Robocop - $2.6 Million Man - Not a classic, but fun + What 80s films would you remake? 2.5 stars

In 2028 Detroit, when Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) - a loving husband, father and good cop - is critically injured in the line of duty, the multinational conglomerate OmniCorp sees their chance for a part-man, part-robot police officer. Movie Summary: IMDB

We seem to be reliving the 80s and it is a dangerous road to travel on when a director () remakes a cult classic. Robocop would seem to have a built in audience, but the original was made 24 years ago. Does anyone remember much of the film? Also, if you mess with the original film's style (80s cheesy script and hyper-violence) you may lose the original audience. Which leaves Padilha with needing to build his own Robocop audience with a semi-original premise with a modern spin. Does it work?

Close, but not quite. It actually was better than I expected. I went with a bunch of mates and we found it entertaining. It was good. Not great, Not a classic, but good fun. 

Storyline: 3 stars

The 2014 Robocop utilises the same premise of the original 80s classic, but with subtle differences. There was more emphasis on the family, but the ethical issue of robot/human relations still remains. Also, after getting through the America-centric rhetoric and the 'big business is bad' story vehicles, I was able to enjoy the film. 

I was surprised that a seemingly simple film story line lead to deeper conversations. You cannot miss considering the bigger ideas of the soul, free-will and creation. You may not go to a film like this for deep thoughts, but they are hard to miss. 

Was it original writing? Not really. Do you walk away with cool throw away lines, no, but you get some good action sequences with the potential question of what does it mean to be human. 

Visual Effects: 3.5 stars

The visual effects were good and the scenes of Alex without his robot exoskeleton made for some queasy, uneasiness. But there was nothing in the film that was new in CGI category. The modern viewer probably expects too much now. Again, the effects were good, but not great. 

Direction & Acting: 2.5 stars

 as Raymond Sellers the villainous head of Omnicorp, was convincing.  Gary Oldman as Dr. Dennett Norton was the moral centre of the film and gave the film a level of credibility. Abbie Cornish and Joel Kinneman parts seemed rather pedestrian. Do you expect great acting out of Robocop, probably not, but the potential to take the acting up a notch was missed. These roles were a fail and left a hole in the best part of the plot line, the family. I cannot say I was convinced of their relationship. 

My favourite role in the film was Rick Mattox () as the the trainer/tester for the robots. I hope to see more of Haley in the future. Whenever he is on screen he steals the scene. He is one of those 'love to hate him' characters. Also,  as the marketing expert, Tom Pope, was the needed comic relief. 

Family component: 2 stars
To be expected the violence level of the film causes it to be suitable for mature audiences. There is mild language and a bedroom scene between a husband and wife. 

I would add that the value of family is a key component to the story line. This element makes the role of Robocop more human and the story more appealing. 

God component: 1 star

God does not get a mention, but the discussion points of creation, humanity, soul and free will leaves open the opportunity to discuss God. 

Also, it is hard to miss the topic of when mankind tries to be God, it fails. 

Overall rating: 2.5 stars

I enjoyed this film. An admirable attempt at a remake of a cult classic. If you want to go and enjoy a better than average sci-fi action film, you could do worse. 

If I was to remake an 80's classic:

What is the fascination with the 80s? Personally, it was not my favourite decade for film. I was in high school and university during that era. I can quote most of Ferris Bueller's Day Off and The Breakfast Club (Go John Hughes!). But I did not love the movies of that era. I did see my share of good and bad films. Classics and forgettable films. 

What films would I recommend the studios to remake? 

Russelling Reviews Recommended 80s Remakes:
1. Ghostbusters
2. The Outsiders
3. Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (A sequel, not a remake)
4. The Running Man (Maybe that has been done with The Hunger Games)
5. Dune (Actually get it right this time)
6. Escape from New York

What would you choose to re-make? 

Now get out there and enjoy some movies...
Written by Russell W Matthews @ Russelling Reviews