Lacks lustre of original

2014-02-10 00:00


IN 1987, the Bangles dominated the airways with their hit single Walk Like an Egyptian, the Simpsons are seen for the first time on TV, my parents were blessed by the birth of me and audiences were treated to a film experience that they hadn’t quite seen before in the form of Paul Verhoeven’s RoboCop. Now the studio executives in Hollywood — fixated on the “rebooting” franchises — have taken it upon themselves to target RoboCop to a wider audience, dropping the age restriction from an R18 to a 10-12 certificate.

The film is set in the year 2028 in Detroit, and America is the only country in the world not allowed to use robotic cops on the street. OmniCorp — the company which manufactures the mechanised police officers — are desperately trying to overturn a state bill that prohibits the use of these new-age law enforcers. When honest and dedicated-to-the-job policeman Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) is nearly killed by a car explosion, the massive tech corporation uses this as an opportunity for them to humanise the robotic cops by fusing Murphy — well what’s left of him — with a machine. And the result is RoboCop, but it’s not that simple.

OmniCorp uses one of their chief doctors, Dennett Norton (Gary Oldman), to aid Murphy in his transition to half-man, half-robot and with pressure from OmniCorp owner Raymond Sellars (Michael Keaton), the good doctor resorts to some questionable work ethics. The relationship between Oldman’s and Keaton’s characters really enhances the story and carries the plot along at a captivating pace.

I asked myself why a “big budget” action film with such a cult following was not released in the summer. And the answer was revealed after watching it. The film just doesn’t have the calibre to be deserving of a summer release date. There are a good few action scenes, but they are plain down average, with sequences that we have been accustomed to in standard action films. However, there is one scene — where Robo­Cop takes out giant dog-like mechs — which stands out from the rest, but even when it’s over, you are not going to remember it when driving home from the theatre.

The film’s only saving grace is the drama segments, which revolve around the moral dilemma that Oldman’s character is put into and the psychological challenge that Murphy endures during his transformation into Robo­Cop.

The acting — with particularly Oldman and Keaton stealing every scene that they are in — is top-notch all round, but it is not enough to put RoboCop in the same light as the original. The film is like eating a three-course meal and still feeling hungry.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.