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Robocop Review: It has a few glitches but it functions properly

The year was 1987 when the original Robocop blasted its way into theaters. Featuring a dystopian Detroit set in a cyberpunk future, Robocop was a lot of fun to watch. In addition to a triumphant score and pacing, the film was home to several staples that continue to this day. The magnitude of the action is over the top. The character spew some of the most recognizable and quotable quotes in cinema history.  The scenes and views of this interesting dystopic future are fun to watch! All of these elements , along with slapstick humor and making every use of the R-Rating, created a movie that continues to inspire and amazes audiences, even today. Many movies and video games, most especially Ubisoft stellar Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, have aspired to hit the levels that the original Robocop hit.

However, Hollywood’s new trend of “remaking” classic films and franchises steps in, which has ranged from pretty good to abysmally bad. That range goes from the Transformers and G.I Joe franchise to the Dr. Seuss films and the Yogi Bear movie. It eventually got its sights on RoboCop and here we have a a new Robocop for modern  audiences. It mostly succeeds, but just barely enough.

Movie going audiences have changed a lot in almost three decades. Incredible action and enthusiastic silliness are now replaced by the ultra-realism, underlying

ALex Murphy observes himself for the very first time, coming to grips that he now has a second life and a new role.

ALex Murphy observes himself for the very first time, coming to grips that he now has a second life and a new role.

political messages, and general plausibility. To some extents, this is a double edged sword. In movies, a movie viewer should just turn off common sense and have a good times, such as in 2012’s Battleship movie, which featured set pieces that could never happen but were highly fun and entertaining. In other cases,  it is approached a reflection of very real issues currently occurring in the real world.

This is exactly where Robocop takes us. In the future, America has unmanned drones and combat robots patrolling unstable battle zones worldwide. This issue is incredibly devisive and exacerbated on by mass media.  One of the biggest supporters of mechanized criminal control is Pat Novack (Samuel L. Jackson) host of The Novak Element.  With crime rates rising domestically, there is pressure to get robots on the streets, though that action is forbidden by law.  Through some unfortunate events,  OCP discovers Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnian) , a Detective of the Detroit Police Department slain in the line of duty and on death’s door. CEO Rayomond Sellars (Michael Keaton) needs a product for the American people to rally behind and appoints Dr. Norton (Gary Oldman) to put what is left of Alex into the Robocop program. From then, we see an interesting take on the character.

 

Make no mistake about it, where the original was fun and loud, this one is darker and falls into more of a drama filled with science, betrayal, and a little bit of action. The original focused on the bigger picture: A cyborg tank tearing up crime in a dysfunctional city of Detroit.  The new movie, while lighter on violence and action, presses with very real issues and a more concrete focus on the protagonist.  We see Alex Murphy try and become human but also see Robocop dual-wielding weapons and tasers in a more tactical approach.  We see some politics to unmanned vehicle use but also see Robocop take on several ED-209’s. It is clearly built to reflect today’s society and that is a commendable effort, even if some parts are left unpolished.

The presentation is reflected as well. The movie is PG-13 versus the intense R-Rating of the original. The movie works this as well as it can but at times, it begs to be

ED-209's. Walking enforcement tanks. Big, bad, terrifying.

ED-209’s. Walking enforcement tanks. Big, bad, terrifying.

featured in an R Rating. This is the future of law enforcement working more like a precise instrument rather then raw power. If the movie was an extra hour, not only could we have seen more story and setting but also, more action and capability.  It’s easy to see that the movie wanted to capitalize on that rating, which is now a golden area of box office profitability thanks to the Taken movies. To see the truest form of this movie, we’ll have to wait for the Blu-Ray released and an unrated theatrical version released as well.

The rest of the movie is solid but it left me a little torn. I am a HUGE fan of the original smash hit, but I wasn’t expecting this to be an exact retread of the same movie, as was the case in 2012’s Red Dawn. I expected it to be rather different and so it was. Though, I missed the thrill of action and enjoyment featured in the original.  At the same time, this movie wasn’t the train wreck that some were expecting. The visuals hold up well and Robocop has a nice, new design. The music features familiar mixes with the original as well. And there’s a solid dose of light-hearted comedy, though it mildly succeeds in using the famous one-liners set in the original. The action delivers, even with the lack of extreme violence and blood.

The Verdict: 

It seems to me that the cast and crew really wanted to focus on making a story-driven Robocop, as the originals’ sequels abandoned that exploration of the man inside of the machine in favor of explosions, shooting, and action. To that end, they succeed, but it could have used more polish. Alex Murphy rises to the challenge towards the end but he could’ve been a little more confident . The action and setting hold up but we could have seen more.

The movie is on track to be a success for Sony Colombia Tri-Star and it has been indicated that a sequel could happen. Like some video games and movies, the first try has its heart in the right place and still manages to succeed just well enough to warrant a second chance, even in the face of glaring flaws. And with that second chance, the movie, or game,  gets even bigger and better then ever before. Let’s hope that’s a trend that falls with Robocop.

The new Robocop is for the audiences of today: An audience that demands logical sense, plausibility, and realism. The new Robocop suffers a few glitches transitioning to this, but it functions well enough. This is a Go for me and I recommend it for those that like intellectual scifi drama. It’s your move, (creep).

Finally, there’s a free Robocop app on iOS right now. It’s free and action-packed. pick it up!

 

 Score: 4/5

RoboCop (2014) is distributed by Sony Colombia-Tristar Pictures and runs for approximately 1hr 48 minutes. 

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Roberto Nieves

Roberto Nieves

" I'm Not a program. I'm a user." Sam Flynn, Tron: Legacy (2010)

To best describe is that ambition and a willing to do something are two of my strongest traits. They've allowed me to go places and do things. Extraordinary things. Maybe not change the world but make someone feel pretty damn good.

I've been playing video games for as long as I can remember. From the days of the Nintendo SNES and the SEGA Genesis to the PlayStation 3 and the Playstation Vita, gaming has been a big part of me. I like them for their art, creativity, gameplay, and most importantly, FUN! Fun is what matters. What's the point in playing a game if it is not fun? Everything else is secondary.

Now I game on Sony's platforms as a member of the PlayStation Nation. I'm a gaming enthusiasts and I respect other games and their platforms (At least when they are not restricting me)

PSN ID: Vectorman88