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Robocop Remake - February 2014 - PG13 Rating Confirmed at ComicCon


Robo_1
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I thought this was pretty decent actually. Whenever you're encouraged to draw direct comparisons with the original (e.g Murphy's death, or Murphy himself) it comes up short, of course, but most of the fresh material was really good. Crucially, it actually has an engaging story with mostly good characters who generally do stuff that makes sense - the OCP lot especially. Having watched Star Trek Into Darkness recently - which feels like a set of loosely connected action scenes that make zero sense as a whole and thus garnered very little engagement from me, this is a great relief. It at least feels like Jose Padilha was interested in the subject matter and wanted to make a good fist of it.

The Tehran opening was actually pretty fantastic, and until the final 30 mins it was peppered with interesting scenes and ideas. The PR-led genesis of the project, Murphy coming to terms with his situation, Robo's bungled first public appearance and his subsequent super-enhanced crime solving.

Where it came undone, I felt, was in the action scenes. Not because they were too plentiful (they weren't) or because they were poorly executed (they vary), but because their feel disconnected from the non-actiony bits and actually undermine good ideas established by the script:

Various scenes stress that Robo is, after some tweaking to his brain, just about as good as a single all-metal drone. We're also told that .50 cal rounds will cause him damage. Great - some clear limitations to help us understand any threats against him, and an interesting take on the character in that the human element actually makes him a weaker combat robot. But that stuff isn't borne out in the action scenes at all. First of all, it's immediately undermined by having him outwit an entire army of regular bots. Later he drives headlong into an enemy stronghold that is prepared for his arrival and seems fine at the end of it. Given the earlier scenes, which show his real power over criminals is as a physical manifestation of the panopticon, they could have done something a lot more interesting. Similarly, having him leaping all over ED-209s was rubbish. These big action scenes feel shoehorned in as trailer-fodder. The smaller scenes are much better.

I really liked Keaton as the OmniCorp CEO. Not an evil genius, more a symptom of corporate greed and (lack of) accountability. That felt quite real until

he turns into a gun-waving lunatic at the end.

Those around him were well played as well - they were all just doing their jobs, they just happened to have pretty awful jobs.

So overall I'd say this is a decent sci-fi film in its own right that manages to tackle some big issues in a not-entirely-stupid way. It's biggest success is, for the most part, avoiding aping the original.

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this is now up on UK Netflix in case anybody missed it.

goes without saying it doesn't stand any comparison to the classic original, but that said it wasn't quite the steaming turd I feared it would be (and isn't as bad as Total Recall).

that isn't to say its good, its not really, its flat in terms of action & story, there is little of the wit or commentary of the original and maybe I felt a bit more positive at recognising the occasional nod to the original (I'd buy that for a dollar). seems odd to get a few decent actors in (Sam Jackson, Michael Keaton, Gary Oldman) and really only let one of them chew the scenery up in the Fox news segments, even letting them go mad would have perked it up a bit.

a 4 or 5 out of 10 is about right, and in some ways its not as shameful to the series as 3 or even 2 were.

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I started watching it on a LH flight recently and the charisma vacuum that was the lead(before being Robo'd) had me switching it off after 10-15 minutes(cranky and exhausted) - which is a pity as the opening street battle and fox news segment were both quite well done.

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goes without saying it doesn't stand any comparison to the classic original, but that said it wasn't quite the steaming turd I feared it would be (and isn't as bad as Total Recall).

That's exactly what I thought. As has probably been mentioned, it might have been ok as a standalone "people versus AI" story, but wasn't in the same class as the original. Even lines like "I'd buy that for a dollar" made no sense, because there was no TV show constantly referencing it. They tried hard to replicate the political theme with Jackon's Bill O'Reilly type show, but it was completely jarring compared to everything else. If the politics (beyond literal politics, where Keaton is talking to the senator) was a bit more obvious throughout, it might have been ok. Even the notion of getting around the law the way they did was never expanded upon. In fact, that's the bit that held my interest, but was a complete dead end.

Speaking of the end, jesus. They tried to replicate the original, but just god-moded it.

I'd go with 4 or 5 out of 10, too. It was a better way to wash the dishes than just staring into the water, but I wouldn't have wanted to directly pay to watch it.

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