The original Robocop movie was ahead of its time when it was first released in 1989. Although some of the effects look a little ropey by today’s standards, Robocop himself still looks pretty good. Unlike other robot movies of the era, he did not look like he was made of polystyrene. That combined with the odd combination of humour and violence strangely seemed to work.
It was therefore natural that at some point post 2005, in the era we are now in where everything is being remade that Robocop too would get an upgrade. That brings us to the 2014 version.
I’ll admit that I did not have high expectations for the remake but it actually turned out to be a decent film.
The special effects are good and Robocop himself looks pretty bad ass. But that’s about where the praise ends. The original was about a gunned down police officer - Murphy - starting the film as a blank slate after he has been turned into Robocop, gradually rediscovering his humanity. In the new version it is the opposite way round. Murphy wakes up as Robocop, panics and spends a long time being rehabilitated. Following a seizure, his doctors drug him up and that is when he becomes like a robot (don’t worry, his memory returns in the end).
Murphy’s rehabilitation is interesting to watch and at times, moving. Unfortunately, though, this lasts for an hour - detracting from the main storyline. The main villain appears in the first ten minutes of the film and doesn’t return until sixty minutes later - only to be killed off within the new two. There is no build up and no development of this villain, or any of the others as a matter of fact.
Also while sleek, the rest of the cast is pretty tame. The infamous head of Omnicorp - which built Robocop - was an absolute ar**hole in the original. This was established from the outset and you felt a sense of justice when he met his end. In the remake, the guy’s a pushover. The violence and comedy that made the first one great is also very subdued. In fact, there’s hardly any action at all.
Oh and as an afterthought, Lois is also in the remake…as a man. I have no idea why. It adds nothing to the story whatsoever so why they changed her gender is beyond me. Come to think about it, why was Lois even in this film? He was in it for five minutes at the start - gets shot. He appears ten minutes from the end to help Robocop - to only get shot again. The character is about as pointless as the remake.
It gets 5/10.