Robocop, the 1987 Sci-Fi movie is being remade in 2014 but not everything about it is the same. Although the storyline is fundamentally the same as the previous one, there are significant areas where the writer and director have endeavoured to give the movie a fair chance to succeed
Jose Padilha's Robocop (of 2014) is going to be compared to the 1987 original at every step of the way, however I think it strongly deserves to be looked at for its own merit.
Beware of spoilers ahead.
The opening few minutes are pretty impactful and sets the scene very swiftly. Pat Novak (Played by Samuel L Jackson) is hosting the Novak element and his dark comedy and biased opinion is evident quite quickly. A Middle Eastern city controlled by US robotic troops is a major success story & talk of the show, but sadly not enough to convince America to use the creation of its own country to their benefit.
The biggie Omnicorp, whose CEO is Sellars (Michael Keaton), wants to earn big and make big, however, is facing immense opposition from the Senate regarding the bill that prohibits usage of robots in the Police Department. A wonderful idea strikes Sellars to infuse human elements and robotic elements that can be programmed to achieve the best of both worlds. He seeks help from Dr. Norton (played by Gary Oldman).
Cop Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman of AMC's "The Killing") is a cop on duty at the Detroit Police department who suffers 4th degree burns in a staged car bomb and is the chosen one for Dr. Norton's experiment. Thus, RoboCop is born.
What follows is the usual first test of RoboCop a.k.a Tinman (although personally I would have preferred calling him Stannum) and his ability to improve from seemingly dismal performance compared to other robots to A grade performance. Trust the human element in him for that.
The Robocop suit deserves a mention. It's smart black and has a shield covering half his face that can draw back to reveal his entire face when the human self is required. He also has a super bike quite fitting his look.
Technological advancements in film making is evident with the testing lab, disintegration of RoboCop's suit and simulation of the RoboCop's assignments. Rick (Jackie Earle Haley) plays the military tough master who is unforgiving and doesn't trust that RoboCop is anywhere as good as his robots.
The movie doesn't dwell too much on any one aspect and keeps the momentum going (a good thing). I had quite high hopes of RoboCop's reunion with his family for the first time after his transformation, however it seemed to completely miss the point.
Although not wow-ed by it, the movie surely holds ground and Padilha will take much credit for it.
Images appear courtesy of Sony Pictures Australia.