Sunday, February 9, 2014

Remaking Robocop? SPOILERS GALORE

When I first heard of this remake I was slightly worried. I'm a big fan of the original film and couldn't think of a reason it needed to be remade.

The charm of the original lies , for me, in it being firmly set in its era. Despite it being set in the future. I like its brevity. There's nothing unnecessary in there. It doesn't waste my time, sticks to the point. It's point seems to be a worry about the future technology can bring and the age old tale of corruption. Special Effects not being entirely realistic has never marred my enjoyment of a good story. I like the theatre, I hope I have an active imagination to aid things.

I've heard that Robocop is a picture ripe for remake. It seems to me that what this means is 'We'll give it better effects.' Yes they did. The effects are a million times more convincing. There are also hundreds more instances of them throughout the film. There is also a warning in this film. One which they hammer home with the power of a dozen ED-209s. This is criticizing drone warfare and American control of other countries. The lack of finesse at getting this point across nullifies it.

This is a film for our time. Compared to the original it has to be longer with more of an emotional arc. Hence the extra scenes concerning wife and family. Scenes I could live without.

If there was no comparison piece I would probably have enjoyed this much more. I went in with my negative 'what's the need?' head on. It does look good. Taken as a piece of entertainment alone it doesn't do any harm. Some of the cast are excellent. I can't help but enjoy watching Michael Keaton. Oldman rarely sets a foot wrong for me. Marianne Jean Baptiste hasn't graced my screen for far too long. I'd pay too see Michael 'Omar' Williams mow the lawn. Everyone else did a pretty good job. I felt the wife and son were written in an obvious, boring way but that wasn't the actor's fault. Samuel L Jackson played a stereotype very well.

Enjoyment wasn't enhanced by the suit changing colour and the heavy message segment at the end.

All I all this isn't a horrible film. It's just not a good one either. It's lacking in subtlety and more upsetting, lacking in the charm of the film it threw a big budget at. It hasn't been relegated to the 'convinced  myself they don't exist' bin that the original film's sequels inhabit. Can't see myself ever watching it again though.

Hollywood, throw your dollars at something original, pretty please.

2 pawprints out of 5