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Dec 14, 2003

Smarts > Wisdom


I honestly don't have an issue with Hollywood remaking films because there was a lot of poo poo films made over the past century that could probably use updating... But Robocop hardly fits that category. I watched the original the day before I saw the remake and honestly it's still just as loving awesome as ever. It holds up really drat well. There's nothing to be improved upon. Maybe this is why the remake doesn't even bother to try.

There's a lot wrong with this movie. For starters it's rated PG-13. If you know poo poo about Robocop then you know it was bloody as hell. In fact it was originally to be rated X and they had to actually tone that poo poo down. Yeah, Robocop shooting someone in the nuts is the toned down version. So now Robocop uses a taser. Plenty of other people use normal guns, but I don't recall any blood coming out of where they shoot people. Which means of course Alex Murphy can't be viciously gunned apart by the bad guys anymore. Also no one gets shot in the nuts.

Secondly, the bad guys in this film literally tell you "Hey, we're bad guys". This films assumes you're too loving stupid to realize corporations are evil... Which might actually make sense in an age where so many of us befriend them on Facebook and follow their Twitter feeds. But really the corporation doesn't have any motive to be evil. Yes, obviously there's money. What I mean is that they basically never did anything wrong. At some point they just snap for no reason and say, "Yo, let's give up all our success and kill Robocop!" Yeah they did some jerk things along the way, but they'd already won so there was no motivation behind going completely evil in the last twenty minutes of the movie.

Thirdly, everyone's so drat generic. Robocop is a bland white guy. His partner is a bland black guy. His wife and son keep coming up but have no role to play in the movie. Even the city is bland. This is supposed to be future Detroit, but really it seems more peaceful than current Detroit. Are we supposed to assume Detroit is evil because Robocop sees that like 8000 crimes have been commited since 2011? Well the film's set in 2028, so really if the city's only endured like 470 crimes a year on average that doesn't seem so awful. It's not like the original film which predicted future Detroit to be hell on Earth at all. The only indication we're given that anything's bad is that there's drugs. I'm pretty sure there's drugs now... more-so probably.

Finally, let's talk about Robocop. Making him black was just plain stupid. Also there's just something off about him running around so drat fast. I loved how goddamn slow the original was; how he basically took his sweet time walking everywhere, and then basically shrugged off a billion rounds of fire because he was too bulky to go ducking everywhere. Now we have a drat ninja. Also he has a human hand. Why?

Pros: The action sequences are fairly actiony.

Cons: Was all time I could of spent watching the FAR superior original.


It gets an extra .5 because it reminded me that I needed to rewatch the original again.

Liar fucked around with this message at 14:00 on Mar 4, 2014


Not Wolverine
Jul 1, 2007


When Hollywood does a remake it is done for the purpose of bringing an old story to a new audience, the end result will change in part because of technology but also because of different tastes for modern theater audiences. Older action movies often had a slower pace, Darth Vader swung his light saber slow because the animation was extremely expensive back then, and Peter Weller was a slow cop because he was wearing a really heavy suit. ED-209 was expensive to animate and as such there was only one in the original Robocop, and it looked like a puppet.

Robocop(2014) is indeed a very different movie than the original Robocop. The new Robocop focuses more on the issues brought up by the idea of a mechanical cop. The original Robocop also had a focus on the issues this presents, but it was a sub-plot that could have been left out in the original. The original Robocop was a gore fest with a man in a cool suit, and there was also considerable humor in the original Robocop films. The new Robocop is more of a psychological action movie than a gory comedy, and I like the new Robocop.


Milkfred E. Moore
Aug 27, 2006

The fate of destruction is also the joy of rebirth.

I'm going to preface this with while I have seen the original Robocop, and can understand why it is a classic, it's never been one of my favourite films.

For a film with such a boring, uninspired and ultimately generic trailer, it's interesting how good the 2014 remake is. It is not a remake like, say, Total Recall was where you note that they've cut out important things like, say, Mars. This is a film that is more like 'What if Robocop was made today and dealt with today's issues'? It isn't a gorefest over-the-top comedic satire, rather more of a psychological character study of a robotic cop and the issues faced with having such a protector. There's action, sure, but it's not the real focus. The satire, too, is rather muted but still present.

Come on, the robots look just like Cylons and their first action is to blast away a knife-wielding kid with a minigun. Robocop wears black and red because the 'trendy and hip and slick' OCP execs don't like his silver armour and want him to look more 'tactical' because focus groups like it better.

See, when I saw the Robocop trailer, I went in expecting a film with these sorts of beats:

- Alex Murphy becomes Robocop, but he's more of a guy in a powered suit than a robot.
- Robocop is initially a servant of the peace, however, his OCP overlords start giving him programming that make him do things to advance their nefarious moustache-twirling agenda.
- Eventually, this culminates in something major. Like, I don't know, they try and make Robocop shoot the President - but Robocop's human side starts fighting his programming!
- At the climax of the film, Robocop's wife tearfully pleads with him to remember who he is.
- Robocop breaks his programming, saves the day, and says something like: "The name's Murphy."

The film isn't anything like that. There's none of the usual clichés. Some of the scenes are actually surprisingly heartfelt and there's a few scenes that I'm surprised they could get away with in a PG-13 film. The acting is solid and Oldman gives a fantastic performance. The plot is good, the film is well-paced and the antagonists work. The soundtrack is... kind of weak because the bombastic Robocop theme doesn't really suit the muted feeling of this film. The sound design is really, really good - when Robocop moves, he sounds like you expect him to sound. When people touch him, you get just the right metallic noises.

The first Robocop was a film about a mechanical cop.

This Robocop is a film about the issues raised by having mechanical cops and soldiers.

I'd give it about a 3.5 / 5. I don't think it will go down in history but it's actually good. It's going to be unfairly lambasted by diehard Robocop fans who can't get past the fact that it is a modern take on the ideas presented by a classic film.

The Shep
Jan 10, 2007

If found, please return this poster to GIP. His mothers are very worried and miss him very much.

I went into this movie expecting it to be poo poo because let's be honest, the trailer was terrible.

I was blown away. Not that the movie is amazing, it's not perfect, but it was surprisingly good and was nothing at all like what the trailers suggested. The PG-13 rating did soften a lot of what they could've done in the way of gore, but gore isn't really the focus of this movie. I felt if they were a little less heavy-handed with some of the way the political issues are presented it would've been more of a thinking mans movie, though in its current form it does more than just give you something to watch while eating popcorn. It modernizes RoboCop without rehashing the movie for no reason (hi, Total Recall).

A really gut wrenching scene in the early parts of the movie where RoboCop's suit is stripped away to show only his remaining human parts is particularly good. More than I was expecting from the PG-13 rating, and is nearly enough to forgive the lack of other gore in the movie. Some minor pacing issues toward the end, and seemingly no thought given to RoboCop's ability to operate outside normal police procedure and just jaunt around town busting into crime scenes without warrants are my only real complaints. The characters are played well, and despite what other reviewrs might think, there are motivations and reasons for why the people in this movie do what they do. They just don't always spell it out for you, and I liked not having my hand held through the entire movie.


The Shep fucked around with this message at 17:30 on Mar 7, 2014

Jul 7, 2006

Obviously, anyone who is a fan of the original Robocop had no desire to see it remade at all, since the possibility of it being r-rated and faithful to the paranoid ultra-violent future-nightmare of the original is 0%.

If you take it as its own deal, however, it's a decent action flick. It sensibly makes the film about our current paranoias (drones, corporate/govt deceit/corruption, never-ending occupations in the middle-east) as opposed to those of the 80s (everyone is gonna be killing each other in the streets with uzis!). They also walk a very fine line between a robotic ghost-in-the-machine and a real person who just happens to have a robot body, which I didn't expect.


Wild T
Dec 15, 2008

The point I'm trying to make is that the only way to come out on top is to kick the Air Force in the nuts, beart it savagely with a weight and take a dump on it's face.

A lot of remake reviews have the caveat of "this movie is not trying to merely ape the original; please judge it on its own merits." I think this film is one of the strongest examples of this logic. Robocop (2014) is as far from Robocop (1987) as it can be while still maintaining the basic premise.

It's a surprisingly human film. A lot of that boils down to the difference in the titular characters. Where the 1987 film had a hero who was essentially a corpse strapped into a machine with his memory wiped, this film plays with the reaction of a man who knows from the very start who he was and what he now is. I was pleasantly surprised by how limited the action scenes were - it's very talky for a movie about a robot police officer. The original wasn't just famous because of the carnage and dick-shootin'. It was a tragic play on adolescent male power fantasy - you get to be a kick-rear end robot with lots of guns, but what do you do when you're not shooting perps? This movie focuses far more on that side of the story.

There were some missteps, however. I thought Sam Jackson was only occasionally funny, frequently annoying and almost entirely unnecessary. Worst of all, they pulled the audience out of the film at some of its most engrossing points. His plot exposition about the legalization of drones on US soil could have easily been worked into Keaton's scenes without being as jarring as they were.

By far the most positive thing about this movie, though, was the dark humor buried in it. It's not nearly as overt as the 1987 film, but scenes like a fifteen foot tall combat robot vaporizing a fourteen year old with a kitchen knife stand nearly as effective as any from the original.

I really liked this movie. It could have been better, but it could have been a hell of a lot worse.


Jan 21, 2001

Right now Nintendo is the Titanic slowly but inexorably heading towards the iceberg. I can't wait for the ship to start sinking. It will be awesome to behold.

Thoroughly disappointing PG-13 remake of the 1987 Verhoeven classic. The original Robocop felt raw and dangerous from the start – Peter Weller’s blue-eyed hero-cop is literally shotgunned into hamburger meat in the first 20 minutes of the film. This level of violence continues throughout, keeping us on our toes for the rest of the film - something that is entirely absent from the sanitized and bloodless 2014 remake.

2014 Robocop does not shoot rapists in the balls with his modified Beretta. Bodies do not explode into chunks of meat from the impact of high caliber bullets. The new Robocop, instead, employs a Taser® gun to incapacitate enemies. TASER® International Inc. even gets a shout-out in the end-credits. When people do die, they do so in that awful bloodless made-for-TV way you’ve seen in hundreds of Syfy Channel original productions. I’ve watched black and white Westerns from the 1950’s with more satisfying gun play. What’s worse, several shoot-‘em-up sequences resemble arcade light gun games.

It isn’t just the violence that is neutered. All the characters are pale facsimiles of their 80’s counterparts Gone is the humour, biting satire and memorable lines. The Clarence Boddicker replacement is the least menacing villain I have seen in a long time. The only two exceptions are Michael Keaton and Gary Oldman, who at least bring some conviction to their roles.

Joel Kinnaman, the actor who plays Alex Murphy/Robocop has the voice and look, but is a poor substitute for Peter Weller. We care about Weller’s Alex Murphy because he comes across as a regular beat-cop caught in a terrible situation. The lack of emotion Weller shows as Robocop has an impact because of the vulnerability and humanity we saw in him as Alex Murphy. I dare you to spot the difference between Joel Kinnaman’s emotionless, robotic cyborg and Joel Kinnaman’s wooden, one-dimensional Alex Murphy.

The movie does get one thing right; it explores the nightmare scenario of Robocop essentially being a brain in a jar attached to a bunch of machines – the only part of the film I enjoyed.

The 2014 Robocop remake is a vanilla, toned-down, almost aggressively bland, made-for-children-and-foreign-audiences DRECK. I refuse to believe this milquetoast effort is anybody’s ‘vision’. Bears all the hallmarks of a movie designed by studio accountants and sales teams.


Mar 7, 2010



College Slice

Rewatched this the other night. It's fun and keeps itself distanced from the original Robocop. You can see how the PG-13 rating hurt it though.



Dec 14, 2004

The more I think about it, the more it seems obvious that the one director to direct a Robocop remake would be José Padilha. Not only is Paul Verhoeven a clear inspiration for him, but his movies and series also follow themes that would fit very well with Robocop's social criticism, and it's not like he shies away from ultra-violent scenes. Comparing it to anything other that he directed it is clear that this movie was toned down aggressively by the writing and possibly higher-ups demanding for a softer tone.

I find this movie "okay" on it's own, a little bland, but not aggressively bad if distanced from the source material. But what a huge, colossal waste of potential.


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