So the other Valentine release? Robocop! All the boys and girls that gag at candyfloss might have thought that here is a seriously badass film. And equally might have been disappointed or pleasantly surprised depending on expectations. Those who love the uber violent Paul Verhoeven original from ’87 might weep bitter tears of frustration at the silly stuff on screen. If you however come with zero expectations, you might enjoy the ride. There is the big daddy of cool Samuel L Jackson as a TV messiah, Pat Novak who screams and yells in favour of mechanised crime control quite like some of our news anchors. And there is Michael Keaton as Raymond Sellars, the evil CEO of OmniCorp that is making all these drones. The ever dependable Gary Oldman is Dr. Dennett Norton who creates RoboCop.
Set in crime infested Detroit of 2028 (the original was set in 2014, how cool is that?) Alex Murphy (not to be confused with that other cop from Detroit who created mayhem in Beverley Hills, Axel Foley!) is a good cop, husband and father. He is critically injured in the line of duty and OmniCorp promises him a new body. Naturally there is no such thing as a free lunch. Sellars and his head of Marketing, want to create a machine with feelings so that public opinion swings in favour of robots to control crime and OmniCorp’s stock goes through the roof.
All the subversion (think crazy board games and ads) of the original is lost in the standard issue CGI fest that sci-fi action movies have become of late. Joel Kinnaman is rather wooden as Alex Murphy, while Abbie Cornish as his weepy wife looks strangely like Sharon Stone, but that might be just the mind playing tricks remembering Verhoeven’s Total Recall and Basic Instinct.
After last year’s Total Recall remake and RoboCop, the really scary futuristic film would be a Basic Instinct reboot with some plastic actor demanding, “What are you going to do, charge me with smoking?”
Genre: Sci fi/Action
Director: José Padilha
Cast: Joel Kinnaman, Abbie Cornish, Samuel L Jackson, Michael Keaton, Gary Oldman
Storyline: An armoured cop cleans up the city
Bottomline: Drone groan