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Short Review: It was ok. Not horrible, but not great. If you’re a fan of the original, go see it. But if not, eh, you could wait for a rental.

Long Review:

I wish it was better for a few reasons.  1) We’ve seen a few movies come out that were either sequels are reboots of nostalgic 80s movies or shows that have worked and were fantastic.  Tron Legacy, I thought, was amazing. WAY better than the original, not just because of the updated special effects or the soundtrack by Daft Punk, but it was good to see Obi Wan Lebowski (Jeff Bridges) reprise his role as the computer dude, pre Neo. And the A-Team movie I thought was fantastic, better than the original series.

That’s why I was hopeful for this new Robocop to be good. And I went into it, knowing that it probably wouldn’t be amazing, and I was rght, but I was also pleased to have been entertained.

I think it’s always a mistake to make a movie PG-13 when the original or series was R. They did it with AVP when ALL of the Alien and Predator movies were R. They did it with Live Free or Die Hard as well. What’s funny is, BOTH franchises had follow up movies past their PG-13 episodes that went back to the R rating...and were better. The Alien and Preditor franchises were separated and had Predators with Adrien Brody with was much better than either of the AVP movies, and then Ridley Scott came back to the Alien franchise to direct Prometheus, which was definitely better than AVP...but not as good as Alien I think we can all agree.

Here’s the biggest problem with having a movie with a PG-13 from a franchise that is traditionally R...they did it to get more people to watch it, namely kids, because they didn’t think it was good enough to get enough adults. This doesn’t bode well for the movie when the people making it don’t think it’s good enough to keep it an R rating. But just slapping more violence and getting an R rating doesn’t make it good either, we saw that with AV:Requiem (get it, AVP-R).

thekillingBut, enough about the rating. let’s talk about the actual movie. I was excited to see Robocop, Alex Murphy, be played by Joel Kinnaman. You may not have heard of him, but he was in VERY good crime drama called The Killing, available on Netflix, that he was great it. Quick note: The Killing is unlike most crime shows in that instead of solving one crime per episode, they take 3 seasons to solve one murder. Incredible.

Joel Kinnaman didn’t disappoint. He did a good job in portraying a police officer suffering from PTSD...who now has robot limbs and body.  Samuel L. Jackson was fun to watch as ultra patriot, pro-robot, anti-crime, Fox News type. It was fun to see Gary Oldman as a good guy again (seriously, before he was in Batman, he was never a good guy, like, ever). And it was fun to see Michael Keaton who played Batman in the original Tim Burton film but isn’t so much a good guy in this one.

I enjoyed several parts of this movie. Some good action scenes and sort of interesting politics. The MGM begining was hilarious, with the lion’s roar replaced with...I won’t spoil it, just see it at some point.

There are some complaints I have, namely...it didn’t have much of a point. Meaning, the main message is that drones are bad. Yeah, we kind of already know what. Another is that MORE guns, or robots, or weapons, isn’t necessarily the answer. But answer to what? They never really said violence or crime has skyrocketing in the US or in Detroit. But maybe that’s the point, that we have a lot of people, namely a few politicians and big business people, who want to sell weapons to solve an issue that isn’t really an issue. But they didn’t make this point either.

The original is better in so many ways. One big example the reason to put a human into a robot. In the original, they an ED 209 malfunction and just shoot the crap out of a dude. So they decided to give a bit of human decision making to a robot. But even this proved difficult as there were test video of robots, with human brains, just going insane and killing other people and then themselves. I felt like this could have been an interesting area for this new Robocop to explore, we want to do this, but at what cost?

robocop1987Eventually, in the original, they decide to use Alex Murphy, but remove ALL memory and even remove one arm that was sort of ok, to replace it with a robotic prosthetic. Later, Robocop’s memory starts coming back and he starts seeing his wife and kids, but has no idea who they are and he’s freaking out and trying to make sense of his life. This was FAR more interesting than this new one.

Robocop 2014 leaves the human arm and his memory of his family. Which is a new twist on the human/robot hybrid, but I felt like it wasn’t necessary. One thing that was new that I was pleasantly surprised with was idea that his human brain was getting in the way of the programming, so they gave him a crap ton of drugs to settle Robocop down and be like a robot so that he, as a weapon, would be more controllable.

Robocop, as a concept, has a lot of potential, but this new movie didn’t do enough with the concepts I felt.

One minor thing that I didn’t like was that they made him black instead of the classic silver. What’s interesting is that it seems as though the movie itself agreed with me, because the last scene put him back into the original silver color.

I hope they do make more Robocop movies, just rated R movies with better stories.

I didn’t like is at much as I had hoped, but I liked it a lot more that Movie Bob. He hated it.

This is what Movie Bob thinks about the original Robocop, and I completely agree.

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