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(2014)

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See the original. See this version also.
rooprect20 October 2015
Up front I'll confess. I'm one of those curmudgeony dinosaurs who takes it as a personal affront to my long gone adolescence whenever anyone dares to remake an 80s flick. I mean, heck, movies aside, NOTHING can compare to how stylin' I was in my parachute pants & moussed up hair as I strutted in that movie theater with my gallon of Fresca, pop rocks & Fruit Stripe gum back in '87 to watch the cinematic event of the decade, Robocop. That alone, plus the fact that they don't make gum with real sugar anymore (communists!), makes me want to thumbs-down every remake of today.

But you know what? This movie sorta rocks. I'll tell you why.

First of all, the story is COMPLETELY different, so it can't even be considered a remake. I'm a firm believer that, much like Jimi Hendrix did when he covered "Hey Joe", if you're going to revisit someone else's work then do it completely differently. That's what the director did here. Only the basic premise remains: a lone, half-computerized "Everyman" decides to take on a criminal/corporate colossus while simultaneously struggling with his lost humanity.

First off, Robocop 2014 is a much broader, more family-friendly film. Gone is the extreme, in-your-face violence and criminal depravity that worked so well in the original which was intended to disturb viewers on an emotional level (Veerhoven is king of cinematic satire). Whereas the old Robocop was known to pump lead into perpetrators' private parts, in this version Robocop uses a taser gun to take down most threats. Granted, it's a taser gun that packs enough juice to take down the jolly green giant, but the point is we don't see quite as much blood & guts.

Instead of disturbing violence and hard-hitting satire, we get some very interesting political and philosophical spins. The idea of a robot police force is cleverly tied in with military drones and smart-warfare technology that's already in use today. The question being posed is: when we turn this same technology on ourselves (America) to police our own people, suddenly it seems bone-chillingly sick.

Another new & interesting spin is the idea that Robocop is the personification of the existentialist debate. Do we have free will? Or is there some governing force that has written out our lives and "choices" already, and we are merely as Shakespeare said, a bunch of actors playing out roles? Robocop 2014 touches on this with the idea that Robo is actually hard-coded to behave as a machine with only the illusion that he has conscious will. THAT was a great philosophical angle which I actually wish the movie had spent another hour exploring. But I guess that would've taxed a lot of viewers' attention spans, so it was kept under the surface. Still it's something to ponder heavily as the movie unfolds.

Special effects, action, costumes & gizmos are eye poppingly great. And I don't mean over-the-top cartoonish, either. They're great because the film does a nice job of keeping things real enough to make you think this scenario could actually happen. In the "Behind the scenes" bonus, a point is brought up that the director nixed a bunch of really cool scifi ideas (such as a motorcycle that transforms into a shell around Robo) because he didn't want the viewer to get lost in too much fantasy. The result is more of a straightforward crime drama or even political thriller than it is scifi.

The acting. OK, for real, how can anyone fail with Michael Keaton (the first movie Batman) and Gary Oldman (Dracula) and, in a peripheral but awesomely hilarious parody role Samuel L Jackson (Pulp Fiction!) as the rabid fascist foul-mouthed host of a cable "news" show called The Novak Element. Oh gawd, fans of Veerhoven's satirical skewerings will LOVE this character. Relative newcomer Joel Kinnaman (Robo) does a great job, and old Robocop fans might notice some deliberate homages he makes to the original Peter Weller performance such as the way he always turns with his head first, then shoulders, then feet.

I also must add a quick note about the music used in this film. There are several great homages to us aging fans with selections such as The Clash "I Fought the Law" and a great shoot-em-up scene that uses "Hocus Pocus" by Focus. And I think that approach sums up what this film is all about. It's not attempting to trample on our memories of the original Robocop, but rather, it acknowledges old fans while presenting something completely different and, in my opinion, worthwhile. Now if someone would only acknowledge my cool parachute pants I be flying high.
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8/10
Warning: this film does NOT contain scenes of graphic violence
bowmanblue10 June 2014
Yes, they've gone and remade another classic. Whether you loved or hated the original Robocop movie in the eighties (and, let's face it... most of us loved it!), you'll find it difficult to deny that it was popular. And one of its major traits was how deliciously over-the-top violent it was. It contained numerous scenes of graphic violence and interlinked them with (no so subtle) social commentary, making it a sheer delight to watch (assuming your cup of tea was watching an indestructible cyborg brutally wiping out scores of scum-bags).

Now, twenty-five years later, it gets rebooted (not including the pretty poor showings which made up Robocop's sequels and TV spin-off show). And, the first thing you need to know, is that it's no longer an 'adult' movie. Due to the film-makers wanting to claw back as much of its budget as they could, they've gone and made it a PG-13/12 certificate. So, what we're left with is the cyborg-action equivalent of World War Z (a mainstream big budget zombie film with no violence or gore).

This is the major 'flaw' in the film (which most people seem to dwell on). It's fair to say that this reboot hasn't performed as well as the producers would have liked it to (I'll bet they were hoping this would be the springboard to launch a lucrative franchise off of). However, if you get over the die-hard fans and their shouts of disapproval because no one gets melted in a vat of toxic waste, you may actually enjoy it.

Yes, the action is greatly reduced, but what's there is still pretty cool. Plus the cast is excellent and what it lacks in fight scenes it makes up for in commentary on today's modern way of life and how much computers (and in this case robots) intrude and may well intrude with our day to day existence.

If you ask me which Robocop is better (1987 vs 2014) I would say the original, but simply because it was just that – the original. Plus I have never ending nostalgia for one of my favourite childhood movies. However, if you can put any bias you have to the back of your mind and look at this one as a completely fresh tale which simply borrows major plot points and situations from its source material, then you may just find an enjoyable movie in there somewhere.

Thank you for your cooperation.

http://thewrongtreemoviereviews.blogspot.co.uk/
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5/10
Robocop Made in China
claudio_carvalho24 May 2014
In 2028, in Detroit, the OmniCorp has developed technology in the area of robotics and their drones have been used by different countries in military application. However the corporation does not succeed in using them to enforce the law in the United States due to the Dreyfus Act. When the detective and family man Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) is lethally injured in an attempt with a bomb in his car, OmniCorp CEO Raymond Sellars (Michael Keaton) convinces the scientist Dr. Dennett Norton (Gary Oldman) and Murphy's wife to use his remaining parts in a robot with the intention of swindling the law and make a fortune with the drones. However the cyborg RoboCop is indeed seeking justice and will not stop until he finds those that destroyed his and his family's lives.

The 1987 "Robocop" directed by Paul Verhoeven is a classic of the genre and every cinema lover certainly knows the story. This 2014 terrible remake is another example of the present Hollywood movies, with top- notch effects and nothing else. Why does RoboCop have a human hand if the intention is to be invulnerable? Prefer watching again the 1987 movie instead of this remake that is "made in China". My vote is five.

Title (Brazil): "RoboCop"
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3/10
Not the future of law enforcement
Prismark1019 March 2017
Paul Verhoeven made a hyper violent satirical action film about corporate America in 1987.

This remake has Samuel L Jackson's media host Pat Novak making right wing social commentary and an early sequence of Iran being liberated by US robo-soldiers but this part is then jettisoned.

What we get is Alex Murphy massacred by a gang of criminals and rebooted as a half man half cyborg Robocop. Alex Murphy still has memories of his past life and wants to avenge his death. The boss of OmniCorp Raymond Sellars (Michael Keaton) sees Robocop as the future of law enforcement and wants to overturn legislation that outlaws cyborg cops. Robocop's designer Dr Dennett Norton (Gary Oldman) is sceptical of the uses OmniCorp has for Robocop.

The film lacks the kinetic energy, satirical bite and the cartoon violence of the original. The film drags too often, parts of it are dull. In fact when I re-watched this film several years after its release I forgot Samuel L Jackson and Michael Keaton were in this movie. That is how forgettable the movie is and Joel Kinnaman in the lead is just a blank.
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8/10
Don't compare with the original.
martin-graupner14 February 2014
I love Paul Verhoeven's RoboCop from 1987 (which remains iconic) and I usually don't like reboots. But watching the new one I never got rid of the feeling, that the remake is worth it. It is a whole new interpretation, that sets the focus on the topics of our time: robots, drones, the human aspect behind the technology, media critics, war propaganda. I felt, the movie has a mission to enlighten people and I liked that. It became even more obvious how much the RoboCop story exists within the topos of Frankenstein which is the story about the human devilment and the lack of respect of life. That's why Padilha gives Murphy more of a face, a life and feelings.

Beside that the pictures, the sound, the music is pretty contemporary. You probably have to make some compromises today to get the millions to get the flick done. It won't become iconic, but it's the right time for the right message in the right movie.
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7/10
Different, but enjoyable
neil-47614 February 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Alex Murphy, damaged in an explosion to the point of death, is the ideal candidate for a new initiative to join human sensibilities to computerised and robotic peace-keeping hardware. But Murphy has his own mind, which leads to conflict with those responsible for the attempt on his life (plus others), which may stretch beyond the criminal fraternity.

The 2014 remake of Paul Verhoeven's classic 1987 sci-fi satire includes most of the story beats from the original, but has quite a different heart. This makes it into a different film, and one which I enjoyed as much as the original.

Despite being full of action, it is a much gentler film. The violence is not as sadistic, there is no profanity (imagine that!), the relationship between Alex and his family is much more important, and Gary Oldman's conflicted Dr Frankenstein - sorry, Dr Norton - is a fine character: he is the actual heart of the movie.

If you loved the 1987 version with a passion then you may hate this. If you merely liked it, you may like this version too.
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Eventually the hollow superficiality of it all gets tiresome
bob the moo1 June 2014
When I saw that Robocop had been remade (or rebooted maybe?) my feeling was one of apathy. I have seen the original film quite some time ago now and for sure I wondered why they would remake something that is a shade over 25 years old, but I certainly wasn't up in arms as if it was blasphemy – ultimately it is just another product to be sold and brand recognition is going to give you a good base to your marketing. This is also the reason it appears to have been remade – because the target audience really isn't anyone over 25 years old.

The plot will be familiar to anyone who has seen the original film (and if you haven't, you should) as we have a cop, near death, selected for a program of integrating robot drones with organic (human) material to make it more acceptable to be on the streets of the US as law enforcement. As a basic plot it has lots of opportunity for commentary, color, fun and excitement, because this is what the original had in spades. It starts well and it looks good enough to win me over early on and I did think "this is actually okay" – for a while. As the film went on, I was surprised by how little of everything there was below the surface. There was no commentary or satire in here, despite it being a massive open goal in terms of relevance today. However, this wasn't as big a problem as the fact that there seemed to be no heart or spark to the film either; the plot felt flat, there was almost no sense of fun to it and for all the gun play, there was really no tension or excitement to it. Ignore the original, even on its own terms as a generic sci-fi action movie, it still didn't work.

The effects and the production standards are high as one would expect, but director Padilha really doesn't bring much grit or energy to the film. The focus seems to be all about making a safe product with no rough edges – and in this regard it achieves its goal, just making it bland as a result. The lead actor fits that mould and Kinnaman doesn't make too much of an impression. This is perhaps not a huge surprise but it is a surprise to find that Oldman, Keaton and Jackson all are pretty much by the numbers too. Keaton in particular is no Ronny Cox and he never convinces. Oldman is at least reliable while Jackson is fun but has too little time and context to make it impact the wider film. Supporting turns from faces such as Jean-Baptiste, Williams and Dexter's Garcia all provide distraction but are not used much beyond that. Haley is a good presence but not given the space to have real teeth.

Generally the film is bland and quite dull. It ticks its way through the plot checkboxes without ever really having much in the way impact, fun, thrills, satire or anything really. It is a product designed to sell, primarily off the back of the famous established brand, but also off the fact that there is really nothing in here that would offend any potential customers – the downside of this is of course that there is really nothing to be excited about either.
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Comparing with Paul Verhoeven's 1987 original version is unfair, but the new ROBOCOP here manages to stand on its own as a reasonably engaging effort.
caseymoviemania29 January 2014
In 2010, acclaimed director Darren Aronofsky (THE WRESTLER, BLACK SWAN) was originally attached to direct the ROBOCOP reboot. Frankly, I thought he was the right choice to reboot the once-popular franchise back in the late '80s. Unfortunately, he quits the project and Brazilian director Jose Padilha (ELITE SQUAD, ELITE SQUAD: THE ENEMY WITHIN) was brought in as his replacement. WHAT IS IT ALL ABOUT? When police detective Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) is critically injured during a car explosion in front of his home, CEO of OmniCorp Raymond Sellars (Michael Keaton) sees him as a golden opportunity to make him feel alive again by turning him into "Robocop" -- a cyborg police officer which is touted as the future of law enforcement in America. However, OmniCorp doesn't realize that Murphy still has a personal vengeance in his mind to pursue the criminals who nearly caused him dead. THE GOOD STUFF Like the first two ELITE SQUAD movies, director Jose Padilha delivers the same raw intensity that gives ROBOCOP a quasi-documentary feel to the action sequences. Even though Padilha utilizes shaky camera-work, at least he doesn't make the scene so wobbly until the viewers unable to see what's really going on. The special effects are spectacular, while the costume design for the all-new Robocop in a black tactical body actually looks quite nifty. Swedish-American actor Joel Kinnaman (best known in the US for TV's The Killing) delivers an emotionally engaging performance as Alex Murphy and Robocop, while Michael Keaton steals most of the spotlight as the slimy CEO of OmniCorp Raymond Sellars and Gary Oldman gives a perfectly restrained performance as the sympathetic Dr. Dennett Norton. Other minor roles -- including Abbie Cornish as Murphy's wife, Clara; Jackie Earle Haley as the military tactician Mattox; and Samuel L. Jackson as the media host Pat Novak -- are all equally impressive. MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT(S) The brief but intense battle between Robocop and a small army of ED-209 during the climactic finale. THE BAD STUFF The biggest weakness in this ROBOCOP reboot is Joshua Zetumer's captivating but bloated screenplay. First of all, the story drags too much with Murphy's personal family matter with his estranged wife Clara (Abbie Cornish) and son David (John Paul Ruttan). Then there's the underwritten plot involving Murphy's personal vengeance against Antoine Vallon (Patrick Garrow), who is responsible for the car explosion. Even the so-called social commentary involving the "robo-phobic" issue quoted by Samuel L. Jackson's Pat Novak doesn't really say much that worth a debate. FINAL WORDS While the new ROBOCOP is far from a genre classic by any means, at least Jose Padilha's version isn't as bad as most people might have expected. Just put your mindset of the Paul Verhoeven's original 1987 version aside, and treat this as an entirely new movie altogether.
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8/10
A decent and satisfying remake
YJLcool30 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
The new RoboCop is a surprisingly good and entertaining sci-fi action thriller that appeals to the human heart by conveying emotions and the humanity side of Murphy, the main character who eventually becomes the titled cyborg law enforcer. The film ultimately wins for not trying to be the original (1987 version). The story of Murphy is similar (since it's a remake) but does its own thing to provide something new instead of retelling the same thing again. The film focuses more on the development of Murphy's character, his initial response to his cyborg body and relationship with his family, making the character more emotional and relatable to the audience. The film delves into the meaning of humanity, family themes, media influence on public opinion, corporate greed (capitalism), authoritarianism and corrupt law enforcement authorities. It provides a brief view of the struggles we might face with machines or digital surveillance of the future. It also briefly raises the question whether it's ethical or legal to eliminate the human factor in law enforcement to reduce crime rates by creating merciless cyborgs or robots to replace humans. The action sequences are updated with a higher body count, with better CGI and sound effects, making them cooler, stylish and more entertaining than the original. The new black tactical design of Robocop is found to be acceptable and nice...the updated Robocop is more agile, flexible and stronger compared to the original. However, I personally find the right human hand to be slightly distracting. (I prefer no human hand at all, entirely machine except the face) There's quite a lot of credible actors in this film: Abbie Cornish, Jay Baruchel, James Earle Haley, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton and Samuel L. Jackson all providing decent performances to this remake. Although it's hardly a ground-breaking film or a masterpiece, Robocop is a decent and satisfying remake that delivers on many levels. There's currently no plot problems, inconsistencies or plot holes found in this film at this time of writing this review. So, it's good enough for a recommendation to watch it. Rating: 7.5/10
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8/10
What movie did those guys watch?
v-bach-of9 February 2014
I really don't understand all the hate this movie gets. Yeah, I get it, it's a reboot of a perfectly good 80s movie that nobody really wanted, but it's a really good one! I expected a mindless Micheal Bayian action movie and what I got was a really smart, interesting and entertaining look at trans-humanism, the freedom of choice, politics and recklessness in corporate leaders.

This movie really dives into the question of how a person could live his day to day live with almost all of his body amputated and stuck inside of a machine. So when people complain about the uncomfortable scenes between Murphy and his wife, I can only imagine they mean what happened after his transformation, and that felt exactly the way it was supposed to!

So yes, the original is way more graphic and still holds up to this day as a gruesome action flick, but this one is smart and interesting and really is a good movie in it's own right.

And by no means is it as bad as people say it is!
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3/10
Robo-Kindergarten Cop
Coventry17 September 2018
No, I'm sorry, but it's a complete misfire! I really tried to remain open-minded and set all my prejudices aside, but this is a hopelessly disappointing remake of one of the greatest Sci-Fi/Action flicks of all times! The original "Robocop" (Paul Verhoeven - 1987) was dystopian Sci-Fi trash with extremely OTT violence and sadistic humor. That formula worked brilliantly, so why on earth would anyone consider turning it into a dead-serious, melodramatic and politically correct mainstream flick with a PG13 rating?!? This modernized dud only makes me worship Verhoeven's original even more, and it especially makes me admire how simplistic, straightforward and fast-paced that classic was! José Padhila's "Robocop" is intolerably slow, boringly talkative and the actors almost seem to drown in all the supposedly intelligent and socially relevant sub plots (like "why should our boys die in Afghanistan" or "is America ready to be protected by machines"). Who cares about all that? The only thing everybody wants to see is Robocop in action and neutralizing evil street thugs.

Will that ever happen, though? Nope, sorry! It takes, what, 17 hours into the film before officer Alex Murphy, wearing his Robocop outfit, sets his first baby-steps into Detroit and picks up a gun (dull target practice games with that idiotic Jackie Earle Haley doesn't count). But there also doesn't seem to be much need for a Robocop, anyway! The 2028 Detroit of this script doesn't look the least bit menacing, pauperized or overtaken by crime. In the almighty original, Detroit became a filthy hellhole where it was impossible for normal families to live or even walk the streets during the daylight because of police strikes and deranged criminals with gigantic guns! Sure, corporate greed and corruption remain obstructions for proper law enforcement, but there aren't any real bad guys for Robo-Murphy to defeat. Clarence Boddicker and his psychotic gang of the original were pure evil, whereas here Murphy/Robocop only has a pathetic weapon dealer (Patrick Garrow) and a cuckoo robot-fetishist (Jackie Earle Haley) as main opponents. But the miserable PG-13 rating is what neutralizes this film the most. Gone is the extreme violence and perverse humor of Verhoeven's original. No more target practicing on poor cops, death by toxic waste, bloody massacres by a malfunctioning ED-209, insanely offensive TV-commercials or gratuitous nudity & drug abuse! All this got replaced by bloodless shootouts and tedious gibberish by an annoying marketing guy. Even the leftovers of Murphy's body after the explosion are laughable instead of unsettling. Robocop? Yeah right, more like Kindergarten Cop!

However, exactly like the case with "Robocop 3" (Fred Dekker - 1993), I am aware and personally persuaded that director José Padhilo cannot be blamed for this insult of a film! Via many little details, it's abundantly clear that Padhilo is a big admirer or Verhoeven's original and that only the cowardly attitude of the production company led to this inferior version. Also, I can't resist mentioning the hypocrisy of the script. Americans are supposedly worried that emotionless machines will be carrying guns, while mass-shootings take place daily because every crazed nut can purchase a weapon? Please!
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3/10
RoboCop: Simply didn't need to be
Platypuschow28 December 2018
Robocop has to be up there among the movies that simply shouldn't have been remade, just why?

Okay fine I'm a tad bias, I'm generally anti-remake/reboot and think the fad needs to stop. Cease telling the same stories, cease fouling all over the originals, make new movies with new ideas please!

To make matters worse on this occasion I think the original Robocop (1987) is highly overrated and I never saw the appeal at all. Then there are the sequels and the television series but let's not go there.

So a remake of a movie I already thought was highly mediocre?! Didn't stand much of a chance really and it failed about as hard as I expected.

Curiously though it's a cutesy PG-13 almost Disney version of the original tale, I was shocked how and why they'd taken an r-rated classic and made it fun for the family! Who made that decision, and why did they think it would be a good idea?

The film to its credit has a great cast, Oldman and Keaton together in a movie and it's bad! Who saw that coming?

The film is mindless action, a generic story line, full of wasted actors and an oddly large amount of political satire thrown in for good measure. Samuel L Jackson is Alex Jones, just less crazy, paranoid and did I mention crazy?

Robocop (2014) simply shouldn't exist. It's not the embarrassment that Ghostbusters (2016) was but it still didn't need to be.

The Good:

Solid cast

Some solid political commentary

The Bad:

PG-13, really?

Lewis's sex change

Some aspects are so stupid it made my teeth rattle

Poor soundtrack choices

No prime directives

Shouldn't exist

Things I Learnt From This Movie:

People need to stop doing polls on political specific sites

"We are gathered here today in the memory of original ideas"
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7/10
An acceptable enough remake/reboot
Danny_G138 October 2014
Which is not to say it was necessary.

Indeed, of all movies made in the 80s, Robocop would have been considered as a very unlikely candidate to be remade at all. The original was a fantastic, gorefest, schlock-filled action hit and that toxic melt sequence lives long in the memory. To reboot it was nothing more than a money-making exercise, but if we overlook the morality of the affair, is the movie any good? Well, it isn't bad, put it that way. Like the original it's set in a dystopian future, and like the original it features Alex Murphy's remains brought back to life in a robot, but it changes a great deal about the story, not least Lewis' gender (Battlefield 4 players will recognise Irish's voice returning as Murphy's partner).

The plot focuses on the Dreyfuss bill which bans the use of robots for law enforcement in the US, because it's felt the absence of emotion makes them unsuitable, despite the success of their deployment everywhere else in the world. Samuel L Jackson's wildly OTT Novak obsesses over that on his night-time soapbox show the Novak Element, and fully supports Omnicorps' Sellers (Keaton) bid to get their product on the streets of the US, Detroit especially.

Murphy's Robocop (built by Oldman's Dr Norton) is a way around that, and thereafter it's a case of 'where it all went wrong'. That very cliché is used constantly but this isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Fans of the original movie should enjoy this, even if it feels slightly pointless. The visual effects are pretty extraordinary in truth, and the action sequences thoroughly enjoyable.

The first review on the page does make a good point - there is no one obvious outright bad guy - unlike the original's brilliant Kurtwood Smith, Murphy isn't up against a particular enemy. However the side issue here is that this kind of misses the point - the change in this movie is that a combination of Omnicorp, his killer, and one or two other characters leads Murphy to a pursuit of avengement. There doesn't need to be a big bad guy - just like video games don't always need a boss fight, movies don't always need a nemesis.

For me the way it's structured doesn't detract.

Fundamentally it's a different movie to the original, a homage which is frankly well made but goes in its own direction.

Whether you like that or not is up to you, but I have personally seen far worse movies.
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7/10
the metaphysical paradox of the reviewer...
A_Different_Drummer4 October 2015
Is the reviewer writing the review the IMDb member is reading -- or is the member reading the review he was looking for, regardless of the text actually used? I ask because clearly that sort of thinking, that sort of dialog, was near and dear to the writer of this oddball film, yet, paradoxically, it is this very strangeness that gives the film historical worth, and the chance (however slim) that it may be remembered fondly by viewers of the the far future.

We will skip the metaphysical question as to why a remake was done of a perfectly serviceable and timeless classic? What the original may have have lacked in CGI, it made up for in heart, and in its almost unique satirical POV on modern corporation communications (which led to a series spin off on Canadian TV, BTW) But Hollywood likes reimagining stuff. Even Vincent Price as THE FLY was reborn as the forever self-aware Jeff Goldbloom, and we sense this was what was intended here too.

Reviewers notes: 1. Strange casting. A-List supporting cast (including the under-used Jackie Earle Haley) yet the lead himself seems uncomfortable in the role.

2. The references to Wizard of Oz are doubly ironic since the movie itself suffers as much of an identity crisis as the main character. Since this is clearly no longer an action film with embedded satire (the "origins" go for a full hour!) then what is it? Sci-fi? Horror? Fantasy? The viewer is left to decide.

Bottom line: not entertainment as we know it. More of a film school essay topic, along the lines of what was intended ... and why was this greenlighted?
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5/10
Too Much Exposition, Meandering and Bland
SeussMeTub5 February 2014
With Hollywood at a loss to make original movies, it was inevitable that the Robocop franchise would eventually get the reboot. In 1987, the original Robocop became an instant box office hit with its mixture of witty satire and over the top violence as well as top notch acting by Peter Weller, Kurtwood Smith and Ronny Cox; the deciding factor in what made that movie so fresh at the time was the addition of Dutch director Paul Verhoeven who seemed to understand what the audience at the time needed: a high tech cyborg (artfully designed by special effects whiz Rob Bottin and its robotic suit would become a cinema icon) who fought crime in a near future world overwhelmed by greed, hypocrisy, corruption and excessive, almost cartoonish violence.

In this reboot, the studios were able to acquire the services of Brazilian director Jose Padiha (who directed Elite Squad and its sequel, two intense police thrillers set in his native Brazil) but unfortunately they forgot to give him a good script to work with (there were rumors during production that Padiha had a lot of ideas that were nixed by studio bosses. Figures.). The other reason why the original movie also worked was because its R rating worked in its favor: the enormous amount of bloodletting added to its satirical view of the future as well as that of American culture which really spoke to the audience. With this reboot aimed at more family friendly crowds, the PG-rated violence is filmed using rapid jump cuts which makes it totally confusing, its like watching a video game on fast forward so that by the time your mind registers what's going on the scene is finished.

The movie itself also suffers from pacing problems- just when the narrative is about to steamroll forward, the scenes abruptly change so that any emotional momentum is lost because there just isn't much characterization of the main parts; everything that should have an emotional impact is glossed over by a jump to a new scene with way too much focus on explanations of what the characters are doing so that the audience fails to gain sympathy for anybody.

I can't really judge Joel Kinnaman's acting in the title role since there really isn't much for him to do other than walk around in the Robocop suit and utter a few words every now and then- he seems to spend too much time bug eyed and in shock more than anything else. The supporting cast also seems wasted, with Michael Keaton and Jackie Earle Haley's screen time largely limited to trying to explain whats going on rather than actually doing anything. Even Michael K Williams seems lost as Robocop's sidekick. Patrick Garrow as the heavy is pretty much a cardboard villain compared to the 1987 version with the menacing Kurtwood Smith and his gang of killer psychos. Gary Oldman's performance is pretty much average since he's also got nothing much to do.

Alas, the biggest disappointment is the movie's absence of any sort of humor: the 1987 film had boatloads of wacky commercials that interrupted the narrative yet provided a great view on how that future world was set up as well as crazy, sadistic villains and a pun on the name of the chief baddie (Dick Jones- best name ever). Instead, we get snippets of a news media show run by Samuel L Jackson whose presence in this movie is also wasted since he spends more time recapping what we already saw and his jokes fall flat.

The only good scene happens right at the beginning with a battle between Iranian insurgents and the robot army but soon after the movie quickly loses momentum and never regains it. Better to skip this one and wait for the rental, or better yet, watch the 1987 version- its way better.
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7/10
A restyled version. DON'T compare it with the original ....
peterp-450-29871628 May 2014
Warning: Spoilers
A remake of "Robocop" and we get this debate again.Was this remake necessary?Were we waiting for this ?Does it add any values to the original version?Does it equal the original version or is it just a pale shadow ?In my opinion this is again an unnecessary discussion. Meanwhile we are already at the next "Spiderman"."Superman" also has taken his cape out of the closet a number of times.And another "Godzilla" is ready to hit the theaters.Nobody is making a fuss about that.But oops, they are going to make a reboot of "Robocop".A 27 year old cult movie. A timeless classic that had great impact in all areas.An ultra-hard SF with explicit violent scenes, infused with cynical humor and satire,and a socially critical message that was unprecedented at the time.The critical spirit that haunts the 1987 version was probably quite revolutionary in those days.The TV ads that were displayed in between seemed absurd and a bit exaggerated,but are obvious at the present times.It presented a "Big Brother" society,where everything was screened and monitored and violence and intolerance were a normal thing.A society owned by the private sector and criminals.A materialistic,profligate and uncontrollable society with violent video games,retarded TV games, corruption and deceit.

The critics are very harsh about this remake.Superfluous,humorless, too serious and too little gore scenes are terms that are frequently used.In some cases perhaps true, but despite its shortcomings, it's still an enjoyable film.The next question, however, one can ask: Is this remake meant to emulate,to surpass or just to restyle Verhoeven's film? For me there's no doubt that you can't surpass or even emulate the original film.The released film at that time was a revelation and an unexpected commercial success. The combination of sharp wit, clever one-liners and explicit violence was an explosive cocktail. This is practically unfeasible to surpass because the zeitgeist in those days was totally different from the current one. Restyling is the only meaningful answer. And they succeeded brilliantly in doing that.

The beginning of the film sets the tone.Situated in Tehran drones and ED -209's control the population and any extremist individual who constitutes a threat is singled out.This seemingly peaceful scene soon degenerates into an explosive confrontation between fanatical rebels and the robotic law enforcement.The coverage is broad-casted live in "The Novak Element" with Pat Novak as a commentator with a stolid, biased attitude and truly supportive for this new law enforcement.A role that seemed to be written specially for Samuel L. Jackson.It's brought with a lot of flair and imagination by Jackson.The way he brings it,is grandiose.His enormous expressive statements and the determination with which he defends his ideas is masterful.He interrupts a debate between the designer of the drones and his political opponent just with a nonchalant wave motion.A tiny gesture showing that contradiction is not tolerated.A practically perfect rendition the whole movie except at the end.The elitist and chauvinistic patriotism which then comes up, I found a little to much.

The rest of the story is again in Detroit that doesn't look like a decaying metropolis now,but crime rules again with the help of a corrupt police force.Omnicorp, the developer of robots,would be only too happy to put drones on the streets to combat crime in an efficient manner and also to raise their profits.However, they encounter quite some opposition from the political world,because the drones only take initiatives in a rational way and aren't able to judge with a human feeling of intuition, compassion and sense.When the police officer Alex Murphy,in his battle against a drug gang,is blown by the latter in shreds,Omnicorp sees his chance to solve this problem by developing a robot/human who still has all those human feelings.

So much about what's in common with the original film.However,there is a little philosophical difference with the first Robocop. In the first movie,Alex was transformed into a bionic man who gradually regains his human feelings.In the remake it's the other way around.When Alex wakes up,there remains very little from his human body,but he still has his human feelings and consciousness.As this is an obstacle to its effectiveness as a killing machine,these human emotions are suppressed by lowering his dopamine level so he gradually changes into a numb robot, acting on auto-pilot.A subtle difference.The decision to change his suit in mat black and a red stripe as a visor gives it a more menacing appearance and makes it look more like "Judge Dredd". Only it's a softer version.I just didn't get the feeling of it being a hybrid version of Alex,but rather just a guy in a metal casting.The quizzical expression of "Tin Man" used by Mattox was therefore appropriate.

That there was significantly more budget for the special effects,was clearly seen.Compared with the old-fashioned looking stop-motion technique used then,it all looks oiled and devilishly realistic.The structure of the Robocop suit,the high-tech devices in the futuristic-looking labs and the action scenes looked sometimes like excerpts from "Call of Duty".It all looks brushed, impressive and convincing. The acting itself varies from excellent to fairly lousy .Michael Keaton fitted perfectly into the role as the conniving and scheming Sellars.

Verhoeven thinks it's a sign of creative poverty in Hollywood and Padilha complains about the terrible interference from MGM so he couldn't fully use his creativity.In my opinion,this film is too much compared with the original, which really shouldn't be the intention. This is just a remake, with the foundation of Verhoeven 's film and a groovy new shell.The matches are there, but because of subtle reinterpretations it's not a straightforward remake . The content has stood the test of time well and leans even closer to the current reality than in the original film.It's actually scary how prescient Verhoeven was at that time.Many will not really appreciate this film and this will have more to do with nostalgia than the film per se.For me it was a more than creditable remake and definitely worth watching.

More reviews at http://opinion-as-a-moviefreak.blogspot.be/
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4/10
Pass the Popcorn! review
PassPopcorn7 February 2014
I'm a fan of the original 'RoboCop' movie – I find it to be fun, satirical, enjoyably violent and overall very good. Naturally, I wasn't very thrilled when I heard it was getting a remake. I was even less thrilled when I heard the remake will be rated PG-13. I mean – how can you make a 'RoboCop' movie without excessive violence and blood squibs? Now that I have seen the movie, I can freely say that the PG-13 rating is the least of this movie's problems. Initially, I didn't want to compare the remake to the original, I wanted to view it and review it as a stand-alone movie. Now that I have seen it, I think I'll have to compare the two movies after all, since the remake possesses none of the qualities that made the original such a classic, and by simple comparison I can easily explain why the remake is an utterly flawed and ridiculous movie. The movie opens with a political show, called the Novak Element, led by the host Pat Novak (Samuel L. Jackson), during which we see a news footage of OmniCorp droids (including the famous ED-209 and the freshly introduced humanoid drones called ED-208) patrolling and inspecting the streets of some Islamic state. Novak compliments the droids and then starts attacking The Dreyfuss Act – a law that forbids the deployment of such drones in the USA. We are then introduced to Raymond Sellars (Michael Keaton), the CEO of OmniCorp, who is trying to find ways of tricking The Dreyfuss Act and start deploying his products in the USA. He gets the idea of incorporating both man and machine into an ultimate law enforcement product. We are then introduced to our protagonist – Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) – who is soon heavily injured in an explosion and is used as a guinea pig in this newest OmniCorp program. Like I said before: the 'RoboCop' remake lacks everything that was good in the original movie. First of all, there's no worthy satire in the movie. Society is sometimes mocked through the character of Pat Novak, but the satire isn't very subtle nor intelligent – actually, I'd say it is very primitive and expeditionary. Second of all, the nature of Robocop's character is very different from the original movie; he's not a robot, but more a man in a robotic suit, and his family plays a fairly big role in the movie. And I would be perfectly fine with these changes if the main actor, Joel Kinnaman, didn't have the charisma of a paper bag and could, as a matter of fact, act (!), and if Abbie Cornish (who plays the role of Alex Murphy's wife – Clara Murphy) wasn't so irritatingly bland. The revelation of the RoboCop suit and the suit itself were also poorly done. In one scene, Michael Keaton's character criticizes the suit design that appeared in the original movie by saying something along these lines: the original suit wasn't tactical enough. Well, at least the original suit didn't look like a black dildo! The villains in the movie didn't get a much better treatment, either. Among the several villains that appeared in the movie, none was memorable or even remotely interesting. But, to be fair, not everything sucks about the 'RoboCop' remake. Some of the acting was OK (mostly by experienced actors like Jackson, Keaton and Oldman) and the special effects did look really good. But what's the use of awesome special effects when the majority of the movie's boring and tedious? Add to all the aforementioned flaws the PG-13 rating, which destroyed the potential of some scenes, and you'll get one weak and forgettable movie. In the original, one of the most memorable lines goes 'I'd buy that for a dollar'. In addition to butchering everything else, the remake also butchered this line. In one scene, Jackie Earle Haley's character Mattox bashes the concept of Robocop saying he 'wouldn't buy that for a dollar'. As for myself, if I knew upon purchasing my ticket what horrors were awaiting, I wouldn't have bought it for a dollar. Rating: 4/10
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5/10
Meh.
sdfvnfjsnksjf7 February 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Okay, so very few people were confident about this remake. The original has such a huge fan base that a reboot seems like blasphemy to most.

So how does this hold up? Well, it looks like butter, it at times tastes like butter, but brother, it ain't butter. Believe it.

The film lacks something and I think I know what it is; there is no real villain. Instead of building up a super-villain for Murphy to fight to the death with, it toys with different characters as his foe, never really committing to one or the other. Kurtwood Smith is an evil son of a gun in the original because he shoots Murphy to pieces. Its up close and personal. In this, well, the guy that car bombs (lame) our robotic cop gets about 2 minutes of screen time with very little back story. Frankly, you just don't care.

The plot seems more concerned about Murphy trying to cope with becoming an amputee and him and his family learning to accept his new circumstances, which frankly, when you see what he looks like without the armour, is just disturbing. Instead of being an awesome action flick, you just feel bad for the guy. The reality of the situation is just too harsh in its portrayal and you end up thinking maybe he would be better off dead.

Do you want to pay good money to question your ideological values towards quality of life or do you want to see robocop go toe to toe with a man who shot him to s***? I know what I'd buy for a dollar.

Also, on a side note: Samuel L. Jackson needs to stop being in films. While his appearance at first is welcome, by the end it feels very cheap and unnatural. The anti-American war effort message starts to get a little forced down your throat and before you start screaming that I'm a flag loving American, I'm a Brit, and even I felt the satire was a bit in your face.

The film shouldn't upset people too badly, it could honestly be much worse and it does have some passable moments with a couple of good nods to the original. Just don't get your hopes too high.
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9/10
Doesn't quite live up to Verhoeven's classic but it beats the hell out of 'ROBOCOP 3'!
Hellmant13 February 2014
'ROBOCOP': Four and a Half Stars (Out of Five)

Remake of the 1987 classic science fiction film directed by Paul Verhoeven (which spawned 2 sequels, a TV series, cartoons, comics, toys and other merchandise). This reboot to the franchise was directed by José Padilha (who's already directed some popular and violent Brazilian cop movies) and written by first time film writer Joshua Zetumer. It stars Joel Kinnaman in the title role and co-stars Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson, Jackie Earle Haley, Abbie Cornish, Michael K. Williams and Jay Baruchel. It's set in future Detroit and has the multinational conglomerate OmniCorp turning injured police officer Alex Murphy into a part-man/part-machine weapon of the law (once again). The studios are hoping it will revitalize the dormant franchise and lead to many more sequels. While I don't think it's nearly as classic as the original sci-fi masterpiece it's still a pretty good updated reboot.

The movie begins in 2028 when OmniCorp is revolutionizing the world by providing the US military with super-efficient robot soldiers. They're used overseas but a law (passed by Congress), called the Dreyfus Act (which is backed by a wide majority of the public) prevents these mechanical weapons from being used on US soil. There's nothing the CEO of OminCorp, Raymond Sellars (Keaton), would like more than to expand his business into law enforcement. So he comes up with a plan of making a half-man/half-robot police officer that will bypass the law and win over public opinion (on the idea of mechanical police officers). Sellars convinces his top scientist, Dr. Dennett Norton (Oldman), to go to work on the idea. They find the perfect specimen (for their science project) in Officer Alex Murphy (Kinnaman) when he's nearly blown to pieces by crooked cops, working for crime lord Antoine Vallon (Patrick Garrow). The project becomes much more difficult than Sellars or Norton expected when Murphy refuses to give up his humanity and become the perfect machine/weapon they want him to be.

The film ditches most of the dark humor and dry wit that fans have grown to love about the original movie in exchange for real-life politics (or at least something very similar to them). While the body count is extremely high it does tone down the blood and gore (like the third film in the series did as well) in order to get a more bankable PG-13 rating. Don't let that fool you, it's not a kids' flick; it's definitely an adult film that's hard to watch and is pretty disturbing at times. I do miss the distasteful jokes and graphic violence that made the first movie so unique (at the time) but I also enjoy seeing the new direction this installment is taking with the series. While part of me just wanted to see the original 'ROBOCOP' again (which is one of my all time favorite films) another part of me really enjoyed seeing something completely different too (and if I want to see the original again I can just watch the original movie). The social commentary and politics are great and a much more detailed (and realistic) origins story is interesting to see as well. I love the performances of all of the cast in it; especially Keaton (and this might be his best performance since 'BEETLEJUICE'). The one exception in the cast is Kinnaman; who's OK in the lead but he's no Peter Weller and a better actor could have possibly turned the movie into a five star film! Padilha is a great director for this material though and Zetumer's script (while flawed in minor ways) is brilliant. It's a near masterpiece that doesn't quite live up to Verhoeven's classic but it beats the hell out of 'ROBOCOP 3' and I look forward to more chapters in the series!

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7/10
A decent remake that delivers what it's supposed to – fun, sleek and modern action sequences
moviexclusive31 January 2014
And this writer thought he needn't be reminded of that disturbing scene in director Paul Verhoeven's 1987 movie. Before the guy made the iconic Total Recall (1990) and Starship Troopers (1997), he gave the world Robocop. The movie has often been mentioned in media as one of the most violently traumatising action flicks ever. How the protagonist Alex Murphy was brutally murdered remains one of the most talked about scenes in cinema history. Don't even get us started on how a villain slowly dissolves to death after being drenched in toxic waste.

Call this reviewer a coward, but these scenes freaked the hell out of him. After all, he was only a six year old kid then. But hey, it didn't stop him from pestering his parents to get an uber cool action figure from the nearest toy shop.

With this remake directed by Brazilian filmmaker Jose Padilha (Elite Squad), this columnist is pretty sure he can sit through the 121 production without flinching, especially when it's a PG13 movie with the consumer advice "Violence & Brief Coarse Language". In this day and age of movie making, it's all about maximixing profits with impressive box office returns, man.

There's not much you need to know about the plot, really. In 2028 Detroit, Alex Murphy is a loving husband, father and good cop. After being critically injured in a car explosion, a multinational conglomerate OmniCorp sees a chance to create part man, part robot police superhero. Cue themes regarding media, corruption, authorisationism, capitalism and human nature. But why get yourself all confused with this academia issues? You want an enjoyable action movie? You've got one right here.

Padilha knows better than to get Robocop all moped up with emotions. After a short introduction, Alex Murphy gets hurt and is all ready to suit up in his uber cool outfit. From there, expect adrenaline filled action sequences. You want car chases? Check. What about gun fights? Yup, they're in place. A finale showdown between Robocop and massive machines? Don't even get us started on that. This movie is pure popcorn fun, that's for sure.

Fans of the original will find themselves going through a checklist of comparisons, but while this geeky behaviour is somewhat respectable, we are advising that you don't do so because you'd be missing out on what the remake is set out to do – an entertaining two hours in the cinema.

The supporting actors are on form here. Besides the reliable Abbie Cornish (Seven Psychopaths), Jay Baruchel (The Sorcerer's Apprentice) and James Earle Haley (Little Children), we had fun watching Gary Oldman (Sirius Black!), Michael Keaton (Batman!), and Samuel L Jackson (Mace Windu!) portraying a righteous researcher, a shady businessman and a TV host respectively.

Unfortunately, our leading man Joel Kinnaman (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) pales in comparison next to his co stars. The 34 year old actor isn't all that bad, but just doesn't hold his own ground. This isn't a major flaw though, because all we want is for him to go shoot some baddies in his Robocop persona.

And yes, this writer's got that impulse to go out there to get some action figures again.
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1/10
RoboCock (2014) useless wasted pile of s**t remake!
ivo-cobra88 April 2017
Warning: Spoilers
*MAJOR SPOILERS*

Before you read my review there will be a lot of spoilers for this movie and they are really a lot of honestly from a fan of RoboCop like me.

RoboCop (2014) is a peace of s**t wasted unnecessary reboot! RoboCop is rated Page-13 and it has nothing to see in here at all. This and Terminator Genisys are the worst reboot movies ever! This is the worst movie I have ever saw! It doesn't have a heart, soul, adrenaline it doesn't have any humanity left, I can't feel for this character here at all! This movie sucks ass it is time waster, boring, lame useless, dumb underwhelming, uneven, poorly-paced, and insincerely melodramatic peace of s**t! Stop remaking and rebooting the classics already! I hate this movie I hate, "hate" it!

Joel Kinnaman is a STINKER cop in this movie and I will tell you why. So basically Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) get's blown away in car by bomb so he wakes up and suddenly he is a cyborg who supposed to be a Robocop. So his suit is black now not gray why? he has a human hand left on him self why? Not a titan like the original RoboCop had. His helmet has a red laser, Trough in tier movie STINKER cop doesn't do anything. Has an exercises and he runs from his problems like a whinny bitch he is. He has a wife who loves him the way he is and he doesn't lose his family like the original RoboCop did. I don't mourn for him and I don't feel sad for this brainless moron at all. So Alex on a parade shots a guy in front of a kid in front of his own son shots an unarmed criminal "disgrace"!

Lewis is now a black dude not a women and trough in tier movie he doesn't do anything. The character Lewis has nothing to do in here at all and he isn't in a movie much at all. He is missing he doesn't even support his partner at all! Murphy should have been called Robocop trough inter movie he wasn't called Robocop but Murphy. He wasn't part of machine or part of a human he wasn't. He was just a selfish dickhead in the movie who cared only for him self and his stupid ugly wife and his kid.

Chief Karen Dean is now a black women instead of Sergeant Warren Reed (Robert DoQui) what really made me angry is that Chief is a corrupt cop in this movie and she set up Alex Murphy they ruined the characters! They ruined Murphy, Lewis and Warren Reed!

Where are the bad guys? Where is some memorable bad guy in this movie? Where are some memorable lines in this movie at all? Robocock kills cyborgs like in a video game and drives like a Speedy Gonzales. He doesn't drive a car and he transports him self like a Transformer he is. Cyborgs ED-209 don't do much of a thing they are wasted and they don't do trough inter movie jack of sh**t. The music is terrible from Pedro Bromfman they don't use the original soundtrack from Basil Poledouris and song I Fought the Law is wasted peace of sh**t of a song!

Gary Oldman as Dr. Dennett Norton sucks he is wasted, his character is terrible and he has no heart. Miguel Ferrer in the original RoboCop was better actor and better human being character than a wasted Gary Oldman is.

I hate Alex Murphy's wife and his stupid son I wish he would lost them so we could morn for him but no! I wish he would be bad ass but Joel Kinnaman was a pussy in this movie he didn't do jack sh**t in here. Peter Weller the original RoboCop prevented two armed robberies, a rape which he shoot the rapist in the dick, he bust a drug factory on by him self, he stopped and punched a terrorist and saved the hostages in the mayor office, he stopped a violent gang by himself and he stopped a corrupt business man. This Robocop Joel Kinnaman didn't do anything trough whole movie.

Michael Keaton I am sorry I love you in Batman and Batman Returns but in here I don't like you at all and I don't like your character because he is a terrible villain I have ever saw! You can not play a bad guy well believable enough in here at all.

Where is the action in this movie the cast and the director promise us? There isn't any. I am very disappointed with this movie!

The ORIGINAL is Miles way better movie than this STINKER is! The original has everything good characters, good script, good action, heart, soul, humanity, adrenaline, sadness it is Hard rated-R that's how you do a Robocop movie. Not a PG-13 movie like is RoboCrap 3 who got his ass kicked and this movie!

What is Samuel L. Jackson doing in here at all? Jesus he is terrible. This futuristic world in this movie is terrible.

And yes I am comparing this movie with the original, why shouldn't I? It is based on the original movie. José Padilha has no clue how to direct a good action movie and in my opinion I don't see this movie been a good action film at all, not just because it is different that is just not the case, but because it is RoboCock (2014).

If you like this film "fantastic" your opinion but I hate it to death!

I am rating it 1/10 I don't want to type anymore and Jackie Earle Haley please retire! You made a remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street which was a abomination and you remake this movie that was a disgrace retire!
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7/10
Very decent movie
yuta_rule4 February 2014
By 7, it really means a 7.5/10. Not sure what's with the negative reviews, but I enjoyed the movie very much. It's well-executed and the direction was clear and crisp. There's no distinct feel-good actions scenes because the pacing is kept constant throughout and I don't see why there's an issue with the pacing being that way. It's hardly flat, it's just a very honest, straight- flushed story-telling, and it fits the themes that are underscored by the movie. Alex Murphy is a reluctant hero and he's ultimately a father and a husband whose personal agenda serves as his existential core. I like how these themes are teased out and zoomed in upon throughout the movie. Also, there are some absolutely delicious production details and CGIs that are just absolutely feasts to the eye. Not to mention the superb cast and the wonderful performances. I think this is a honest and loyal reboot that will appeal to fans of Robocop who fell in love with the story precisely for the moralistic themes it explores.
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2/10
Failed attempt at re-making a classic
hnt_dnl23 February 2014
Warning: Spoilers
ROBOCOP (2014) is the latest in a LONG list of remakes/reboots that have come in droves in the 21st century. For the most part, modern remakes just simply do not work, and this film is no exception. The first strike against them is the seeming requirement that they have to be PG-13, when the original was most probably R in the 80s, and I can even remember a few PG-13 movies back in the day that pushed the envelope more so than anything now! The original 1987 version of Robocop was a lightning-in-a-bottle classic, a perfect amalgamation of action, sci-fi, horror, satire, and drama. Sometimes, a film works simply because it doesn't TRY to be anything more than entertaining and everything else just comes together. I think that the problem with this 2014 version is that it TRIED to be different to the point that it focused so much on what it was trying to be, that it forgot that movies are meant at their core to simply entertain.

In watching this film in the movie theatre, I could not help but be reminded of the relatively recent "The Dark Knight", a monumentally overrated "comic-book" film from 2008 that has unfortunately changed the way that superhero movies are being presented. First there was "Man of Steel from last year, which had way too much pontification, meandering, and dizzying action to be entertaining. Now, with this film, there is a similar tone of characters talking way too much about man-versus-machine, the price of sacrifice, and, similar to TDK, minimal yet confusing action sequences. In this version, the dialog spells everything out to the viewer and it feels like characters are talking directly through the movie screen. In the original, the character actions spoke for themselves and everything felt organic. By the end of the original, I felt uplifted. By the end of this, I felt confused.

This re-boot tells a much different tale of Detroit cop Alex Murphy (essayed by a very-underused Joel Kinnaman from AMC's "The Killing"). In this film, Murphy is an undercover detective and is fully entrenched within his department (in the original, he was a uniformed-street cop who had just been transferred). Murphy's partner had just been shot in an arms deal gone wrong and he suspects a couple of his fellow officers of being dirty cops working for the city's biggest arms dealer Antoine Vallon (a literal useless character played by Patrick Garrow).

The Murphy-Vallon rivalry is virtually non-existent in this film and acts as a red herring. Turns out the film is not really about revenge, so much as Murphy's subsequent adjustment to living as a machine after one of Vallon's goons sabotages Murphy's car with a bomb, thereby almost killing him and turning him into a vegetable. In steps Omnicorp, run by billionaire Raymond Sellars (brilliantly played by Michael Keaton in the film's standout performance), who repair Murphy by making his body over 90% robotics, only leaving vital organs and his right hand in tact. So in this version, Murphy never really dies. He is actually still "human". I know that this is supposed to be science "fiction", but even this plot point goes way too far over my head! When I saw how Murphy really looked without the suit, I just couldn't wrap my head around how this was even possible.

The main scientist tasked with re-building Murphy is Dr. Dennett Norton (played earnestly by a very over-used Gary Oldman). In fact, Oldman actually has the largest role in this film, not Kinnaman, who's barely in it. And I couldn't really buy Oldman as a scientist. It seemed like he was channeling his Commissioner Gordon character too much from TDK.

A decent subplot involves how Murphy's wife Clara (well-played by Abbie Cornish) and son David (nicely played by John Paul Ruttan) react to Alex's fate. This is in contrast to the original film where Murphy's family was only ever seen in flashbacks and as far as they knew, he was dead. What worked about this in the original is it added to the tragedy of Murphy's fate. But at least in this one, the family scenes felt like a relief from all the boring corporate and political shenanigans. Most of this movie was like watching a Sunday morning politico show! In particular, Samuel L. Jackson has an odd and thankless role as a conservative talking point host of a national network news show. These scenes were a replacement for the satirical commercials that appeared in the original. But in the original, those commercials were deftly entertaining and funny. In this one, this faux news show is a boring chore to sit through! Jackie Earle Haley also has an annoying role as a military strategist who derides and trashes Murphy-Robocop every chance he gets. I also found the actors playing the respective assistants to Sellars and Denton to be bland and annoying, especially the nasal Jay Baruchel as Omnicorp's top marketing person.

Of course, the film throws in obligatory famous quotes from the original, but in a very uninspiring and cheesy way. Every time I would hear this dialog, it just made me cringe because it was so cheesy and didn't even belong in this movie, which is too different from the original for that to work. And, as mentioned above, there is actually very little action, and what there is, it's confusing, unrealistic, and cartoony, as most modern CGI-laden films tend to be. The movie itself doesn't seem to know what it really wants to be. In trying to be something different, it fails at being anything.
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7/10
Robocop '87 v. Robocop '14
view_and_review4 June 2014
Wow! I can't believe it's been 27 years since the first Robocop. Time flies. OK, enough nostalgia.

Robocop '14 was a decent remake. They kept the main theme and the main players, to a certain degree, but changed the story somewhat. One of the main things they did was soften the movie to a PG-13 rating from an R rating. Robocop '87 was far bloodier and more sinister. '87 Detroit was depicted as a more derelict and hopeless city than 2014 Detroit. Another big change was the depth of the story. Robocop '87 was a far simpler story without delving much into politics or Detective Murphy's family life. In the 2014 version we are dragged into a more somber reality of Murphy's transformation with the deep impact it has upon his wife and son. Robocop '87 didn't give much background or detailed information of the decision making for creating Robocop. 2014 goes heavily into the different parties that helped materialize Robocop and what they're motives were.

The net result was a very good remake. Of course this Robocop was given a serious makeover and benefited a lot from 21st century movie making. The movie was far from perfect but held its own.
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8/10
Solid new RoboCop for the future. Great effects built on a stronger back story.
face-819-93372628 April 2014
Warning: Spoilers
So I'm a bit late to the party; I'm still glad I came. This is a very high quality remake of a movie that never should have been more than a B movie when it came out. Nothing against the original I saw it 6 times the week it came out, it is still the only movie I have ever seen that many times in the theater. This remake however is really clean, and all of the tech is tight, and realistic in it's seamless melding with the near future, with such a perfect cast making sure not to miss any of the Iconic lines, though not being afraid to be a new, and different movie. I don't need to tell you who is in it, I don't need to tell you what it is about, though the back story in this version of the story is far more fleshed out, and there is less emphasis on the partnership, and more on family, but it is stronger this way for sure. I really Enjoyed this movie once I was able to get past that little head on the big ru-but (and the American General saying oot for out) as well there are some flaws in the story that are allowed in order to get through them. MGM's answer to Ironman, and Captain America. I recommend this one to anyone who was a fan of the original, you just have to give in, and accept that this is a new Robocop, and it works, of course if you have never seen a Robocop movie, or TV show (there were a couple) then you most likely will take to this right away. Personally though I am still hoping for the Robocop vs Terminator movie, I would accept animation.
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