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Robocop (2014) − A Worthy Effort

Remakes are a tricky thing. Some are so close to the source material, they make you wonder why they bothered to redo it in the first place. Others are so off the mark, you’re puzzled as to why they even bothered to give it the same name.

This new “Robocop” falls somewhere in between, in a pleasant way. It has the same premise. Alex Murphy, a police officer, gets cut down in the line of duty. His human remains are recycled into new, state-of-the-art experiment known as Robocop. You can’t keep the human spirit quiet for long, though. Murphy begins remembering the good things, like his family, but also the bad, like the criminals who thought that they had murdered him. This take on the story extracts many parts from the original, and delves into interesting aspects you might have wondered about in the 1987 film, kind of like an inverse “Robocop.” This version has some of the same characters, but they do different things than they did in the original.

Sadly, I think the lead actor is the weakest link here; but he is bearable. It kind of annoyed me how foolish he looked without his face plate on, yet they kept showing him. Like he needed more screen time? A lot of superhero films have made that mistake over the years, unsuccessfully. Sorry, it’s just a personal pet peeve of mine. You don’t see Christian Bale saying, “Can my Batman costume show more of my face?” Make your target audience happy, or have a flop.

For the most part, however, it’s a good movie. There is an abundance of fine supporting players in it. Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton and Samuel L. Jackson all do a great job.

So, do I think this film will blow up the box office? Probably not. It’s always been too dark a story for mass consumption. It’s not “Iron Man” by any means. This take doesn’t have the sense of humor of the original, which almost makes it less accessible to today’s audiences, in my opinion. Some of my favorite films are very bleak; but that usually doesn’t lead to franchise theater going, which is what any remake is aiming for these days. Would I like to see a follow-up film? Sure.

I wouldn’t say this is a better version than the original, but it’s definitely a worthy effort. Check it out!

About Michael Burk

An avid film buff, artist and aspiring filmmaker since childhood, Michael moved to the area in 2004 from Bakersfield, CA.

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