Monday, July 6, 2015

RoboCop (2014)

Number Rolled: 47
Movie Name/Year: RoboCop (2014)
Genre: Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Length: 117 min
Rating: PG-13
Production Companies: MGM, Columbia Pictures, Strike Entertainment
Executive Producer: Roger Birnbaum, Bill Carraro
Director: Jose Padilha
Writer: Joshua Zetumer, Edward Neumeier, Michael Miner
Actors: Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Abbie Cornish, Jackie Earle Haley, Michael Kenneth Williams, Jennifer Ehle, Jay Baruchel, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Samuel L. Jackson, Aimee Garcia, Douglas Urbanski, John Paul Ruttan, Patrick Garrow, K.C. Collins, Zach Grenier

Alex Murphy is a dedicated cop and family man. After going rogue and trying to bring down a crime boss, he becomes the target of a hit that leaves him broken. When he comes up on the radar of a company designing robots to protect citizens, they find a way to make him whole again.

Selina’s Point of View:
I had some issues with the RoboCop remake.

First, it’s important to note that the original film wasn’t exactly my favorite movie. I understand why it’s popular and I enjoyed parts of it, but I wouldn’t really gasp if someone told me they hadn’t seen it.

Still, I found that the first film was bette, for the most part.

This remake concentrated a lot on the emotions that Murphy and his family go through as he’s turned into RoboCop. It was interesting to see, but there were times when I really missed the constant action of the first film.

I also much preferred the story line in the 1987 version. The villains were eviler, they had more depth and back story. The twist at the end really brought things together. In the 2014 version, the antagonists are more about politics than street crime and don’t get me started on the ending. It’s like the writers tried to force the outcome to be the same without keeping the original story and it wound up feeling rushed and awkward.

The RoboCop remake only came out ahead in graphics and acting.

Graphics was to be expected, there’s a big difference between technology in 1987 and technology in 2014. If the graphics weren’t better there would have been a bigger issue than already mentioned.

Where acting is concerned, it’s difficult to not prefer a film starring Gary Oldman (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Paranoia, The Dark Knight Rises), Michael Keaton (Birdman: Or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance, Noah, The Other Guys), and Samuel L. Jackson (Avengers: Age of Ultron, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Oldboy). I’d watch the three of them bark for an hour as long as they did it together. I’m also a huge fan of Jay Baruchel (Man Seeking Woman, How to Train Your Dragon 2, This is the End). I think he’s underestimated in a lot of ways.

In the end, the RoboCop remake was a clearer, more refined film… but the original had more heart.

Cat’s Point of View:
I tend to have mixed feelings when a movie gets remade. Especially when it’s an iconic movie like RoboCop (1987). However, my curiosity always wins out.

Special effects technology has made leaps of light years, it seems, since the release of the original. I wanted to see how they’d take advantage of those advancements. I wasn’t disappointed.

There was a sense that there was more man in the machine in this version. Once his armor was stripped away, and you got a peek, he felt a bit more vulnerable inside that suit than before.  In the original, you only saw his face as a reminder of the human element within.

I appreciated the handful of tidbits giving a direct nod to the 1987 film. I didn’t feel like much was omitted, thematically speaking; even while giving a new twist to the story to make it more relevant to today’s issues.

It was smart to flip things around a little with a male partner and keeping Murphy’s family in the picture.  They represented a more strong connection to Murphy’s humanity. It was more compelling, and easier to buy into as a result.

The swap up of the political talk show host played by Samuel L. Jackson (Oldboy, Meeting Evil, Big Game) instead of the news anchors was also a nice modernizing touch.

I was surprised that this was a PG-13 movie. They probably could have done a lot more if they had stuck to the R rating.

When it comes down to the test of time, I’m not sure that this one will be remembered as well as the original; but it sure made an enjoyable and valiant effort.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 49%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 50%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 4.1/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score2.5/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 3.7/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score3.5/5

Movie Trailer:

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