I’ve said on many occasions, re-makes are a very tricky element. It doesn’t matter if it’s the re-make of a good movie or a bad one. Unfortunately, every writer and director thinks they can improve on a film or make their movie better than it was originally done. Usually the reason a film was successful in the first place was because of originality. When you remove a key aspect of a movie’s success, you are already starting from behind.
One of the many re-makes is the recently released Robocop. Robocop is based on the 1987 movie in which a badly injured police officer is used as an experimental new hybrid robot/human police officer in an effort to clean up the streets of the violence in futuristic Detroit. With Peter Sellers in the original and almost iconic role, as far as action fanatics are concerned, the original Robocop was cool and inventive. It was law enforcement’s answer to The Terminator.Directed by action film director Paul Verhoeven it had all the right pieces.
That brings us to the present day where we now have a new Robocop… Unfortunately. Alex Murphy is critically injured and a giant defense corporation takes on the experiment of turning him into the first super robocop. With a Washington Senator with a lot to lose opposing the experiment and production of the robocops, it sets up a battle that popular talk show host Pat Novak, played by Samuel L. Jackson. Alex Murphy soon discovers the unfortunate truth behind his injuries and the corporation and police station that saved his life. The depth of the corruption on all sides soon threatens Murphy’s family leading to a showdown with Omnicorp’s weapons and Murphy.
The action is bigger and the special effects are better, but it’s just not the same. Robocop is a very predictable story with weak acting, even from respected actors like Gary Oldman and Michael Keaton. Not to mention that Samuel L. Jackson is so out of place as a talk show host it’s disturbing. I just kept waiting for Jackson to plug a Capital One card.
Despite a notable cast the film feels very flat. If you don’t care much about story and chases and shootouts is your thing, you will definitely be entertained by this movie. If you are hoping to see it usurp the original, think again. It’s another big budget re-make that crashes hard.