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ROBOCOP (2014)

FEBRUARY 26, 2014

If I’m to be completely truthful, I have been skeptical about this remake from the day they announced it. I am a huge fan of the original ROBOCOP (1987) and consider it a sci-fi masterpiece. 


It’s pointless to debate the idea of remaking classic films anymore because it’s a fact of the modern film industry. It’s the equivalent of debating VHS vs. Beta at this point (or for you younger folk HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray). Some remakes are good, some are bad. The end. 


So what did I think of ROBOCOP (2014)? 


It doesn’t hold a candle to the original… but, it’s also a well-made and quite enjoyable film that I liked more than I thought I would. 


Blasphemy, you say? 


I promised myself with these MOVIE A DAY reviews to speak my honest opinion of whether I felt the film I was reviewing had merit and was worth watching. ROBOCOP (2014) succeeds at both. 


More of a “reimagining” than a remake, it tells a compelling story and engaged me from start to finish. It’s not perfect, but it’s not crap either. 


After giving myself the day to really think about the film, I can see why it was made and why it was made this way. Let’s be honest here, if they tried to replicate Verhoeven’s vision it would have been a true disaster. Also, don’t forget they drove the original franchise into the ground pretty quickly with two subpar sequels and a TV series that I couldn’t even bring myself to watch. 


ROBOCOP (2014) dispenses with the satire almost altogether (there’s still shades of it) and tells a more grounded tale of how Officer Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) is murdered and is soon resurrected as a cyborg-cop. It also deals with different themes of identity and family as well as corruption. 


There are some missed opportunities and some missteps (I REALLY don’t like the black suit) and no real clear-cut villain until the plot requires characters to show their true colors in order to have a climax. But, these are minor complaints as the story does work and a number of the characters are well-developed. 


It’s almost pointless to compare it to the original, as they are two very different movies or better yet, “interpretations” of the same central idea. 


Mind you, I prefer the original by a long shot, but that doesn’t mean I’m incapable of enjoying ROBOCOP (2014). As a matter of fact, I look forward to a sequel and I hope this time it improves on the franchise, which has so many interesting concepts to explore. 


In other words, “Bitches leave” because “I’d buy that for a dollar!”