Robocop Review

The Plot:

In the near future, OmiCorp, the world’s leading weapons manufacturer, sets out to create the first ever man/robot hybrid to protect the streets of America. But things soon go wrong when their test subject, family man Alex Murphy begins to go against the machine inside him. Joel Kinnaman dons the iconic suit in this remake of Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 action classic.

The Good:

The film begins the way it intends to carry on, with action exploding from every corner of the screen that will surely make every action fan giggle with glee for the next two hours.

When Alex Murphy is nearly killed in a car bombing he becomes the unwilling guinea pig in OmniCorps lab as he’s wired up and sent out to protect the citizens of Detroit in his new gear. The uniform is rather impressive and perhaps the main event of the film.

Having last graced our cinema screens 11 years ago with Robocop 3, it was only a matter of time before the studios revived the series. Starting with a clean slate, this new entry scraps the classic silver look for Robocop and shows off a new sleek black appearance. It’s perhaps the most superficial and obvious way in which the franchise has been made a little more glossy and contemporary. Borrowing liberally from the visual styles of recent reboots like Tron Legacy and Christopher Nolan’s Dark Night trilogy.

The headlining hero is not the only thing to enjoy in Robocop. A supporting cast of Samuel L Jackson, Michael Keaton and Gary Oldman help explore some interesting questions amongst all the gunfire ad hi-tech mayhem. The film makes a real effort to engage with both political and ethical issues. Samuel L Jackson’s TV flamboyant TV host highlights the insidious dangers of mass media propaganda. Likewise, Gary Oldman’s character actively questions the murky moral implications of OmniCorps latest project.

The Bad:

Although the action comes in bucket loads, the accompanying story could have benefited from a little more depth and attention. Whilst Joshua Zetumer’s script does have a good idea behind it, it does feel predictable and bland at times. The usual corrupt government theme eventually rears its head and sets up the film’s inevitable climax.

Though the film touches on interesting themes, it rarely abandons its preoccupation with a steady barrage of crowd pleasing action, deployed to keep audiences heavily distracted. The film misses out on the chance to create a truly complex and original story by sticking closely to generic action genre expectations.

The Ugly Truth:

When it touches on the ethical and political ramifications of OmniCorps plan, Robocop almost becomes more than just an action blockbuster. However these ideas aren’t expanded as much as they could have been. That said, if you go in wanting two hours of good action you certainly won’t be disappointed.

Robocop is out in cinemas nationwide today. Check out interviews with the cast and director below from the IMAX World Premiere:

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