I don’t remember seeing a science fiction movie as forgettable as Robocop 2014 edition. As you probably know already, this is a reboot of the popular eighties franchise with updated visuals and a completely different vibe. The original RoboCop was a much more violent and dark affair than this family-friendly fun. Not to mention the dystopian and subversive setting complete with evil corporations. The reason for this was, you guessed it, studio meddling. Director José Padilha lost creative control due to a higher budget and had to make a lot of compromises.
This is how we ended up with this movie. They’ve just played it too safe complete with a finale seen a thousand times before. Although the movie was a financial success making $242.6 million on a $130 million budget. RoboCop 2014 is still a fun watch, especially if you’re able to forgo the whole reboot thing. You should watch it as a stand-alone blend of action and science fiction. The special effects were phenomenal and the cinematography sleek. It also dedicates more attention to the whole transformation process making it more realistic.
In that sense, it reminded me of Soldier starring Kurt Russel. You feel like shit like this is just around the corner and that it’s only a question of time before we start seeing them in the streets. Moreover, we see the link between popular tv hosts, corporations, and government in its full glory. You would expect more of a cynical or satirical approach but I’ll take what I can get.
It is the year of our Lord Musk 2028 and corporations are on the brink of taking over the world. One of them is Omnicorp fighting to deploy its robots on the streets of America. However, they’re still to gain public support to do that. So, they decide to offer help to one cop after a tragic incident hoping that it will help with that.
And while Joel Kinnaman is certainly not Peter Weller he certainly gave this iconic character a different, edgier dimension. The rest of the cast is solid blending in nicely. And this is the biggest problem with this movie. It’s just too forgettable despite all the hot topics and visuals. This is the third or fourth time I’ve seen and I still remember only a couple of scenes.
The one where Alex learns the extent of his injuries is one of them. I can only imagine how good of a movie this would have been if they left Padilha alone. Finally, I also think Robocop 2014 misses a memorable villain. With all this being said, I still think this movie is entertaining enough to warrant a watch.
Director: José Padilha
Writers: Joshua Zetumer, Edward Neumeier, Michael Miner
Cast: Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Abbie Cornish, Jackie Earle Haley, Michael Kenneth Williams
Fun Facts: The line “Dead or alive, you’re coming with me.” is said by Murphy in this movie and RoboCop (1987).