Hardly a day goes by that the news does not include a story about accusations of excessive and unwarranted police action. Some authorities claim that technology can partially resolve these problems as there are many observers advocating that police wear tiny cameras embedded in their uniforms that would record their every move. In film, technological advances in police work can be much more extreme. Recently, the remake of “Robocop” was released on Blu-ray. Although it is not as good as the original from 1987, it is still a solid movie in its own right.
This version of “Robocop,” like the 1987 version, begins with a newscast. Here, Pat Novak (played by Samuel L. Jackson) explains that robots are being used for law enforcement in many places, but not in America. This is because people fear that a machine’s judgment can never be as good as a person’s. Raymond Sellars (played by Michael Keaton), who works for Omnicorp, a company that will make enormous amounts of money if robots can become substitutes for police, comes up with the idea to “put a man inside a machine.” After addressing the scientific challenges of such a project with the assistance of Dr. Dennett Norton (played by Gary Oldman), Raymond goes looking for a human guinea pig to test-drive the project. Detroit cop Alex Murphy (played by Joel Kinnaman) has been critically wounded by a car bomb, and he seems to be the right person for their experiment. Alex’s wife, Clara (played by Abbie Cornish), reluctantly agrees to it. Wanting to exert as much control as possible, Raymond makes Dennett tamper with Alex’s brain chemistry. As a result, he does become a very efficient “Robocop,” but the more he works, the more he becomes determined to bring down the people who almost killed him.
“Robocop” has a fair amount of action, especially near the end. Also, the scenes where he is getting his training are very well done. They have a lot of energy.
There are many strong performances in the movie. One is by Gary Oldman, who shows that Dr. Norton is caring and does everything he can to help Alex. Also impressive is Abbie Cornish. Clara is obviously very concerned about her husband and is often unhappy with the way Omnicorp treats them.
“Robocop” is a good choice for sci-fi fans.