RoboCop (2014)
June 2, 2015 5:40 PM - Subscribe

The unasked-for remake of Paul Verhoeven's 1987 classic, José Padilha's RoboCop reboot (trailer) aims to bring the story of a corrupt corporation and its new man/machine law enforcement hybrid into a modern context.

Buoyed by a solid cast and some clever updates to the story, the setting, and the technology -- but dragged down by cookie-cutter action sequences and an oft-muddled thesis -- the movie did moderately well at the box office but didn't seem to spark audiences' imaginations the way the original did. Although many critics delivered mixed-to-poor reviews, the film definitely has its defenders as well.
posted by churl (16 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Conveniently this one is free to watch for Amazon Prime members, and I think it's really worth checking out! Not a perfect movie by a long stretch but an interesting watch to see what works and what doesn't, with a good dose of guilty pleasure thrown in the mix.
posted by churl at 6:52 PM on June 2, 2015

Call me old fashioned (or just old?), but RoboCop is really a movie that needs to be rated R. Maybe not just this, but it's a lot easier to notice what's missing when you're dealing with a remake/reboot/reimagining. There's a brutality in the original that's just gone here and the movie really suffers for it.

That said I really enjoyed some of the performances in this. I genuinely felt for Murphy and his wife. I was appropriately repulsed and impressed by the cold, calculating CEO.
posted by ODiV at 7:44 PM on June 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

Yeah I felt the same way. You can't hope to make an action movie into a treatise on real violence unless you're able to show real violence. And it really felt like nothing came together at the end in a coherent way. But at the same time I liked it more than I thought I would! I think some of the fun performances helped a lot.
posted by churl at 8:06 PM on June 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

There were some near ideas (like the whole illusory free will bit) but little is done with it and I found the film as a whole to just be so bland. A movie called RoboCop should not be bland.
posted by brundlefly at 9:37 PM on June 2, 2015 [2 favorites]

NEAT ideas. Not near. Although that's kind of appropriate.
posted by brundlefly at 10:50 PM on June 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

I think this movie has one of the highest ratios of generally good actors who are mostly in good movies(Samuel L. Jackson, Gary Oldman, fuck even Michael Keaton) to shopvac-like suckiness of any movie in the past 5 years that wasn't something that's cheating to list like movie 43.

I haven't even actually seen the whole thing, same with Total Recall. The people i was watching it with just gonged it.

There were all the pieces here to make a good reboot. This good have been like, a more thoughtful Dredd or something. Conceptually the whole "drone warfare!" thing isn't too heavyhanded or eyerolly like the premise of elysium. It's more like the background of the new Godzilla. Nothing was particularly wrong, it was just massaged until it had lost all its edge.

Where's the glib snarkiness and almost depressing feel of the original? All the jokes i can even think of were stupid b-grade marvell movie crap. It literally feels like they ran over budget before they could work in the soul.
posted by emptythought at 4:24 AM on June 3, 2015

I actually really enjoyed this. It wasn't quite as biting as the original, but the performances were better than they had any right to be, the action sequences were fun, I enjoyed how the movie kept the beats of the original but to different ends (Murphy's loss of affect especially) and the whole disembodied head thing where Murphy begs Gary Oldman to kill him was a nice bit of body horror.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 4:33 AM on June 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

"Remake of a Paul Verhoeven Movie" is just... man. Fine, try it? But bring your fucking A game. I will watch a mediocre movie, but I don't think I can bring myself to watch a mediocre Paul Verhoeven remake.

Also applies for vintage period John Carpenter. I'm looking at you, DWAYNE JOHNSON.
posted by selfnoise at 6:12 AM on June 3, 2015 [7 favorites]

Yeah the focus on Murphy's family was a welcome addition but it also wound up making the film feel kinda small by the end, in a weird way.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:20 AM on June 3, 2015

I... Liked this? Or at least didn't hate it? I'm sort of suprised by reaction to it because I was totally prepared to find it garbage.

I think where they have made it Robocop for 2014, i.e. a lot of the Jackson, Keaton and Oldmab bits, it's a smart film that makes some clever choices. Where they've made it a generic 2014 action flick, i.e. the bulk of the running time, less so.

Ultimately I think it's a bit of a failure because there wasn't enough of that first movie in it, but it's a really interesting failure that shows the potential of the film it could have been.
posted by Artw at 3:54 PM on June 3, 2015

So, I haven't seen this. Is this worth watching? I mean, is it better than Robocop 2?

I was a huge, huge fan of the first one, so I don't know if I want to see this remake.

I mean, they shoulda just tried to do what Mad Max did: give the remake to Verhoven and have him take a crack it. He's still alive and still making films after all.
posted by FJT at 5:17 PM on June 3, 2015

is it better than Robocop 2?

Mostly? Kinda? It's comparing two different things that don't quite work so it's difficult to know what criterea to judge on - overall I'd say NuRoboCop is more competent but less interesting than RoboCop 2, but that it's big standout scene (alluded to above) could go toe to toe with RoboCops big standout scene (the self destructing prototypes) - and that's quite a scene.
posted by Artw at 5:47 PM on June 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

(If one of them could be magically remake as a decent movie I'd pick RoboCop 2 though. Because RoboKane.)
posted by Artw at 5:49 PM on June 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

Moviefighters VS RoboCop
posted by Artw at 8:04 PM on June 3, 2015

In the Cut: RoboCop 2014 [self-link]
posted by churl at 11:25 AM on June 15, 2015

It was on TV last night, so.

Oddly the thing I found most annoying initially was that the lung movements didn't line up with the speech. I'm fairly sure there should be some co-ordination there.

Only later on it struck me that the beginning of the movie shows that the United States has used robots to invade and subjugate Iran, and everyone is fine with this, not notable at all. Because, obviously, it saves American lives. Which are the most important lives. That there's some footage from the viewpoint of the Iranian family is even stranger, because the scene is contextualised as being through the filter of the Sam Jackson demagogue show, and they wouldn't be able to see that. So we're less than five minutes into the movie, and they can't keep their narrative streams straight.

It might not have been anything I would have noticed at all, but it is the remake of a hugely satirical movie. From that point of view, this movie comes across as completely straight, and it makes most sense to accept everything in it on face value. Which, is, y'know, a bit troubling at times.

The older actors are very good. The younger actors are more or less there.

I didn't mind the Total Recall "remake", because it was an OK B-movie with the Total Recall concept strapped on to it, and fine as what it was (and it wasn't, really, Total Recall), but the best thing I can say about this movie is that I've seen it now, so I never need to do that again.
posted by Grangousier at 2:17 AM on July 24, 2016

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