POSSIBLE (minor) SPOILERS:
For months and months I moaned and groaned about the new Robocop movie and how bad it was probably going to be, and how they should just throw a “4” on the end of the title and send it right to DVD. When the first trailers were released, I started to think maybe it wouldn’t be too bad. Robocop day finally arrived yesterday and I have to say, it was exactly what I expected. Not great, but not terrible. I originally did not like the casting choice of Joel Kinnaman as Murphy/Robocop, even though I really liked him in “The Killing.” He felt a little too “street” to me for the role of goody cop Alex Murphy, but this was a new, updated cop story. While he’s human cop Murphy, he basically plays the same character as he does on “The Killing.” We don’t see him much as regular human cop Murphy, however, so that’s good. I really liked the silver Robocop suit, as it was very very similar to the original, and very sleek. The black suit is worn during his tactical Omnicorp moments of the movie. Without giving too much away, if Robocop 2 happens, we will probably see a lot more of the silver suit. That’s a plus. In the end, it’s full of action – PG 13 action with stellar performances by Gary Oldman, Sam Jackson, Michael Keaton, Michael K White (who is the new male, black, version of Anne Lewis) and even Kinnaman. Yeah, his version of Robocop didn’t bother me much at all by the end of the movie. They kept a lot of little things, like the way shots were set up, the music, and a mention of NOT buying something for a dollar.
But the reboot was lacking. Lacking the character the original had. Lacking the dog-eat-dog corporate battling that the original had. No Dick Jones vs Bob Morton. Maybe that kind of corporate ladder-climbing was more of an 80’s thing, like the famous Bob Morton coke party, which was also absent from this version. There was no “clever rape scene” (for lack of a better phrase), and most importantly – no diabolically memorable bad guy, like Clarence Boddicker. The bad guys are just kinda.. there … to fill a role in this story, which is a little flimsy anyway. Another important absent aspect, was the close relationship Murphy had with his partner in the original.
If you’re looking for the original, this isn’t it, but it’s not too far away. What I’m actually a lot more excited to see, is where they go in sequels, because let’s face it, the original Robocop 2 and 3 didn’t set a real high bar.
If we were rating things by stars, I’d give it a 3 out of 5.