It’s safe to say that the famous cop-turned-cyborg film, “RoboCop,” is a classic. A remake wasn’t necessary, but Hollywood is famous for recycling material. While critics over at Rotten Tomatoes are torn in half with 48% so far, I’m glad they gave the robot film an upgrade. Director Jose Padilha made the right moves and selected the perfect cast to save the reboot from failure. “RoboCop” 2014 has advanced their tech and made some changes to trim the movie down to a PG-13 rating for a wider audience to enjoy, making it all worth the film’s resurrection.
Set in the near future, OmniCorp has manufactured drones and sent them out into the world to control issues overseas. The only place where these robots are not put to use is the United States, causing reporter Pat Novak (portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson) to ask the question, “Why is America so robo-phobic?”
After many failed attempts to use the robots at home, the U.S. insists that these machines don’t have the feelings humans do, and won’t hesitate to kill or think twice of their actions. Knowing the value and profit these bots can bring them, OmniCorp decides to give the people what they want – a cyber-cop with the brain and feelings of a human but a robotic body.
On cue, Detroit policeman Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) is involved in an explosion that leaves him critically injured. Instead of allowing him to die, OmniCorp sees it as the perfect opportunity to experiment and get permission from his distraught wife Clara (Abbie Cornish) to build him a new body. Doctor Dennett Norton (Gary Oldman) is in charge of this task, and, well, need I say more? The basic storyline is still the same. Murphy goes out to find the guy who tried to murder him while trying to stay human and hold on to his feelings, as the list of people who want him dead grows.
Although this “RoboCop” is a lot more focused on character development than the 1987 installment, the action sequences are still effective and entertaining to watch. Murphy’s new body-suit is no Iron Man, but it’s exciting to see him in action in the carefully edited scenes. As stated above, the graphic violence has been taken down several notches. For example, Murphy’s over the top torture-kill scene in the 1987 film is now a simple explosion. I like that 2014’s “Robocop” targets a larger audience and focuses on more than just being an action-seeker. It can now be a thrill for the whole family. And who doesn’t love Samuel L. Jackson? He adds a little spice to anything he stars in.