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Posted by k4tzm4n (34906 posts) - - Show Bio

The remake of 1987's RoboCop is finally here. Whether or not Paul Verhoeven's ultra-violent movie needs a reboot is an irrelevant discussion at this point. However, what does matter is whether director José Padilha's take on the sci-fi story is worth paying a dollar to see. Okay, movie tickets are obviously way more expensive than just a dollar, but the pun was too tempting and I swear I won't make any more.

The core of RoboCop's story remains similar to the first but it's modified to fit the modern world. OmniCorp has robots creating "safety and security" as they occupy nations across the globe, but politicians and citizens here in the United States aren't cool with heartless drones and droids walking around in the streets. Naturally, this is upsetting news to OmniCorp because they could make a whole lot of money by selling products at home. And so begins the idea of putting a man in a machine -- something that'll put the public at ease because it'll allegedly have emotions and be more relatable. The key message behind the story is still there and Samuel L. Jackson's character -- a manipulative pundit -- delivers a good serving of satire, but the movie then implements a ton of changes.

Many of the big changes are given away in the trailers, so it's not a spoiler to point out one of the significant alterations is Alex Murphy still has a connection to his family. Instead of focusing solely on Murphy and his partner like the first movie (Michael K. Williams plays the partner and doesn't have a significant role), this one dedicates a very large amount of time to how his wife (Abbie Cornish) and son (John Paul Ruttan) are responding to these drastic developments. It aims to get the feels going and you'd have to have a heart of ice not to feel for the family, but at the same rate, some of these scenes tend to drag a bit.

Michael Keaton plays Raymond Sellars, the cliche greedy and two-faced OmniCorp executive. He does a fine job with the role, but Keaton never really has the opportunity to shine, either. Gary Oldman's Dr. Dennett Norton, the mind behind creating RoboCop, and he finds himself in a moral dilemma over how Murphy is being handled. As always, Oldman gives an engaging performance, so it should come as no surprise that scenes with him never really fall flat. As stated above, Samuel L. Jackson's character, Pat Novak, is an unexpected highlight. The actor nails the absurdity of some pundits and never fails to enthrall. Let's get right to the main one: Joel Kinnaman as Alex Murphy. Initially, the performance doesn't standout and comes off feeling generic. However, once he's put in the suit, he gets the opportunity to hit us with much stronger performances -- be it emotional or completely cold as RoboCop -- and definitely does the role justice.

Padilha's reboot has one big advantage over the first one: visuals. Just like RoboCop's redesign, the movie looks slick. There's more than a handful of thoroughly pleasing moments from Murphy's perspective as he runs through simulations of potential paths in combat or targets his enemies and takes aim. Even something as simple as Murphy racing through Detroit on his bike or leaping over a wall and then running through a field is a nice dose of eye candy. The ED-209 battle likely won't blow anyone away, but it's an energetic and pretty fun action scene. Despite seeming bulky, Murphy's much swifter and it's quite entertaining watching the hero leap around and move fluidly. There's also a bigger focus on Murphy's detective work and it's a real treat as we see him solve a crime with his enhanced vision and database. It feels similar to the "detective mode" in Batman: Arkham Origins, and if you've played the game, you know that's cool.

Without blatantly giving anything away, I will say the direction OmniCorp takes in this film feels drastically different than what happened in '87 and it provides a more emotional experience. It likely won't get the waterworks going, but it's commendable they weren't just blatantly rehashing the original storyline and they do a solid job building our empathy for Murphy. The overall plot may not be as good as the original, but this new path produces some particularly effective new material (e.g. the first couple of scenes with Murphy in his new body).

The classic RoboCop had a crazy amount of violence, and while this reboot is PG-13, you can still get away with a lot of graphic material in that rating. Unfortunately, this movie doesn't feel like a hard PG-13 at all. One visually gripping scene of Murphy's new physical status aside, there's a significant lack of bloodshed. Sure, people are killed, but it usually consists of them abruptly falling over or via explosions so the actual death is obscured. Now, I'm not saying excessive blood squibs is a mandatory for the movie -- especially since the franchise is clearly paving a new path and tone -- but there's barely any blood, even during the big shootout. The movie is clearly trying to give a fair amount of respect to the classic (the theme is used, two famous lines are added), but to have it not deliver at all in this regard definitely feels odd. Throw in the fact Murphy now frequently uses a high-tech taser pistol and you're sure to have many fans very disappointed with this and walk out of the theater thinking it's a watered-down version of the story they adore.

The main criminal in this one comes off as incredibly lackluster and uninspired. The guy never has a standout personality and is even hesitant about the idea of killing a policy officer. He almost feels forced in just to remain somewhat true to the main plot points of the original movie. Honestly, it would have been better if they found a way to make Jackie Earle Haley's character (an OmniCorp employee who works with machines) behind all of the dirty work. Unlike the primary criminal, Haley's charismatic and gives a noticeable presence. Lastly, the push for extra security in the United States feels unwarranted because you never get a sense that things are really that bad. Yes, there's signs of corruption and unsolved crimes, but it never feels like Detroit is a city where additional law enforcement is desperately needed.

I'm left down the middle with RoboCop. If you compare it to the original -- which is expected from lovers of Verhoeven's movie -- odds are you won't be the biggest fan around. However, if you judge this reboot on its own merits, then you just may find this to be an alright dose of popcorn entertainment and a decent way to begin a new franchise. It's not violent or even all that compelling, but it's slick and does a thorough job creating a whole new road for Alex Murphy.

#1 Edited by WarBlade539 (4753 posts) - - Show Bio

Great review. Planning to watch this sometime this week.

#2 Posted by Erik (33327 posts) - - Show Bio

Thanks for the honest review. I am disappoint.

#3 Posted by judasnixon (7179 posts) - - Show Bio

#4 Posted by scouts1998 (600 posts) - - Show Bio

A comic vine 1 star, I'm not going to watch this

#5 Posted by DarthAznable (8117 posts) - - Show Bio

Some people are just too narrow minded and can't NOT compare this to the original. I think once you're able to separate old from new you'll be able to like the movie more. Even with its flaws.

#6 Posted by Illuminatus (9489 posts) - - Show Bio

Hey, people who made this movie:

#7 Posted by Saint_Wildcard (11972 posts) - - Show Bio

A comic vine 1 star, I'm not going to watch this

What? It's 3 stars....

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#8 Posted by AllStarSuperman (22965 posts) - - Show Bio
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#9 Posted by noj (1089 posts) - - Show Bio

@saint_wildcard: I think that hes implying that Comicvine never gives lower than a 3 so a Comicvine 3 is equal to a 1 star. Not that I agree of course.

#10 Posted by lifeofvibe (3513 posts) - - Show Bio

ive never watched a superhero movie i didnt like so to this day i never trust a review for these kind of things

#11 Posted by lifeofvibe (3513 posts) - - Show Bio

ive never watched a superhero movie i didnt like so to this day i never trust a review for these kind of things

#12 Edited by Chibi_cute (4612 posts) - - Show Bio

Looks crap..

I'll just wait till the torrents are up..

I won't even buy that for a dollar.

#13 Edited by daredevil21134 (12616 posts) - - Show Bio

Looks crap..

I'll just wait till the torrents are up..

I won't even buy that for a dollar.

LOL!!!!

#14 Posted by Perethorn (3701 posts) - - Show Bio

I give him a chance, i don't think is better than the original, but i'm sure it will be better than Robocop 2 and 3.

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#15 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (34948 posts) - - Show Bio

Wait it's a PG??

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#16 Posted by andy_117 (91 posts) - - Show Bio

Looks crap..

I'll just wait till the torrents are up..

I won't even buy that for a dollar.

Why even bother watching it.

#18 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (34948 posts) - - Show Bio

@andy_117: there is no way in Hell this will be as violent as the original when it's a PG, that's just not possible

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#20 Posted by lifeboy (1675 posts) - - Show Bio

ROBOTS, EVIL CORPORATIONS, SCIFI! SOLD!

#21 Posted by AlKusanagi (651 posts) - - Show Bio

Naw, son...

#22 Posted by Saint_Wildcard (11972 posts) - - Show Bio

Should have reviewed Lego Movie instead....

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#23 Posted by Xwraith (21375 posts) - - Show Bio

It's out already?

Not that I ever planned on seeing it.

#24 Edited by mikep12 (4142 posts) - - Show Bio

Didn't watch the original so it won't matter for me

#25 Posted by ccraft (5559 posts) - - Show Bio

Great review, I gotta admit I never seen the original even though I saw 2 and 3, was planing on watching the original before I go see the reboot, but whatever. This reboot looks pretty awesome, I won't be surprised if I give it a 4 or 5 star rating after I'm the movie ends. Can't wait till tomorrow!

#26 Edited by Chibi_cute (4612 posts) - - Show Bio

@andy_117 said:

@chibi_cute said:

Looks crap..

I'll just wait till the torrents are up..

I won't even buy that for a dollar.

Why even bother watching it.

For future battle debates. there will be lot of robocop versus threads that will spawn eventually i wanna know what feats this new pussy robocop can do.

#28 Posted by Sammo21 (700 posts) - - Show Bio

@andy_117: Because he's a modern person who thinks that just because something disinterests he is entitled to still view it whenever he wants for free. You know, people justify theft for tons of reasons these days.

#29 Posted by ccraft (5559 posts) - - Show Bio

@chibi_cute: sounds like you'll just be wasting your time.

#30 Edited by Guardiandevil83 (6034 posts) - - Show Bio

I'll see it. I'm one of the few people who realize that remake means diffrent.

#31 Posted by Chibi_cute (4612 posts) - - Show Bio
#32 Posted by Erik (33327 posts) - - Show Bio

Some people are just too narrow minded and can't NOT compare this to the original. I think once you're able to separate old from new you'll be able to like the movie more. Even with its flaws.

You understand this is a reboot, yes? How does one NOT compare it to previous works with that knowledge? If a movie is only enjoyable if you pretend it's source inspiration never happened, it's not a very good movie.

#33 Posted by HumanRocket (9315 posts) - - Show Bio

Not watching it don't care they didn't use the original theme song so it's crap to me.

#34 Posted by k4tzm4n (34906 posts) - - Show Bio

Not watching it don't care they didn't use the original theme song so it's crap to me.

Eh? They did use the original score.

"(the theme is used, two famous lines are added),"

#35 Posted by k4tzm4n (34906 posts) - - Show Bio

@ccraft: @erik: @darkazrael999: Thanks!

@xwraith said:

It's out already?

Not that I ever planned on seeing it.

Comes out tomorrow, but I'm sure that means some theaters will show it later tonight.

#36 Edited by ceniza (93 posts) - - Show Bio

Not that good. Not even bad. Just a couple of minutes of bland sequences trying to be emotional without a heart of it's own.

#37 Posted by DarthAznable (8117 posts) - - Show Bio

@erik: Just telling people to accept the movie as a movie. No reboot gets it right (minus Dredd) but they can still be enjoyable.

#38 Posted by Erik (33327 posts) - - Show Bio

@erik: Just telling people to accept the movie as a movie. No reboot gets it right (minus Dredd) but they can still be enjoyable.

We can see in the review that k4tzm4n saw it both ways and still came to the conclusion that it is a 3 star.

Also, don't tell me how to live my LIFE!

#39 Posted by DarthAznable (8117 posts) - - Show Bio

@erik: That's just one review. lol

#40 Edited by k4tzm4n (34906 posts) - - Show Bio

@erik said:

@darthaznable said:

@erik: Just telling people to accept the movie as a movie. No reboot gets it right (minus Dredd) but they can still be enjoyable.

We can see in the review that k4tzm4n saw it both ways and still came to the conclusion that it is a 3 star.

Also, don't tell me how to live my LIFE!

That guy loves Man of Steel, so I don't trust his opinion about anything at all... ever!

#41 Posted by Erik (33327 posts) - - Show Bio
#42 Posted by StMichalofWilson (4097 posts) - - Show Bio

Interesting review

#43 Posted by k4tzm4n (34906 posts) - - Show Bio
#44 Posted by DarthAznable (8117 posts) - - Show Bio

@k4tzm4n: I do too. Then again I loved all the Punisher movies as well.

#45 Posted by ccraft (5559 posts) - - Show Bio

@chibi_cute: If your not interested don't see it, why argue with some one on the battle boards over something you don't like? No point in doing it, that's all.

#46 Posted by iceslick (807 posts) - - Show Bio

@k4tzm4n: Wow, Katzman I really loved the way you written this review and I guess I'm the only one, lol. You really did point out the very strong good points and the very bad points of the movie very well without bashing the movie. Just by the writing I can tell you very much enjoyed. I just think for some movies it's hard to give a score on especially when it's 5 stars, and I always believe it's best to actually READ the review instead of looking at the scores which people need to be doing! Me and my boyfriend are still going to see it, my boyfriend is a big fan of Robocop and he's a firm believer that this movie will at least be better than Robocop 3. He knew that this movie was gonna suffer with the PG-13 rating. It just one of those movies that need the R rating. I'm really pissed at the censorship of movie board, I have studied film school and see a documentary. They have been very strict with the R rating as of late. It seems you would have to pay more money or be top notch of the movie fame to get it. It's so annoying and many movies couldn't get an R rating like Batman: The Dark Knight was suppose to get one. But Nolan said he had trouble with the movie boards because they wouldn't let him. This just really disappoints me that this movie couldn't get it either. I just hope the movie does well enough do get a chance to try to get a R rating in the future sequels.

(Sorry for talking so much, I hope you taking your time to read my comment like I did with your review. :-P)

#48 Posted by Loki2u (238 posts) - - Show Bio

Good review K4tzman.

Don't think I'll make a point of seeing this. I'd rather watch Lego movie. At least then I can take my nephew to it.

#49 Posted by k4tzm4n (34906 posts) - - Show Bio

@loki2u: Thank you.

@iceslick: I most certainly did read your post. Thanks for the kind words and hopefully you and your bf will enjoy the movie.

#50 Posted by HumanRocket (9315 posts) - - Show Bio

@k4tzm4n said:

@humanrocket said:

Not watching it don't care they didn't use the original theme song so it's crap to me.

Eh? They did use the original score.

"(the theme is used, two famous lines are added),"

Then I shall watch it. I assumed because they did not use it in the trailers they would not use it in the film itself. But hearing that it's used makes me happy.