2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
bag o plop,
This review is from: Robocop [DVD]  (DVD)
As action pictures go, it's an easy way to spend an hour or so. The budget provides plenty of flash bang along with excellent locations and sets but the script doesn't rise above the action. A near future sees drone soldiers patrolling the streets of Tehran and we observe dispassionately at the harsh stop and search tactics employed by these robots. Commentary is provided by a TV host (Samuel L Jackson) whose character seemed shoehorned in and his scripting was oddly confused, I didn't buy any of his politicised evangelical style rants and I wasn't entirely sure if they were meant to be satirical or not. The basic plot surrounds the ban of drone use in the US and the subsequent plan to merge man and machine results in detective Murphy becoming the guinepig, his adjustment segments slow the script down but it's not long before he goes rogue, miraculously overriding his programming, before finding the truth and bringing the perps to justice. It's difficult to comment on the vacuous screenplay without remembering the original because the old script deftly handled, satire, humour, and dystopian future alongside corporate greed and some very human emotions; it also positioned the story within a world in need of a hero and then gave us exactly that hero. This one flattens the social commentary and despite some classy action, it keeps the viewer distant. Even the bad guys are cozy, Gary Oldman is simpathetically scripted and I thought he had the best character in this, far from being a bad guy, Michael Keaton's character actually has a noble pursuit; to save the lives of police officers, yes, they do some bad things and their military advisor (Jackie Early Haley) is suitably threatening but he's no Clarence Boddicker.