The announcement of a RoboCop reboot was a triumphant day for fans around the world. It seems that in the last five years, fan boys and girls have wanted a piece of the decadent sci-fi pie and decided to remake these cult classics into their own. We had Nolan’s Batman trilogy in 2005, Dredd in 2012, and now RoboCop, directed by Brazillian José Padilha, is set to make its mark on 2014.
America, in this dystopian 2028, is run by crime. Drones from OmniCorp have been deployed into almost every nation in the world beside the US, as a result of the Dreyfuss Act, which bans the use of them being used locally. Head of OmniCorp, Raymond Sellars (Michael Keaton), approaches scientist Dr Dennett Norton (Gary Oldman) for a fresh law enforcement tactic that bypasses the ban of firearms on robotic technology, by seeking to create a Darth Vader-like machine – sans the bent-on-world-domination element, of course.
Our lead, Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) is harmed in a near fatal attempt on his life by organised crime boss Antoine Vallon (Patrick Garrow). At the reluctant behest of his wife, Murphy becomes the RoboCop prototype, as he is the only subject capable of withstanding the potential emotional imbalance the suit may cause – which does not prove to be correct later on. His emotional turmoil upon waking results in his brain chemistry being altered, and Murphy becomes more machine than man, dominated by his thirst for justice instead of his emotions. In his journey, we are taken through a conglomeration of training simulations, with bullets left, right and centre, and explosions so brutal that your chair quakes in the aftermath.
There are times when the film doesn’t seem as in-your-face as it could be, in relation to the gripping action sequences, which feel slightly hollow and empty. Combined with a select few scenes that were slightly unnecessary, the pace varies throughout, almost like a pulse.
Technologically speaking, the only prominent inaccuracy would be the horror that someone envisioned a future where Bing is used as the main search engine by the police for their criminal database… no wonder they were in desperate need of new law enforcement. The audience see an overwhelming majority of the film through Murphy’s eyes, which combined with the shaky, running camera, puts you solidly in the mindset of where he stands, and what he sees, as a hybrid of man and machine.
All in all, RoboCop is a reboot that is well met and well deserved. Paying respect to the original in 1987, as well as introducing new elements, with truly formidable CGI dynamics, and an incredible emphasis on emulating the trying world of police corruption and valor, RoboCop is the 2014 phoenix rising from the ashes of the 20th century.
RoboCop is released nationwide on 7th February 2014.
Watch the trailer for RoboCop here: