Sunday, February 16, 2014

ROBOCOP (2014)

I tried. I tried really hard to enjoy this remake. Turns out, ROBOCOP (2014) is one of the better remakes to come out in recent years; unfortunately, the movie is just down right boring. What I mean by saying that its one of the better remakes is because they actually try different things instead of just being a shot for shot clone. Too bad the film is boring and suffers from serious pacing issues.

It's clear from the beginning that director Jose Padilha is not trying to mimic the classic 1987 original. The filmmakers update the 'franchise' by giving the story a face lift and making it topical by adding drone warfare into the mix. Added to that is a story that focuses on the science of what is to be a RoboCop. This is all interesting and different, but do we really need to spend what feels like half the film going over the origin of turning a man into a machine?

We get repeated scenes dealing with the construction of RoboCop. Too much time is also wasted on talking heads wondering if what they are building is safe/ethical. Seeing the science of RoboCop is cool but after awhile it gets boring. How many scenes do we need to have of OCP executives sitting around a table talking? I kept telling myself to be patient, they are building up to something. Not to worry, RoboCop will be kicking ass any moment now.

So RoboCop finally makes his debut to the public and things start off great. We get some decent crime fighting scenes. Overall the action isn't too bad for PG-13, except for the overabundant use of his stun gun. I realize cops use stun guns all the time, but this isn't real life, it's a movie. It's a blatant PC move that I didn't much care for. In this day and age PG-13 is a real disservice to action movies. What teenager is going to find your movie cool or memorable if the hero is going around kicking ass with a stun gun the majority of the time? The video games he or she are playing at home are more bad ass than your boring PG-13 action movie.

The film starts to get interesting (for the most part) when Alex Murphy/RoboCop begins to solve his own murder. Now I don't know if it was an artistic move by the director or a flat out mistake but RoboCop forgets to kill the man that murdered him. Wait! What? That's what I thought leaving the theater, that RoboCop didn't even kill his murderer . It took me a second to realize that he did, but it was done so nonchalantly that you barely notice it.

Here is where the movie really starts to slip off the rails.

Now that RoboCop has started to piece together his murder and all who were involved, we're ready for a climatic conclusion. Wrong. The final act of the film goes in a direction that makes no sense. RoboCop has the bad guys dead to rights when all of a sudden the villains change. I'll try and not spoil it completely but it's as if the studio came in and told the filmmakers that their movie has no Dick Jones in it. Remember Dick Jones? The memorable cooperate bad guy from the original film. Yes, how could you forget. Well, at the end of this movie the spirit of Dick shows up because Drone warfare is bad. And while nobody at OCP is truly bad enough to be considered a 'villain', just the thought of Drone warfare is bad enough I guess? Weak! RoboCop just killed an innocent man if you ask me.

All in all this film just wasn't for me. Kudos to Padilha for trying something different, it's just too bad that the finished product is a studio attempt to reboot a 'franchise'.