Thursday, 30 January 2014

Movie Review: Robocop (2014)

The new RoboCop is a surprisingly good and entertaining sci-fi action thriller that appeals to the human heart by conveying emotions and the humanity side of Murphy, the main character who eventually becomes the titled cyborg law enforcer. The film ultimately wins for not trying to be the original 1987 version. The story of Murphy is similar to its predecessor (since it's a remake) but does its own thing to provide something new instead of retelling the same thing again. The film focuses more on the development of Murphy's character, his initial response to his cyborg body and relationship with his family, making the character more emotional and relatable to the audience.

The film delves into the meaning of humanity, family themes, media influence on public opinion, corporate greed ('evils' of capitalism), authoritarianism and corrupt law enforcement authorities. It provides a brief view of the struggles we might face with machines or digital surveillance of the future as well. It also briefly raises the question whether it's ethical or legal to eliminate the human factor in law enforcement to reduce crime rates by creating merciless cyborgs or robots to replace humans.

The action sequences are updated with a higher body count, with better CGI and sound effects, making them cooler, stylish and more entertaining than the original. The new black tactical design of Robocop is found to be acceptable and nice...the updated Robocop is shown to be more agile, flexible and stronger compared to the original. However, I personally find the right human hand to be slightly distracting. (I prefer no human hand at all, entirely machine except the face)
Surprisingly, there's quite a lot of credible actors in this film: Abbie Cornish, Jay Baruchel, James Earle Haley, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton and Samuel L. Jackson...they all providing decent believable performances to this remake.
Although it's hardly a ground-breaking film or a masterpiece, Robocop is a decent and satisfying remake that delivers on many levels. There's no plot problems, inconsistencies or plot holes found in this film at this time of writing this review and the pacing of the film is fine as well. So, it's good enough to recommend anyone to watch it.

The old 1987 Robocop design

Rating: 7.5/10

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