Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Movie Name: Robocop
Year of Release: 2014
Director: José Padilha
Stars: Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Abbie Cornish, Samuel L. Jackson, Jackie Earle Haley, Michael K. Williams, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Jennifer Ehle, Jay Baruchel, Aimee Garcia, Douglas Urbanski, John Paul Ruttan, Patrick Garrow, K.C. Collins
Genre: Action, Crime, Sci-Fi
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 6

27 years after the original "Robocop", Brazilian director José Padilha makes his english language feature debut with a remake, that updates the visual effects, but maintains some of the spirit that defined the original film. The story focuses on detective Alex Murphy, a family man who is on the verge of unmasking some corruption within the Detroit police department. In parallel with his investigations, the film also focuses on Omnicorp, a large corporation (with a charismatic chairman by the name of Raymond Sellars), that is trying desperately to get robots as part of every day life in America, but see themselves unable to due to legislation. Due to a failed murder attempt, Alex Murphy finds himself as part of a new program that Omnicorp has: a machine-human hybrid, a robot-cop, that patrols and battles crime without ambivalence.
Director José Padilha has made a name for himself with the successful films "Tropa de Elite" ("Elite Squad"), and he brings a degree of intensity combined with a documentary tone, to the new version of "Robocop". The narrative of the film is somewhat similar to the original, though it lacks the rawness and visceral impact that Paul Verhoeven's film had, though it does aim for and creates a sense of political satire with the insertion of Samuel L. Jackson's character. The film ends up feeling almost too sanitized when compared to the extreme violence that dominated the original feature - it also tries to incorporate a sense of family dynamics into a story that doesn't allow for that to be successfully flushed out. "Robocop" features a fantastic cast, particularly Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Jackie Earle Haley and the always underrated Jennifer Ehle, who lift the story beyond the trivial. A medium effort still worth checking out.