute trying to create a win for its cult following. Despite the political dialogue and unnecessary nods to the original, RoboCop isn’t a complete waste of time, but a mildly entertaining one nonetheless.