Sunday, 9 February 2014

Movie Review ~ RoboCop

RoboCop (Cert 21A)
Director: Jose Padilha

A reboot of Paul Verhoeven's classic distopian good cop/bad corp 80's scifi movie is a brave move.
While computer graphics and console FPS gaming lend high production values and a shared visual language for the audience (hand held camera shake, head up display in play), it is hard, if you remember the original, to think of RoboCop with anyone other than Peter Weller's face. That said, Joel Kinnaman does his best with a face, hand and a few assorted body parts to inject some gritty humanity back into the billion dollar man/machine suit built out of the remains of his character, Alex Murphy.
Set in 2028 OmniCorp headed up by Raymond Sellars, a deliciously understated performance by Michael Keaton, are determined to maximise their profit by putting their military machines into civilian America to turn the tide on crime. Their plans are thwarted by a bill that needs to be overturned in Congress when the critically injured good cop Alex Murphy gives them the chance they've been waiting for. Samuel L. Jackson has fun as partisan TV pundit Pat Novak, following the rise of RoboCop and the fall in crime across Detroit and Gary Oldman, as Dr. Dennett Norton, treads the fine line between morals and medical research with ease. Abbie Cornish puts in a solid turn as the 'everywife' but women are reduced to supporting roles in this movie which is a shame.
For some reason all the humour has been sucked out of this new version of RoboCop but it is action packed and slick and the plot still has resonance after all these years.
(A straight forward four out of five stars.)