'Robocop' (2014) - Movie Review

I'm very familiar with the original movie: violent, sadistic, misanthropic, satirical, and brilliant. Most of the elements of this are the same, although updated: its set a bit further in the future, and the computers and robotics are more up-to-date. But we still have a crime-riddled Detroit, and a corporation called OCP that wants to police the streets with robots. And a project to turn a man into a cyborg. The difference - and the only significant interest the movie offers - is in the fact that officer Alex Murphy fully retains his own memory and personality through the initial trauma and transformation. We watch him try to deal with the process and come to terms with returning to his family as something not entirely human. (That happened in the earlier movie, but quite differently.) They have Samuel L. Jackson as "Pat Novak," a right wing TV personality and commentator who's totally in favour of robotic policing - he's director José Padilha's failed attempt to bring the biting satire of the original movie to life. Novak is obnoxious, but - especially in 2018, the age of Trump - not so different from the political commentary on the TV right now.

Kinnaman was okay in the lead, although not great. And he spends part of the movie doped to his eyeballs so he's acting like an automaton - which leaves the audience very little to grab ahold of. Gary Oldman and Michael Keaton are also okay - I didn't think they brought much. It may seem odd to judge an action movie on its acting, but the original was an incredibly thought-provoking social commentary that just happened to have a lot of action. This movie, while not a total disaster, isn't even in the same ballpark.