“Sometimes, you just gotta get out of the house and go catch a movie. Or is that just a Dawn thing? Either way, I’d been spending so much time trapped in the apartment with the post-surgery vampire cat, I needed an extra movie run. And that’s how Robocop happened.
I saw the original once recently, and it didn’t really stick in my mind too well. I just remember lots of booms and destruction. While I am an action junkie, I find it harder to get into such things at home. And while I’m usually skeptical of remakes, I felt that was a possible argument to be made for updating the technology of this franchise.
Oh boy was the technology upgraded. Now that we live in a post-Transformers world, mixing man and machine is quite seemless. It should be visually stunning, but I’m jaded at this point. Flashy effects aren’t enough to impress me. I want the full package. Style and substance.
I was actually a bit impressed by some of the themes and questions the film raised, mostly around freedom and the moral complications around the questions. It hit on that theme in two ways. The first was mental freedom, exploring free will vs machines. At what point does humanity stop and machine begin. Did Alex cease to be human when the computer took over? The other was more around personal liberty. When have you gone too far giving up personal freedoms for security. A favorite song Sons of Liberty by Frank Turner ran thru my head. “”A man that trades his liberty for a safe and dreamless sleep doesn’t deserve the both of them and neither shall he keep””. Are the drones patrolling the streets wroth the safety they provide or are they infringing on our freedom?
While the questions posed were interesting, I actually didn’t care much. The film didn’t really care either, at least they didn’t care about answering them. It wasn’t long until it was just Robocop blowing things up. The plot was all predictable and I really didn’t feel too much at stake. I cared about his character at the beginning, but once the machine took over and he closed up, I didn’t care anymore, regardless of what the resolution may have been.
The one solid aspect of the movie was Gary Oldman as the scientist responsible for creating the technology. He gave the film weight, and was able to capture my attention every time he was on screen. Without him, the whole thing may have been near unwatchable. Although Jackie Earle Haley was also fun to watch, but his was more a bit role. Same with Samuel L Jackson, who clearly was just given a day or two to be himself for some isolated clips.
Was the remake necessary? Eh. They certainly used their budget well as far as effects, and were able to spare a bit for some top actors. Maybe they should have thrown a bit more towards investing in the script.
Robocop – \m/ \m/