RoboCop review by George Hooper - Cinema Paradiso
Back in 1987 the original Robocop came out to garner cult fame and more than a few squeals due to the films overly graphic content and surreal story. The remake doesn’t so much emulate its predecessor as most of the films action content is bloodless and 12A approved but it does impress upon you that regardless of the blood this is a captivating story about mad science and the technological leaps we take without thinking about the ramifications.
The film follows Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman), a police officer who following an explosion is forced to become something less than human. To save what little life he has left they augment his body using a robotic shell and some advanced technology to make him a deadly killing machine to be used by the police to bring down the toughest drug dealers and killers on the streets. However the people behind his creation have other things in mind as well.
While the film deals with the viability of ideas like advanced robotics instead of using it like a punchline akin to the 87 version the film rarely sees advancement as a benefit despite the world the film is set in being wholly electronic. The film dips in and out of todays news for its plot and while the concept of drone warfare makes for a complicated issue today, its use within the film feels lazy as the threat it poses is seemingly invisible and forgettable.
That being said the film has a great grasp on the abilities of its central character, the action is original and fast paced and is unlike what you would expect as it embraces the ideas established in last years Dredd and builds upon them to make an enviable machine. The human elements of Alex however are not overlooked as his relationship with his wife (Abbie Cornish) is at the forefront of the story. Kinnaman makes Alex’s emotional struggle captivating in a way Peter Weller didn’t manage in Paul Verhoeven's original gorefest.
While the premise of Robocop doesn’t scream the kind of emotionally rich tales that other films might offer but it is still a hell of a romp through action tropes and subtle family drama, an oddly intoxicating mix.