Movie Review: Robocop

Jean-Paul’s Rating: 3/5 stars

Bottom Line: A not bad remake of a classic uber-violent 80’s revenge flick.

This may be a better movie than I think it is.  Nostalgia may be getting in the way.  The original “Robocop” was a much better story than this one.  It’s not that the stories were much different, it’s more that the telling of the story was much more compelling in the original.  The most glaring departure in the new film is the complete lack of black humor that made the original so memorable.  But enough about comparing the two.

Or not.  One place where the new “Robocop” shines over the old is with the fictional robotics company OmniCorp (OCP in the original if I remember correctly).  Michael Keaton plays the genius CEO and Gary Oldman plays the head robotics scientist.  The interaction between the two of them is top rate.  It is really the only acting in the movie worth talking about.  What they have to say is actually interesting as you have the struggle between the CEO wanting to make money with military contracts and the scientist wanting to use the robotics for more benign purposes.

There was a lot of the story that didn’t really make sense.  It wasn’t clear why they had to remove as much of his body as they did except for a really cool and creepy effect.  One of the main fighting scenes were completely avoidable by any criminal with even moderate intelligence. It was still a cool scene, though.  I also wish they used the hulking ED-209 robots to greater effect than they did.

“Robocop” was an ok movie.  It’s completely skippable, but if you have a special place in your heart for the first movie, it’s worth going to see this one if only for the enjoyment of discussing the difference between the two.

3 thoughts on “Movie Review: Robocop

  1. Steven Scott

    In answer to some of your criticisms

    “It wasn’t clear why they had to remove as much of his body as they did except for a really cool and creepy effect” – Uh, it got blown up? I was satisfied with them just saying that he had 4th degree burns over most of his body without them going all Darkman and spending 10 minutes describing why he didn’t have this or that organ. I’m still kinda creeped out by the hand though.

    “One of the main fighting scenes were completely avoidable by any criminal with even moderate intelligence. It was still a cool scene, though.” – I’m curious which one? Otherwise, I’d have to agree, the action scenes were all pretty cool.

    “I also wish they used the hulking ED-209 robots to greater effect than they did.” It would have gone against one of the central conceits of the movie for them to show up more/earlier than they did. Also, the more they are around, the more the special effects would have cost and the less impact they would have had when it came time for the 3rd act.

    Now my three favorite things from this remake that you didn’t mention…(spoiler alerts ahoy)

    1)Speaking of stories that don’t make sense, I never thought it made sense that OG Robocop couldn’t shoot his killer because he “worked for the company”. You would think that somebody would have eventually realized that your kickass crime fighting robot who never lets anybody get away…keeps letting the biggest gun runner in all of Detroit get away. I’m so glad that Omnicorp has nothing to do with Muphy’s killer in this version.

    2)Robocop on a motorcycle! (Robocycle?) It looked awesome both in action scenes and just when he was driving around.

    3)Samuel L Jackson as every bad Fox News stereotype there is. And you say this film lacked black humor.

    Reply
    1. Jean-Paul Post author

      Yeah, his body got blowed up, but so did his hands and face and they very graphically showed his body and it did not look nearly as blowed up as the after effects. It also didn’t make any sense why they needed to save his lungs but not his other organs.

      “I’m curious which one?” – The scene where he went after his killer and they did all the neato infrared fighting stuff. He had all but the shakiest of evidence tying the guy to his attempted murder and yet they lie in wait for Robocop to take him out when all the dude needed to do was go peacefully and get out of jail in a day or so. Not to mention he specifically told everyone that they needed 30 caliber bullets to stop Robocop and then all proceeded to attack him with small arms fire.

      1) Meh, I understand what you’re saying but that didn’t bother me too much. There was lots of crime and only one Robocop, a high level gun runner could easily sneak through all that. Plus, it gave us the awesome “You’re fired!” scene which was sorely lacking in the remake.

      2) The whole riding of the motorcycle was not terribly noteworthy, but they way he got on and off it stuck out as really cool in my mind.

      3) Ha! I enjoyed the Samuel L Jackson stuff right up until the point where they made him swear at the end. Then it was more a parody of Samuel L Jackson.

      Reply
      1. Steven Scott

        I could see a case being made that one of his hands getting shielded by his body, shrapnel ripping through his small intestines, so on and so forth. They plastic surgery the face since Robocop is a marketing stunt more than anything and a brain in a jar would make for some very awkward press conferences.

        Ok, SPOILERS LAY HERE

        He couldn’t just let Robocop take him in. Even though there wasn’t any hard evidence, Robocop does find a recording of the crooked cops STRONGLY suggesting that he kill Murphy and that they would torpedo the investigation. Combine that with the guns that should be in lockup with the fingerprints that are on them with the tip offs the bad guy got and the whole conspiracy still falls apart for everybody. Even if that all falls through (I have no idea how or if they even described how Robocop works with search warrants) there is still a very good chance that he loses all of his illegal guns in the near future as the cops sort this stuff out.

        Also it took .50 cal to break through Robocop’s armor, which I’m guessing he might not have had enough to arm all of his goons with. He probably had everybody else firing small rounds to try to distract him from the real threats and also test to see if Omnicorp was 100% truthful on that feature.

        1) I guess it just paints OCP as being completely balls-to-the-wall out of control to such a degree that they have employment records for local mass murdering weapons merchants. On a side note of good lines, I loved how they used “Dead or alive, you are coming with me.” That came out of nowhere, and somehow wasn’t cheesey or forced.

        2) The motorcycle allowed the action scenes to have more movement since you can now see Robocop shooting people while on the move, and not having to watch him slowly strut around. Also, the design reminded me of the Tron cycles, which is also a plus.

        3) I know he does that way too often, but it is his calling card. It would be like Arnold Schwarzenegger not saying “I’ll be back” in one of his movies.

        Reply

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