Music By Pedro Bromfman
Sony Masterworks/Sony Classical
25 Tracks/Disc Time: 63:00
Grade: F (Worst of 2014)
Whoever came up with the idea of remaking "RoboCop" must have been nuts since Paul Verhoeven's masterful 1987 film was a stroke of genius on all levels eventhough he threw the script away before his wife read it and liked it so much she urged him to re-read it and came on board to direct it. The film for those who already know the storyline revolves around a dead police officer named Murphy (brilliantly played by Peter Weller) who literally gets killed off by a well connected hood named Clearence Boddicker ("That 70's Show's" Kurtwood Smith) and reborn as a one-man cyborg to rid of crime in Old Detroit by OCP. Soon he starts to remember his past identity and seeks vengeance on Boddicker and his crew and avenge his own murder while dispensing justice his way. Now 27 years later, this new incarnation of the memorable character stars "The Killing's" Joel Kinnaman as Detective Alex Murphy who's battling corruption and crime in old Detroit in the year 2028 and is soon critically injured in the line of duty with very little chance of survival. Multinational conglomerate OmniCorp who is at the very center of robot technology as overseas, their drones have been used by the military for years and it's meant billions for OmniCorp's profits. Now OmniCorp wants to bring their controversial technology to the home front, and they see a golden opportunity to do it as they size their chance for a part-man, part-robot police officer led by its' sleazy CEO Raymond Sellars (Michael Keaton, "Batman") against the wishes of military attache' Mattox (Jackie Earle Haley, "Little Children") as Sellars and the corporation envision a RoboCop in every city and even more billions for their shareholders. As Murphy's memories of his life including his wife Clara (Abbie Cornish) start to return, he starts to think like himself and starts to dispense his own justice against the wishes of the corporation proving that there is still a living man inside the machine.
The film has been looked objectively as its' own take of the great original film with intriguing ideas and enjoyable set pieces, but it still has to live in the long grand shadow of its' brilliant predecessor. It was a very tough task for this film not to be compared with the original in almost everyway possible and give director Jose Padilha credit for taking a fresh approach on the material that certainly could've been more favorable for its' PG-13 rating. Speaking of long, long shadows...Brazillian composer Pedro Bromfman himself also had a very memorable shadow himself that he had to contend with and that is the legendary work of the late Basil Poledouris, who created one of the 1980's most memorable and unforgettable scores featuring one of the more iconic musical themes in the history of film. Poledouris' work was one and still one to be wreckoned with its' majestic fanfare and wealth of melodic and action material that had a presence like "RoboCop" did.
Sadly to say, this musical score to "RoboCop" just a sunken ship of missed opportunities to be quite honest with you just like the "Total Recall" remake a few years ago that was totally off the mark but valiantly attempted to do something original and went down hard. First off, I was not expecting a clone of Poledouris which is one thing, but at least have your own fresh original take on it and not have it sound like all the other non-thematic scores that are around today which all sound the same. Granted there are few sporatic moments to like here, but the music is just isn't memorable and you forget that the movie even has music at all that it sounds and blends in so much like the sound effects themselves. It is really shocking that Bromfman would let his score just blend so well with the effects that his music really has no prominance or regal splendor to it like Poledouris' did in all facets with the lone quote of Poledouris' "RoboCop" theme which is really the only excitement on this disc. Sadly, this just sheer noise that is well crafted and it is quite similar to his scores for Padilha's "Elite Squad" film scores that themselves aren't memorable.
I honestly don't know what else to say about this misfire except that it just isn't memorable, spectacular or even remotely entertaining at times. While the film itself is very intriguing for what it tries to do under Padilha's direction and an assortment of terrific actors like Kinnaman, Keaton, Cornish, Haley, Gary Oldman and Samuel L. Jackson that seem totally wasted at times and the film would also be considered a "what if?", but a respectable film in the series unlike the latter two sequels from the original trilogy. I really hate giving negative reviews but this "RoboCop" is just an exercise of what not to do when you have the long shadow of a brilliant score to contend with. This "RoboCop" deserved alot more mercy than this! Thumbs way, way down. I mean way down!