|Image from: imdb.com|
Robocop, a remake of Paul Verhoevens action classic, finds us in 2028 Detroit where family man and cop Alex Murphy is injured in the line of duty and turned into a part-man, part-machine police officer by multinational conglomerate OmniCorp.
As far as remakes go, Robocop is actually a lot better than most people, including myself, would have thought possible. In fact there’s a lot that I actually really liked about this film.
Where the original film acted as a comment on the politics of its time, so does it’s remake which despite taking place fourteen years from now still finds America in war oversees but without as many American deaths due to the Robots which are essentially nothing more than drones being used to “keep the peace”.
The film is at it’s best when its moments of blatant satire of the American press and it’s politics are at the forefront and proves more successful in this than most films dealing with this subject head on are.
The fact that it shifts focus away from Robocop to focus on the well rounded supporting characters is a plus too with Gary Oldman’s morally ambiguous Dr Norton being at times more interesting to watch than the action sequences. I can see now why Oldman, one of the best actors of our generation was attracted to the role and he is as ever a joy to watch. Add to that a show stealing performance from Samuel L. Jackson who revels in the insanity of his character and a great turn from Michael Keaton and you’ve got an action film which feels a lot more classy than it probably should.
The only issue you have with the above is that people expecting a by numbers action film may be severely disappointed with even the youngest of audience members commenting that he didn’t find it as good as he thought it would be.
Now I personally thought that the action sequences while sparse were well handled by director Jose Padilha and the films overall visuals are vibrant and bold, however Robocop does suffer on occasion from the origin story trap, at times feeling slightly slow in having to get the exposition out of the way.
That being said that’s surprisingly the only issue I have and overall found Robocop to be a highly successful, darkly comic comment on modern day politics.
Fans of the brutal action packed original may be slightly disappointed but if you can get over comparing the two you may find Robocop to be a lot more enjoyable than you would think.