Monday, 17 February 2014

Robocop (2014) Review

Robocop is that latest remake to have certain circles on the interwebs seemingly in rage over one of ‘their’ beloved films being remade. From Robocop having a black suit to the pg13 rating in America many fans of the original have been outright hostile towards this remake declaring it terrible before the film was even finished. Whilst I certainly can understand some of this frustration having seen numerous terrible remakes, Robocop is an example of remake that is successful in being able to create its own identity and stand apart from the original.

Robocop starts with OmniCorp who provide robots and drones to the US military, but unable to have there product used in America due to legislation supported by the people that prevented there use within the US. OmniCorp is however trying to change this as being able to have there product in the American market would make for a substantial increase in revenue. Alex Murphy is a cop who near the beginning of the film is critically injured, OmniCorp unable to put robots and drones on the street seize this opportunity to put a man in a machine. The ultimate aim of which is to sway the opinion of the people so that there products could be used within America.

Robocop (2014) starts of much as one may expect as a remake of the 1987 Paul Verhoeven film on the most superficial level. There is a cop named Alex Murphy who is injured critically and is then put into a machine. Once one looks a little the considerable changes present become increasingly evident. From the increased focus on drones and robots used as military hardware to help make the film more relevant to the modern audience to the more serious tone and the entirely new focus throughout on the man behind Robocop, Dr. Dennett Norton played by the endlessly talented Gary Oldman. The most immediate difference present in this remake however is the character of Alex Murphy who is given notably more time to develop prior to ‘becoming’ Robocop along with his wife and son. This is a trend that continues throughout the entire film which results in this remake to having notably more emotional punch then the original and makes the fate of those involved more engaging.

The action is likewise a notable improvement on the 1987 film and provides for several fast and frenetic actions scenes. Most shockingly Robocop (2014) is successfully able to use shaky camera during said actions scenes to good effect which has become something or a rarity in recent times as it is not overdone (I never noticed it shacking violently) and what is occurring on screen never becomes hard to follow.

Sadly as the film enters its third act everything starts going to pot as Robocop (2014) introduces a series of clichés that are not only unnecessary but undo to some degree what the film had done so well up to that point. Thankfully the final act for its faults is able to maintain a fast pace that makes said issues somewhat easier to overlook and most importantly remains mostly entertaining.

Robocop is a solid example of a remake that is able to create its own unique identity and stand alone from the original. Whilst it is true that Robocop (2014) lacks the satire of the original it provides for more engaging and fleshed out characters and notably improved action over the original. Hence whilst Robocop (2014) doesn't do anything spectacularly well it is more then a competent enough action film to come recommended in spite of its disappointing final act.

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