RoboCop (2014): what did you think?

Feature Den Of Geek 7 Feb 2014 - 19:42

Spoiler-filled discussion of the new RoboCop? Step this way...

Well, by now you're probably well aware that the new RoboCop movie has split critical reaction in a way rarely seen with big movies. We liked it - our review is here - and our feeling remains that if you put the original out of your head, Jose Padilha's take, a film more about politics than action and satire, stands on its own feet. Others disagree, some vehemently.

By request then, we've opened up this post for spoiler-filled discussion of the film. Please be nice to each other, and please note that if you go into the comments below, you are opening yourself up to a cavern of spoilers.

Over to you...

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No thanks. For once, I'll just stick with the original masterpiece.

Just read the complete plot on Wikipedia (I refuse to watch it) and they've COMPLETELY missed the point of the original. I mean look at how Murphy dies in the movie, I mean a car bomb? what the hell is that? The whole point is the revenge. More or less ALL of this monstrosity is different. If there's nothing wrong with the original, DONT CHANGE EVERYTHING ABOUT IT!!!!!

So the complaint is they didn't do what they did in the original? I would hope that a remake - any remake - would take the core concept and take it in new directions.

I thought it was much better than... Robocop 3...

Watched it this afternoon at the IMAX in London. There was a party of school kids in - can't remember doing anything that cool when I were a lad!
I thought it was a mixed bag really. Some great ideas that were well executed and very slick but overall it just didn't feel cohesive.
Kinnaman and Oldman were fantastic I thought, Abbie Cornish couldn't act her way out of a paper bag and the film suffered, plot-wise and in the effectiveness of it's execution by being targeted at a younger audience. And Michael K Williams was criminally underutilised.

I have not seen the movie yet, but am increasingly disgusted with fans that just want to see the same movie again. A reboot is not necessarily a "redo". Times have changed. Visions have changed. Hopefully, expectations have changed. If I see a reboot, I don't want to see the SAME movie. I want to see the character envisioned in a new way. If I want to see the same movie, just get the DVD! If a reboot is good, it should endear a new love for the product in a new way. It should not be the same movie. That would be lazy.

And if you just honestly just like the old movie and do not want to see a new, just say so and move on. Period. There is nothing wrong with that position.

If I could compare the new Robocop to the original I would say that this is a much more mature and adult movie in a much more realistic alternate future than the headbanging teenager that the first movie was. Both are excellent interpretations of the same basic story. There is a level of subtlety to the new movie though that completely transcends the original material.

Small request: this post is really for people who have seen the film who want to have a spoiler-filled chat about it. We won't heavily enforce it or anything, but just figured it makes more sense if you've seen the film for the purposes of this lots of comments. Thank you!

bah boom!

Michael K Williams as Robocop ..

The epitome of 'meh' film-making for me. Not horrible but not great. Just rides the middle of the road the entire way through. The cast were good, especially Oldman and Jackson. Keaton I felt could of been a little more villain-y, as could of Earl Hayley. They were the two main antogonists (in different ways) and yet I never felt either went over that 'villain' line. You really root for Murphy to get their respective characters in the original but in this I never got that far in my investment. Keaton's character acts cool even to the end when he should of broken a little at some point, and Earl Hayley is only really a villain cause...what? He was a bit of a douche to Murphy at one point. Not really 'yeah go get him RoboCop!' material.

I was glad they went with someone 'unknown' like Kinnerman, he did feel like Murphy/RoboCop and not 'x big star as RoboCop'. Played the human stuff well, as well as the more robotic stuff. His delivery on a few key lines (although not his fault, more the direction handed to him) wasnt as great as it could of been.

Not to be one of those 'originals' guys, but the main reason I like the original, and why I think it's lasted so long as a 'classic' (however cult it is) is the tone. Forget certain lines, certain plot points, certain scenes. I didnt want them to replicate all that. I just wanted a little more of the original tone. This to me felt WAY too earnest in a lot of places. And no matter how you try and make this story, RoboCop is not something to be taken seriously. I mean look at him. He's cool looking but pretty silly (why they had him run I do not know, any time he ran I felt he looked dumb).

The original works and has lasted because it doesnt shy away from the obvious sillyness of the concept. This reboot I felt just tried a little too hard to be 'serious' and, for me, that didnt work.

Oh, and so glad he was back in the silver by the end. The remake of the armour I felt was one of the things the film got right. Looked awesome. Then they paint it black and it becomes the most boring design ever. If he had been silver the whole time it would of worked great.

Objective filmmaking review 3/5. Enjoyment review 2/5. Just never 'got' me.

I think that kind of attitude could be alleviated if the industry would churn out a few more decent reboots.

The sad fact is, it's become quite a simple exercise to determine whether or not a reboot has hope, and whether or not its a corporate cash-in. I mean, sure, there is always the potential that some visionary filmmaker has come along with a re-imagining of an old franchise, and he's getting the chance to tell his story - that is the hope for every reboot, and that is what I want to see.

Unfortunately, it's usually quite safe to say that this is rarely the case. We've seen plenty of reboots in the past decade - I can think of only a few which I enjoyed. Casino Royale, Batman Begins, Star Trek, Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

The thing is, I can remember back to when each of these movies were announced, and the reaction at the time. Reaction was very positive (Star Trek was a little divided).

The point I'm trying to make is, while I will always keep an open mind.. You can tell. You can just tell. Robocop, people could tell. Total Recall, people could tell. Other reboots that I won't utter here, people could tell. People could tell that they were going to be disappointing. The argument can always be made for popcorn, turn-your-brain-off movies.. But that's usually an argument that I think fails based upon the turn-your-brain-off bit.

..."if you put the original out of your head" ...

And there's your first problem right there.

A good review. Thanks. But it's "would/could/should HAVE", not "of".

It had some great moments, and I love the way Padhila films his gunfights, but ultimately in pursuing too many plot strands it just became unfocused started to meander. The heavy focus on Murphy's family meant the whole story about pursuing his corrupt colleagues became an afterthought, not to mention Keaton's character was nowhere near evil enough to be considered the 'big bad'.
I went in with an open mind (but still have to admit, I LOVE the original) hoping for the best, but all I can say is that it's not a travesty on a Texas Chainsaw Massacre/Nightmare on Elm Street scale.
Kinnaman was decent, at least.

Yep, what he said. Although at least the black armour made for a good one-liner.

You refuse to watch it, but you'll read the whole plot. On Wikipedia. Awesome.

Not a patch on 'French Chicks in the Nuddie'

Culled from an earlier conversation, so apologies for the length: I think there were about five people involved that wanted to make a good Robocop movie instead of a soulless excuse to print money for MGM. And those people probably have families to support, so I guess I watched it for them. And it's watchable enough I suppose (they spent $130 million on it). As in, I didn't nod off. But maybe that's because my eyes kept rolling around. I really don't know how you could forcibly remove everything that made the original cool. He's not a mechanical Jesus here, just some weird PR stunt to try and keep Michael Keaton happy, and to keep Sam Jackson spouting pro Robo rhetoric. Wouldn't it have made more sense if Sam was against machines and Omnipresent, sorry, Omniwhatever was trying to win him (and the public) over? More confusing though, is Gary Oldman's character. Is he a scientist with questionable morals or a doctor with a strong ethical code? Actually he's neither. He's a leaf on the f***ing wind, blowing whichever way he has to because the screenplay needs him to. And to further draw from the work of Joss Whedon, if the writing was stronger we could've had a scientist akin to the one in Dollhouse, who sees people as toys first and people second. He could've been (but certainly isn't) full of marvellous contradiction as his arc moves through curiosity and greed to compassion and doing the 'right thing'. We needed him to represent the audience, because everyone else on screen is absurdly vanilla. Including the black guy from Boardwalk Empire and The Wire. And that'd really piss him off. It skipped on small details that became annoying. Such as anyone saying 'we need to build a lab in Detroit so we can be closer to Robocop, for maintenance and sh*t'. I thought they were monitoring him from China (where he's made, a missed opportunity for a joke if ever there was one), because the laboratory was identical and there was no transition. Unless I blinked and missed it. We're just expected to assume everything, like they would have a motorcycle ready for him, because he was always going to be capable of riding one. And they knew this when he was just a severed head with visible f***ing brain. Why did the ED-209s open fire on him? One line was all that needed, like 'set them to defense or some sh*t'. How did the monitoring laboratory have camera access to an illegal drug factory? Was it part of a conspiracy or (more likely) did the editor just need a different camera angle and figured no one would notice or care? Nitpicks sure, but they show contempt. The screenplay was all over the place. Sometimes there was really good exposition, explaining Robo's actions coherently. But then it's totally at odds with the rest of it, because this film is meant to be 'y'know, for kids!', and they're all too stoopid to know films from the 80s are way better. I believe this was too many cooks here. With three credited writers and probably countless others uncredited. I'd like to think the few morsels that did have a flash of common sense came from returning original writer Ed Neumeier (credited).The 12A certificate is the least of this films worries. There's a total lack of a charismatic villain, or indeed ANY actual threat. Dear cinema: stop wasting Jackie Earl Haley in bland films. This film sorely lacked Cox. A bit like Robocop himself. Strangely, he didn't seem to mind they hadn't given him one. You'd think he'd inquire especially as he seems to think his marriage isn't over yet. Detroit in the original had gone to hell. I really didn't see any need for the call for near martial law Sam Jackson appeared to be yelling for. I really don't know why they used the original music without giving him a new theme at any point either. It's all incidental music, like being stuck in an elevator with only the ring tones from a nokia 3210 to keep you company. We just get constant reminders that this isn't a patch on a film that's not far off thirty years old. Opposed to a film that if it weren't for this conversaton, I probably would've forgotten already. I'm amazed anyone other than small boys and feckless idiots could land at four stars for this film. Unless they're taking the piss of course. In which case that'd be the closest this whole thing comes to the merest whiff of satire. Actually, the best thing to come out of it is I just did a long bike ride during this conversation. So there's that I guess. Unless you've got kids to take along, save your money. Then show them the original for goodness sake. They deserve better.

Michael K Williams is ALWAYS criminally underused.

I don't think that I should watch this. I haven't felt this level of anger and disgust since sitting throught the sh*tfest remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still. However, my disgust can change nothing since the film is here now. My only hope is that all involved stab themselves to death. On each of their graves could be small statue of the original Robocop - standing over their corpses and judging them for all eternity.

Just got back from watching the remake and to my own surprise I came out of the threatres happy and satisfied. They took a different route with this Robocop. This is not the action flick the trailers were showing and really mislead me big time as i went into the movie with my little brothers with low expectations just because of all the negative feedbacks and complaints about this remake from the clips and trailers they showed off. Was more then happy when we left and I personally think it stands on it's own and people shouldn't judge it until they WATCH THE ENTIRE FILM ITSELF because it has elements that even the ORIGINAL Robocop film didn't have.

Well I must say I wasn't looking forward to the film as I love the original. However I came out of the cinema having really enjoyed it. Its a totally different film and doesn't try to replicate the 80s version, it goes in a very different direction and is more about Murphy coming to terms with his situation rather than a big bad he needs to fight. There are still some great nods to it however, loved that the theme song was still used and a gag to do with 'I'll buy that for a dollar' Couple of other little things had me smiling. Over all it was really well acted and directed and I do hope there will be a sequal.

I don't normally bother with movie "reviews" and opinions. I don't know why I decided to look around on the net and subsequently find this blog. I don't even know why I'm writing this comment.

I don't normally bother because, basically, it's up to me to decide what I like and don't like, and I don't like the idea of having my opinion swayed either way by someone else's opinion, that's just giving in to peer pressure and not being your own individual.

Having said that, I'll share with you MY opinion after just having seen the movie.

I actually thoroughly enjoyed it! I like how much they stayed away from the original story line. I also really liked the maturity, and the attention to detail in explaining what was going on in his brain, the chemical balances, the activation and deactivation of different areas of the brain, especially the parts that make us human.
I wasn't expecting the villains to be as "villainous" as they were in the original. In fact I thought the villainy was rather realistic. Most of the corrupt heads in corporations these days are just normal, often "nice" guys. My definition of villainy would also include those that do whatever it takes for their company to make profit. So basically, most big corporations are harboring some sort of villain, they just don't have the evil mannerisms and laugh that give them away.

I thought Oldman's scientist character did a good job showing a conflict between acting with humanity and being desperate to keep the funding for their research. Plenty of scientists now days are so eager for continued funding that they will bend the truth about their research project results to make it look like they are getting somewhere. When the scientist first appeared, when he was getting that guy to play the guitar with robot hands, you could see he was eager to help others, but he still lacked the full understanding of how the human brain works.

It all comes down to what you want out of a movie like this. Some of you would prefer unrealistic silliness, just a good excuse for some good old blood and guts, like the original delivered. That's fine, you like what you like.
As for me, I liked the not-so-far-fetched, possible-near-future approach. That's why I really liked this version.

It was good, but it was no 'Strzelecki'.

Went to see this last night, enjoyed it but remakes are never as good as the originals, the fact that the movie was rated 12 (uk) tells you not to expect too much violence, but over all pretty good movie and worth a watch if you just take it for what it is.

Just watched it here in South Africa.Got an early release for a change.

I don't think people necessarily want an exact type movie if its a reboot. But rather to stick to its main theme that made it popular. For RoboCop,it was the heavy sattire.Unpolutted by suits who are in it to draw masses for cash. I felt it was dumbed down a little though it had very very very mild sattire.

My list of issues:
What was the plot significance of replacing Lewis from a female to a male character?
Why one human hand? Also being the most vulnerable, his "sword hand"

When Murphy wakes up after the procedure,we see a left human hand, yet later on a right one.

Other than that I enjoyed it more as an action movie than anything else. I did note the sprinkle of sattire especially in Novak's television show.

I also agree with those who say the villainy wasn't raw.It was very to timid.

Am sure they tried their best to please the grumpy fans by extending the release date and making that more direct sattire at the end and giving him HIS SILVER SUIT!

Good luck otherwise good luck to them! Creative freedoms are OK but it isn't too much to ask them to hit on current issues with the same strength of sattire that the 1987 had for that time.

I don't think the hand thing was a boob, wasn't he looking in the mirror initially which made it look like it swapped sides, I remember thinking that at the time!

Good job your 'nice guy' corporate executive decided to can his 2.6 BILLION dollar project for the final reel then isn't it? What would've happened otherwise? My guess is- absolutely NOTHING!

There also isn't a case to put forward which version is more 'realistic'. Not unless you want to sound like a crazy person.

That sums it up :)

Like the Total Recall remake, it's biggest problem was not the lack of a credible villain, any real tension, drama, poor dialogue and an unmemorable score, it's that it was effing boring.

I think the human hand was there because Murphy in this version is human with a robot body, he was supposed to be more acceptable to the public and his family, a sense of touch was needed for that i guess.

How can you be so angry over a) a film you haven't seen. b) a film full stop.

Rorshach and what's his name are no replacement for Clarence Bodicker in the orginal. ED-209 isnt introduced in an awesome way and annoyingly this movie has f'ing droids in it! Had to watch the original again to wash the lousy aftertaste of this movie!

Robocop is so blatantly toy-like in this movie compared with the original. It has none of the intelligence or wit of the first movie. The politics parts are just blah blah blah!

save your money ! this movie is disappointing!

There are hundreds of films I have never seen that I would probably like. Hence I see no reason to waste my time watching a remake of an entertaining 80s action film which did the job perfectly back then. It does';t matter how good it is, only that its entirely redundant

Wasn't bad. Wasn't great. The very definition of a 3 star movie. There didn't seem to be an awful lot of Robo in this particular cop. Murphy's pretty bland from outset, so even in the small portion of the movie that he is essentially a 'robot', there's not a huge difference in his personality. And the rest of the time, he's very much just a typical cop in a bad-ass suit.

Ultimately this feels more bionic/cyborg cop than Robocop. Which as I say, doesn't necessarily make this bad film. Just an ordinary one.

You seem to be Ignorant, consequently Uneducated, and Confused..or you are drunk or too young to make your point.
I'm being unapologetic; you should know that your opinion makes no sense and is rooted in some pretty childish nonsense. You don't appear to know what you are talking about; I had to say it. There was too much to cover and I felt a summation, or declaration was more appropriate.

You sir, are an idiot.

Hipster says what?..
Schools for idiots
Nudity qualifies as formal wear
I'm not disagreeing but I disagree

Having said that bumble bees are cigarettes when Jupiter farts on me.

Definitely a clearer picture of realism; cgi overload, billions of robots, and Robocop runs like Usain Bolt and is more spry than an actual living human.

It's definitely not the "same" movie. It focuses on different things but keeps many of the interesting elements. It's like a pretty good remix of a song you love. The changes will be jarring if you are wanting the same movie, but are interesting in their own right. It becomes about attitude.

In the original Robocop movies, OCP was genuinely portrayed as being evil, with many of it's senior executives being evil. But in this modern age...only 20+ years later where corporations in real life are treated as "people" by the courts, and with corporations owning so many film studios now, it's not surprising that aspect of the film has been neutered.

'No one's done a comprehensive survey of te inland river system of Northern New South Wales - AND LIVED TO TELL THE TALE!!

I just wish people would shut up and allow those who want to enjoy it, enjoy it. I'm a big Robocop fan and I want to see him in a different light know after seeing the same movie for over what for me 20 years. Grow and evolve people.

I think the 1987 movie (and even its sequel) got the reality of the world we live in better than this remake, at the end of the 1987 version (and even its sequel*), the corporation and its executives mostly got away with what they were doing largely unscathed ... which is more in line with what actually happens in real life far too often where corporate malfeasance is concerned. Compare and contrast to this remake (and the recent financial crash while we're at it).

That son of a bitch is getting away with it and we can't even touch him.

[while using a ratchet on his head]
Patience, Lewis. We're only human.

its a weak movie period! if they embraced itself as its own thing it would have been better. As it is, its pathetic with its jabs to some lines or references to the original. the action sequences is so scared of getting an R-rating that Transformers or Gijoe had more intense action. Paid for and watched this yeterday. Ignore DOG's review bec someone slipped them 5 bucks.

Because remaking a film that is so beloved is so abhorrent that it's akin to somebody murdering a child.

I hate you. Any small degree of admiration that anybody holds for this film is a metric tonne of disrespect for the original. This film shouldn't even exist. I bet you'd like a BTTF remake too. Or a Star Wars remake (although that couldn't be any worse than the original sh*tfest). Go away. Go and never come back. Leave the internet forever.

I haven't seen the original since it was out. But I unreservedly liked it. Whereas this, it was ok, enjoyable enough. Not a turkey but not particularly memorable. 6/10. The weak links were the wife, and the cop who became Robocop. He had insufficient screen presence as the cop, a little more as Robocop. I also felt the original dealt with the angst issues and basically the story as a whole better. I also felt this was actually quite a retread of many elements of the original, so given a choice, I'd recommend the original over this. And whilst as a whole it didn't go OTT on the action, rare these days, the scene of him fighting loads of other robots was a bit much. But yes if you ignore the original this was ok.

went to see this movie last night i thought it was action packed and entertaining,joel kinnman played the part of Murphy well and the other actors and actresses suited there role,the action was good ,and alot toned down then the original as it was a 12a,but it brang alot more of a wider audience to Robcop defitntly needs a sequel as they give him a new suit at the end of the movie michael keaton was good as the bad guy very big twist at the movie because his also incharge of OCP whitch gave it a big of a edge I give this movie 4 outta 5 stars

you're a strange one

Does this mean that you think John Carpenter's 'The Thing' is redundant or Cronenberg's 'The Fly'?

Saw it last night. I love the original and have been hugely suspicious of this remake, but to be fair, it's actually rather good. It has a reasonably strong tone considering the age group allowed to see it, and there are some wicked surprises in there (such as the moment Murphy sees his new "body"). Overall I loved it. Hating it just because it's Robocop is dumb. It's a good movie. As far as it being a good Robocop movie - it is way better than any of the old sequels and TV spin-offs, and is a great (although slightly inferior) companion piece to the original.

I wouldn't say OCP was portrayed as Evil. The old man genuinely wanted to help Detroit, and he thought by getting tid of crime and building a new city he would save the city and the people. Whether you see that as evil or not, he thought it was right. Bob Norton wanted to get the top job, and was ruthless in elbowing Dick Jones to the side. He wanted to build the best urban pacification robot. Dick Jones was the bastard, who wanted to win at all costs, and would murder his way through anyone that got in his way. His goal was to take power of Detroit, and use Bodicker to control the criminals. He didn't want to end crime, he wanted to control it. So out of the OCP top dogs, only Dick Jones was a bad guy. The others were Driven, but misguided. Keatons character in this new film comes across as a great guy trying to do the right thing by Detroit and the USA, but actually he just wants to roll out his product across the domestic market. So maybe he is the old man and Dick Jones rolled into one? Keatons character had no links to the criminal gangs though.

OK, so all the people who haven't seen the film, your opinion is pointless. How can you have an opinion on something you haven't seen? if you had seen it, and still hated it, then fine your opinion is valid.

I saw this film on Saturday with my son, and loved it. The experience of sitting watching the film with my son, and seeing him excited by the story was great. When we left the screen there were other dads and sons and the sons were all chatting about their favourite parts.

So yeah, this remake may have been made for a younger audience, but so what? Do our younger generations not deserve to be thrilled and excited as we were when, we were young? My son is far too young to watch the original, but this was ok.

And someone here commented about Robocop running at speed? Yeah, so what?!? Has anyone seen the latest developments in robot tech, and the speeds at which some of these things can run? Also, the original robocop was quite slow and lumbering (not as lumbering as ED209) and it was scary for criminals. Imagine how much scarier it would be getting chased down by a half tonne robot travelling at great speed? It's a bit like fast zombies are more frightening than slow zombies.

Anyway, great film, well done, looking forward to the sequel.

I remember seeing an early picture of the robocop suit and it looked a lot slimmer and was nothing like this costume which seems to have reverted back to being more inline with the original costume.

Nice to see a balanced and well argued opinion....

Is it just me that felt he didn't use the classic line 'dead or alive you're coming with me'? He said it towards the end on roof however I think that was the only time he said it but in the trailer he said it in an epic kind of way with his visor down and gun drawn so why didn't they show it in the film? The ending should have cut straight to his theme music played at the start instead of I fought the law which I thought was rubbish

Robocop '87 bonafide classic, Robocop '14 just another summer cinema filler, soon gone, sooner forgotten.
Thankfully not a shot for shot remake, it still brings nothing particularly new and like so many recent regurgitations, in the end it's just another wasted opportunity.
Since the original we've seen some remarkable anime, like Cyber City Oedo, Appleseed and GitS, that took the basic premise and amped it through the roof - something to this date Hollywood's failed to tap into.
Compare the ED209 shootout near the end, about as involving as a cut scene from a video game, to the geographically similar climactic battle in Ghost In The Shell which was handled with poetic elegance, advancing both character and story.
Ah, maybe I ask too much.

Uhhhhh, flashing lights on screen, so it must be greatest cinematic experience since last flashing lights seen on a screen.

I haven't seen the original RoboCop so I can not compare the two. All I can say about the remake is a I really enjoyed. I was thoroughly invested in the story and the ethical toing and froing, there was some decent action and I think the performances were pretty strong overall.

Not a masterpiece but a very enjoyable experience for me. Genuinely excited to see what the original is like.

Really enjoyed it. Haven't seen the original for 25 years so had little to compare it with. The story seemed to divert to Murphy's family all of a sudden in the middle. Loved the scenes between Keaton and Oldman.

Movie was complete rubbish.

It was a boob think about it. The hand was on the left. Even when you look in the mirror your left hand is still on the left side of the mirror not the right they don't switch sides. try it

Murphy seeing his 'body' was horrific. That image will haunt my dreams. It was way more disturbing than any of the violence of the original.

Surprisingly, it was a much better science fiction movie than action movie.

I agree. I felt that the new Robocop was a nice way to introduce people to Robocop who would otherwise either not be interested or not know what it is.

It didn't have all the cheesy parody of real life like Robocop, but it did have Novak, who parodies a lot of the blatant bias that news commentators in general tend to have, such as cutting off people being interviewed.

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