Billy's Film Reviews.

A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!

RoboCop – 2014

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Not only is the choice to remake old classics a popular trend nowadays, it also seems like Hollywood has developed a mecha-suit obsession, churning out films such as “Edge of Tomorrow”, “Elysium”, and “Pacific Rim” and now, the rebooted “RoboCop” all within the last year, and that’s only to name a few.

Set in dystopian Detroit in the year 2028, “RoboCop” is based around police officer Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman), a man who is killed at the hands of highly corrupt individuals following a planted car bomb.
The film doesn’t simply end there, don’t stress.

Murphy becomes subject to advanced technology never before seen to the general public, of the United States that is.
In a world where the majority of civilisations have accepted the reign of robotic beings as their sole form of justice and protection, America is behind the 8 ball, not introducing these allegedly faultless machines into their justice system.

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After filing through numerous case studies to fit his grand ideas to win the respect of the American people, entrepreneur Raymond Sellars sees the recently deceased Murphy as the perfect candidate.
Murphy becomes the test subject in an advanced technological suit that houses his remains (which is literally a pair of lungs attached to a head), and allows him to live again. Unlike the worldwide protective machines that America are lacking, Sellars’ new creation, the ‘RoboCop’, is the first of its kind to be a human embedded in a machine, or, a machine with a conscience.
Murphy begins to serve again, only this time, he serves with perfect precision, faultless accuracy and an expansive skill set that no human is capable of.

Being a remake of the original “RoboCop” from 27 years before hand, this film had a lot riding on it, especially seeing as it didn’t need to be made.
The 1977 version should have been left alone and untouched; having said that, 2014’s “RoboCop” is not an atrocity in the slightest.
This time around, we see a newly stylised suit with a slimline structure and a sleek matte black coating. The helmet is stunning and the matching motorbike completes the ominous look of the mecha-officer, yet the neon red lighting on both Murphy and his bike make it look a little too much like a costume out of “Tron” (another needless remake of recent times).

Joel Kinnaman

There are some fantastic performances in “RoboCop” , particularly those of Gary Oldman and Micheal Keaton.
What is ironic is that Joel Kinnaman’s acting seems more robotic when he is human, as opposed to when he is in the suit. Thankfully we see some emotion develop as the film comes together, but initially, it looks like the suit is intact his own flesh and bones.

Gary Oldman on the other hand is something else. The acting prowess of Oldman is brilliant. His gifted acting is such a joy to watch in every one of his films, spanning all across his illustrious career. The only qualm with Oldman’s role in the film (and this is not a criticism of his acting), is that his frantic struggles to get the black, masked hero on a vehicle to stop what he is doing and listen to him is all too similar to Commissioner Gordon and Batman, furthermore, Keaton’s presence also throws up some “flashbats” to 1989’s “Batman”, making for some strange coincidences in scenes the two share.
The drum-heavy score blended with the deep string section is also too much like Nolan’s from his caped crusader trilogy.
It appears that overall, “RoboCop” seems to lack originality.

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Samuel L Jackson plays a news reporter with a passionate opinionated presence. His standard loudmouth, slowly spoken dialogue is seen once again as Pat Novak bookends the film, offering both a brilliant and patriotic opening and a satisfying and fiery closing monologue.

“RoboCop” was absolutely not a failure like many suggested. Sure, it wasn’t nearly as violent and satirical as the original, and it lacked anything particularly new (apart from the re-invigoragted suit itself), however, the attention to detail, the excellent camera work and some outstanding, film saving performances really made “RoboCop” an enjoyable and engrossing adventure that deals with corruption, deception, technological advancements and political justice. Slammed by some, accepted by others, “RoboCop” definitely will divide purists and fans of the original, but for an unnecessary remake, this one did quite a good job.

3.5/5

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