Starring Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Abbie Cornish and Samuel L. Jackson
Directed by José Padilha
In UK Cinemas February 7th, 2014

by Ella Jean

“Dead or alive, you’re coming with me.” If you remember that line you’re either old enough to have seen some of the original RoboCop franchise or you were at one point curious enough to step back into 1987’s view of a dystopian future. Now for 2014’s reboot, if your taste lies somewhere between action and science fiction, then RoboCop is your man.

An experiment is done to save the life of Alex Murphy, a Detroit cop that’s almost killed when a car bomb is set off on him. He becomes the arguable property of OmniCorp, a company at the forefront of machine warfare in places like Iran (where else? Good job America). The trouble with OmniCorp’s current machines (fans will remember the dalek-like ED-209) is that they have no morality or remorse for killing people. The unscrupulous Michael Keaton has a solution for his company’s lack of conscience, which is really a reflection of his own lack of conscience. He uses the bone chilling line, “We’re gonna put a man inside a machine.”

You can tell the creators liked that line because they repeat it one too many times. They might as well have gone into full song and dance – “Man inside a machiiine! He’s the man inside a machiiine!” Any more ideas for RoboCop, The Musical please call my agent.

The film is just enough of a parody of itself. Lots of blinky, floaty touch screens to highlight the special effects budget. It bodes well for director José Padilha, a Brazilian director making his Hollywood debut with this film. Samuel L. Jackson plays the heavily biased host of a news program that, besides the X-Factor lighting, eerily resembles a program you might just find on CNN today.

Michael Keaton and Gary Oldman are a treat to watch together on screen. Keaton’s emotionless decision making as the head of OmniCorp is well complimented by Oldman’s passionate cries for justice as RoboCop’s doctor (Frankenstein). When they’re together one wonders how no one thought of pairing them before.

Jay Baruchel (This is The End, How to Train Your Dragon) is 2014’s answer to the unforgettable comical lines in the 1987 film. His quips are the perfect pay off in tense moments.

Abbie Cornish plays Mrs. RoboCop, Clara. She does a good job when she isn’t being told to shut her trap every five minutes by all the men in the movie. You’d be upset too if you found out your husband had been turned into a 7 foot Ken doll.

There’s still some meat to this robot though. RoboCop is a film about a futuristic dystopia where America rules but isn’t always right. The anti has been upped since 1987, and there’s more gun play but less gore. Action junkies and fans of the original alike will appreciate the reboot; what more could you ask for? I’d buy that for a dollar.

One Response to “RoboCop”

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