FILM REVIEW: ‘RoboCop’

(MGM/Columbia Pictures, 2014)

RoboCop provides a scary, yet almost unavoidable reality of where our world may be headed. Drones, robots, and citizen-scanning machines infest the world of 2028 in this new re-boot of the famous 1987 flick. Director José Padilha and staff provide great visuals as to what a future might look like if the world keeps rolling at the pace that it is.

Has anyone ever been to Detroit? I have only driven through the city and there was nothing really that exciting for me to want to stop. I have always heard and read that Detroit is a cesspool of crime and violence. This may be the case now, but in the near future when Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) is on the scene everything comes to a grinding halt.

RoboCop brings forth a world where the United States seems to maintain and control order in the farthest parts of the world. The movie shows the massive corporation, OmniCorp, that eventually develops RoboCop, being involved in international peace keeps. The idea is that American will no longer be in the line of terrorist or international threats. Instead, OmniCorp and the United States military have partnered to make sure that all Americans are safe when on foreign soil. The movie unfolds a confrontation in the street of Tehran, Iran, where suicide bombers attempt to expose the weaknesses of OmniCorp.

This uprising is broadcast on television across the world and brought to the attention of the United States people by Samuel L. Jackson’s character, Pat Novak. If all of RoboCop was terrible, which it wasn’t, the one redeeming factor is that in the future Sam Jackson has a political television show. He absolutely nails what a political lobbying television host of the future should be like. The Novak Element (Pat Novak’s show) works as a way to explain to the viewing audience all the “truths” about OmniCorp and how the American people should be protected within their own borders by the same machines that patrol the world.

The entire premise of this movie could be viewed as political propaganda for drone security, but I don’t feel the need to drag my political views into this review. In the movie, a bill has been passed to ban the use of drone-style security on U.S. soil and OmniCorp obviously wants to change that. How do they do that exactly? Well, that is where RoboCop comes in. OmniCorp CEO Raymond Sellars (Michael Keaton) works with company scientist Dr. Dennett Norton (Gary Oldman) to scheme the plan for RoboCop and hopefully win over the love of the American people with such a machine-human.

Detective Alex Murphy is a proud cop serving on the streets of Detroit and he also is hated by many of the crime lords. One in particular named Antoine Vallon leaves Murphy fending for his life after he attacks him with a car bomb in his own driveway. Murphy’s wife, Clara (Abbie Cornish) and son witness this horrific incident. Murphy is chosen by OmniCorp to participate in their new RoboCop program that will give him a robot body, but still leave him with enough human elements that he can sneak under the radar of recently passed U.S. law against robot security.

RoboCop undergoes many physical and mental training test to make sure that he is fit for the job of cleaning up Detroit. Despite the approval of OmniCorps military robot specialist, Rick Maddox (Jackie Earle Haley), Murphy in the RoboCop equipment is introduces to the people of Detroit. Within seconds of being introduced, RoboCop jumps into action and identifies a known murder that is attending the press conference.

The science staff of OmniCorp was forced to lower the dopamine levels of Murphy because he was unable to control his emotions during the upload of all the crime scenes. This manipulation to Murphy completely takes the human aspect out of the project and leaves only RoboCop. The movie progresses from here with RoboCop cleaning up the streets of Detroit and practically eliminating crime on the streets.

By removing Murphy from the element, this also removes his family and leaves them asking questions as to why they may no longer see him. Murphy’s emotions are too strong and his will breaks him of the dopamine block. He begins to solve his own murder case and realizes that it wasn’t just Vallon that attacked him, but that corrupt cops within the Detroit Police force were also behind his murder.

Without completely spoiling the entire movie, I will say that if you have seen the original RoboCop then you will find that this movie parallels the original in many ways. The differences are easily noticed in that RoboCop has a more human appeal. His movements are less rigid and more acrobatic while still holding onto that mechanical nature that makes him the super cop that he is. My favorite addition to this movie is the inclusion of his family in the overall plot. It really has a good flow overall even with the excessive political Hollywood jargon. RoboCop is an enjoyable action movie that would be enjoyed by most, so I give this movie a “Bag It!”
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GalenGarner-biopic-small

Galen is a Graphic Designer in Wake Forest, NC. He is the husband of a wonderful Oklahoma girl and dad of a future Marvel Comics fan. He enjoys comic-related anything, the Boston Red Sox and sharpening his axe for the zombie apocalypse.

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