I don’t know if you remember, but I was not the biggest advocate for the reboot of RoboCop. I did, however, promise that I would give it a shot, and I have to say that I am happy I did. I walked in determined to hate the movie and walked out pleasantly surprised.
Director José Padilha took on the daunting task of rebooting a cult classic, and I feel that he hit the mark. A lot of people seated around me were RoboCop superfans, and you could tell that they were expecting a word for word remake with updated graphics. If that is what you are looking for, that is not what you are going to get. For you superfans out there, Padilha did not make a movie that totally ignores the original. There is plenty that I would like to say about this, but I will let you watch it and find what I am talking about.
I will make this review as spoiler free as I can.
There has been a question of how the action of a PG-13 movie will stand up against the original movie that was an R. I felt that there was no lack of action in this movie. It was a pretty even split between action and story. Plenty of guns and plenty of excitement. There were no toxic waste saturated bad guys blowing up, but you will not be disappointed. The sequences were well choreographed and definitely held my interest.
The ensemble is a great mix of familiar faces that are cast perfectly. Alex Murphy is played by The Killing’s Joel Kinnaman. He is a fantastic actor and I am truly grateful that he played this role honestly. He could have easily tried to play it tongue in cheek, thankfully he didn’t. His version of Murphy will not let you down. Kinnaman brought depth to the character instead of the stiff, disconnected version that was brought to us in the original.
Samuel L. Jackson plays Pat Novak, a TV show host who is not afraid to speak his mind about the need for robots to take over the dangerous duties that the police face on a daily basis. This character falls right into SLJ’s wheelhouse. Michael Keaton is Raymond Sellars, Omnicorp’s head honcho with a dark side. Gary Oldman is Dr. Dennett Nortan, the brains behind the project who finds the struggle between morals and money a hard line to toe.
Other cast members include Jackie Earl Haley, Jay Baruchel, and Abbie Cornish, each of them don’t have much screen time, but they make the most of every moment. A little treat for those of you who are fans of The Wire, Omar Little himself, Michael K. Williams, throws down an awesome performance as Murphy’s partner Jack Lewis.
I am in no way saying that this is the best movie I have ever seen. However, I can say that the movie is well paced. It is no way convoluted with an overly intricate storyline. What you see is what you get, and that is what makes it work. I would definitely recommend it.
Until next time…