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RoboCop (2014) 2014

Detroit 2028: In a city where crime is out of control, dedicated police officer and family man Alex Murphy is determined to fight corruption in a world ruled by chaos. But when Alex is critically injured, a ruthless multinational company specializing in technological weaponry called Omnicorp transforms him into an unstoppable part-man, part-robot crime fighter.

Starring:
Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman
Runtime:
1 hour, 57 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Thriller, Science Fiction, Action & Adventure
Director José Padilha
Starring Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman
Supporting actors 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, Daniel Kash, Zach Grenier, Maura Grierson, Stewart Arnott, Matt Cooke
Studio StudioCanal
BBFC rating Suitable for 12 years and over
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
RoboCop did not need remaking, but the brand meant easier marketing than - gosh - thinking up something completely new.

It's longer than the original, but it has much less to say. About the best I can say about it is that it's better than RoboCop 3 and about the same level as RoboCop 2: some good ideas, but a disappointing mess.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It’s 1987: The action genre is dominated with R or 18 rated movies, often starring Arnold Schwarzenegger or Sly Stalone and kids wanted and expected nothing less than to see these action packed movies, even though they were violent and littered with sexual references. And our parents didn’t seem to be too concerned about all this.

My mates spoke about little else other than A Nightmare On Elm Street and I was would watch Robocop (1987) and Total Recall (1990) with by mum, in fact it was her who introduced me to The Terminator (1984) when I was 12, the same age that I was when I first saw former two titles, and she was a bit of a prude to be honest, keeping me away from horror!

But Robocop (1987) left its scars on me, with its uber sadistic violence and a tone which was much more horrific that I was expecting as a child watching the latest blockbuster, Robocop! But that was the charm of this classic, intelligent satire, packed from start to finish with commentary on the decadent 80’s corporate and consumer culture, and the perverse Frankenstein lengths which society might go to if we were to continue down that path. But that was 28 years ago and…

…Well, we not quite there yet but that’s another story.

So, here we are in 2013/14 with yet another attempt to reboot or simply revive a franchise with so much potential that has never been realised, with Robocop 2 (1990) failing to recapture the tone of the original, which strangely and successfully enough, used it uber violence as a form of comedy, and it worked.
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Format: DVD
I adored the original film, still do. So much of it was iconic, striking, visceral, humorous and memorable. Whereas the remake is forgettable, po-faced, ordinary and 'meh' in so many ways. The characters are meh, the action is meh, and the whole story feels diluted and muddled.

Why is it called RoboCop when Murphy is NOT the first robotic cop? The film begins with robotic law enforcers searching a street. In the original film Murphy's transformation was so incredibly striking because there was nothing else like him. But here, he is just another walking machine with a gun. Meh.

What happened to the music? Basil Poledouris' brilliant, chiming, orchestral/industrial score was perfect. Here it is relegated to the end of the end credits. RoboCop has a theme as much as James Bond has a theme. The new music is forgettable generic action fare. Meh.

There is no sense of Murphy cleaning up the streets, no sense of the streets even needing cleaning! Again, the original had 3 or 4 brilliant scenes of RoboCop actually being a cop. One of these featured him trying to arrest one of his killers who shouted 'I know you, we killed you!', prompting Murphy to regress and question who he was. It was simple, and combined action with emotion and story to brilliant effect. There is nothing like that here. Meh.

The characters are so wishy washy - no real 'bad guys' that the film so badly needs - so you've no real interest in seeing them dealt with. In the original film the bad guys are NASTY, they're a gang of real low-lifes, they laugh like hyenas as they shoot Murphy to shreds, you WANT to see him avenged. Here, he's the victim of a remote car bomb, and there's nothing like that same sense of vengeance. He annoyed some criminals and, Mafia style, they blew him up. Tch.
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Format: Blu-ray
On the plus side, this reboot of Paul Verhoeven's 1987 classic sci-fi/horror looks spectacular; the ED209s move smoothly and convincingly, Murphy's few remaining organic parts are impressively on display and there is some nicely updated technology - like the transparent iPad devices. In geopolitical terms, there are elements of contemporary news, echoing people's concerns over the proliferation of drones and, of course, islamic suicide bombers. Surround sound is used to very good effect and the rocking soundtrack was great - loved Hocus Pocus during one of the most spectacular shoot-outs.

But...

It seems to have totally missed the biting satire, black humour and jaw-droppingly sadistic but comic-book style über-violence that made the original film so iconic. Diluting the hard-hitting violence down to a 12 reduces the impact of the film by orders of magnitude and makes it feel, ultimately, rather irrelevant. Unlike the original, I suspect this will be forgotten in a few years time.

So, if two hours of impressive but lightweight eye (and ear-)-candy is enough to entertain you, then go for it by all means but, for my money, this has joined the ranks of other pointless sci-fi remakes such as Rollerball, The Time Machine, Total Recall, War of the Worlds and I am Legend, all of which fell way short of the original and felt like they were merely cynically milking the franchise.

If it weren't for Hocus Pocus, it would have been 2 stars!
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