How do you solve a problem like RoboCop?
The world of Hollywood is predictable: The latest RoboCop movie is a bright example of how predictable and redundant the mindset of the Hollywood producers is.
Firstly, let’s talk about the making of the movie itself: Why would you bother making an effort and come up with a new idea if you can simply remake an old movie and cash in on the nostalgia of people in their late 30s, and the already fanfare of newer generations who are aware of RoboCop, but can’t bother to set through the two-hours eights movie?
Secondly, let’s talk about the story: Why would we bother writing an original story when we can copy and paste the original movie story, add some species and pretend that all is good?
Thirdly, let’s talk about the role of women: The movie is a macho-feast in its best, all female characters have never heard anything about a little something called feminism, but, again, for the producers: it’s about the study of your audience who are mostly males in their teens to late 30s: rather than being politically correct, give the young men what they expect.
What is surprising, to be honest, is that the new RoboCop is actually a pretty good movie, despite all of these stuff.
Directed by José Padilha is his first English-language film, and benefiting greatly from the talents of the star-ridden cast [which includes Oscar-nominated Gary Oldman, the Original Batman Michael Keaton, the spooky Jackie Earle Haley and the always cool Samuel L. Jackson], the movie actually delivers much better than expected from it.
Joel Kinnaman, known for his TV role in The Killing, stars as Alex Murphy, a loving husband, father and a good cop doing his best to stem the tide of crime and corruption in Detroit, 2028. In the RoboCop version of the future: multinational conglomerate OmniCorp is at the center of robot technology. Overseas, their drones have been used by the military for years – and it’s meant billions for OmniCorp’s bottom line. Now OmniCorp wants to bring their controversial technology to the home front, and they see a golden opportunity to do it. When Alex Murphy is critically injured in the line of duty, OmniCorp sees their chance for a part-man, part-robot police officer.
OmniCorp envisions a RoboCop in every city and even more billions for their shareholders, but they never counted on one thing: there is still a man inside the machine pursuing justice.
The movie’s explosive start sets the mood for an action movie worthy of a summer release: you think you’re going to be watching clashes and conflicts over the span of couple of hours, then go home and forget all about the movie until you see the trailer of the sequel: what comes as a surprise is that the movie actually doesn’t only deliver action, in which there are tons and tons of explosions and metal parts flying around, it actually also delivers a physiological study of a man who is forced to return to life after being on the edge of death, then accepting his fate as a futuristic Robotic being, and challenging the creators who made him, as well solving the crime of his own murder.
The movie lingers at times, and it loses focus for about half an hour in the middle, but the first and the last acts both are extremely strong, and deliver a well-balanced action movie with a great dramatic story.
Samuel L. Jackson delivers one of his most fun roles as Pat Novak, a corrupted TV presenter who seems to take the role of Greek’s mythology Homer, glorifying the quest of the hero of the movie, yet still paying respect, maybe because his name is on someone’s payroll, to the big players of the game: The Corporation Gods of RoboCop.