Dir. José Padilha
Darkmatters Review by Matt Adcock
Read the newspaper version of this review over at The Bucks Herald
“Dead or alive, you're coming with me!”
Flash forward to 2028, even the worst and most crime ridden districts, anywhere in the world can be completely cleaned up and kept safe thanks to U.S. made military grade drones who deliver lethal force for any who transgress… Apart from in the USA itself. You see the US citizens have backed a law forbidding robots being able to take life – and this is vexing multinational OmniCorp boss Raymond Sellars (Michael Keaton) because it’s the one market he could make billions from.
"Your move, creep!"
This is the near future depicted by director José Padilha in his reboot of the Paul Verhoeven’s classic 1980’s ultraviolent robot-em-up. It’s a valiant effort but the tale has very much been toned down from the grisly over the top action / dark satirical humour of the original – Robocop 2014 is slick, slow origins tale.
The hero cop who gets fused into the titular artificial bionic robo-body is Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) – and he just might be the future of law enforcement, as well as a way for OmniCorp to win over the US public.
"Peace be upon you..."
Robocop is the brainchild / creation of Dr. Dennett Norton (Gary Oldman) who comes across like a future Frankenstein – enraptured by his ability to bring man and machine together.
But where does Murphy’s humanity reside and how far will OmniCorp redact his emotional responses in order to make him a ‘better law enforcer’? Kinnaman is tasked with carrying the film’s emotional core – especially in his strained relationship with his lovely wife Clara (Abbie Cornish) and doe eyed young son David (John Paul Ruttan).
Padilha’s film feels most at home when the action kicks off – and that shouldn’t be a surprise to viewers as his previous flicks have been the crunchingly violent, tough cop Elite Squad movies.
Everything in the 2014 Robocop looks machine tooled to be cutting edge – the new armour comes in tactical ‘Judge Dredd’ alike black – an image that is reinforced by Murphy’s new motorbike.
Overall this reboot does a decent job of taking an iconic film hero and successfully toning it down for a wider audience. Yes it loses its cult classic status in the process but I’d rather watch this again than some other remakes such as the similarly neutered Total Recall which was over-bland.
Sci-fi fans can hopefully look forward to more ‘new’ Robocop if this makes enough money and I’d certainly buy that for a dollar!
Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:
(3.5 - Thank you for your cooperation)
Awesomeness öööö – The heavy metal action forms the highlights
Laughs öö – some amusing moments but lacks the sharp satirical
Horror öö – slightly icky dismemberment scenes
Babes ööö – Cornish is a yummy wife
Spiritual Enlightenment öö - your own, virtual, Jesus?
Recommended Hashtag: #I'dBuyThatForADollar #YouHave20SecondsToComply