HOLLYWOOD—“Dead or alive, you’re coming with me.” Any ideas where that quote came from? For movie lovers, it’s a classic line from the 1987 action-classic, “RoboCop.” Well, like any good Hollywood movie, a remake was prone to be made, and 2014 has a newly revamped version of the half-human/half robot killing machine. The thing that made “RoboCop” a classic is that its a guilty pleasure that just makes a bad day into a good one, and this 2014 version does just the same.
There’s no point in going about explaining the gist of how Detective Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) finds himself transformed into the tech-savvy killing machine because, the suit is all that matters. He is brought back to life thanks to Dr. Dennett Norton (Gary Oldman) who works for the Omni Foundation. Oldman brings quite the spark to his character, who some would call either a mad scientist or a genius.
What differentiates Kinnaman from Peter Weller’s character is this character has a bit more human emotion attached to him; this picture digs a bit deeper at building an emotional connection between the hero and the audience.
Murphy is extremely close with his wife Clara (Abbie Cornish) and their son. The film plays with the idea of who’s in control the robot or the human, which is a constant grapple for the character, but separated this picture from the 1987 classic, which was more about machinery than emotion.
Michael Keaton tackles the role of villain, portraying the devious Raymond Sellers, the CEO of OmniCorp. The interesting bullet point about this remake is that it contains quite a few surprises that will thrill the audience. The star power alone is an added addition, and it doesn’t hurt to have Samuel L. Jackson, as Patrick Novak, who hosts the series “The Novak Element.” He is in favor of a mechanical fighting machine to deter crime in the city of Detroit which is where the film takes place.
Some may find the setting a bit ironic, but considering I’m fromDetroit, the picture does an excellent job with the backdrop of photography and capturing the dire situation in the city while unfortunate, yet true. Even though, the majority of the picture was filmed in other regions. “RoboCop” is not just a tale about machines taking over in the near future, it’s a film tackling a question of where do we go next to further halt crime inAmerica. Particularly, the picture looks at the idea of large metropolitan cities, but who’s to say the impact won’t be carried over to smaller places.
There are constant discussions about the idea of drones taking overAmericain the coming years, but RoboCop reiterates that fear so many Americans have about machines: what happens if they malfunction or refuse to obey. Yeah, it’s a scary concept, but remember machines are created by people, so in the end they have the ultimate say right? That’s the primary question “RoboCop” tackles.
The film works so well in my opinion because it has some great characters that are not one note, we have a hero that is quite flawed, we have a villain that is devious to the core and it’s a popcorn flick full of fun. It’s the perfect film to escape the mundane craziness of real life, and it doesn’t hurt to give us a glimpse into how the future could perhaps manifest in the crime world.
By LaDale Anderson