DVD Review: RoboCop
Initially I was skeptical about this RoboCop re-boot, the trailer didn’t do anything for me, and whilst RoboCop was amazing to me as a kid, it wasn’t amazing enough for me to even be aware that there were two sequels made. RoboCop was essentially a kick ass film that you saw as a kid, but for the most part was forgotten as soon as the next great action flick came along.
As such, I slipped the DVD in with little more than a brief knowledge of the general script – you know, the whole part man, part machine thing.
Which is good, because if I was a die hard fan – and there are some out there – I might have been disappointed in the films apparent story changes. Rather than Paul Verhoeven’s bleak dystopian vision of the future, Brazilian director Jose Padilha’s (of Elite Squad fame) vision is more of a reflection of the current state of American society, portrayed through cinema’s recent insistence that re-boots be a darker, moodier affair.
For me this works well. The set up with US robotics company OmniCorp bringning enforced peace around the word through deploying drone robots is great, if a little over done in places, and Samuel L Jackson’s role as a Fox News style host of The Novak Element, a decidedly pro-robot and pro-OmniCorp, is sheer brilliance.
Action wise, Padilha knows his stuff, though some of the one man army battles are a little ho-hum as RoboCop’s inbuilt computer processing makes him almost invulnerable, essentially negating any sense of tension. Fortunately this is only evident in two of the films numerous set pieces. The only other downside to RoboCop’s cinematic resurrection, is that in our current comic book saturatice cinematic landscape, he does at times come across as looking like a very budget version of Iron Man.
Fortunately for RoboCop’s reboot, there are no drunk playboys running the show, rather a very enjoyable Michael Keaton as OmniCorp’s evil CEO and the ever lovable Gary Oldman as the changeable Dr Norton. It’s these characters the are RoboCop’s strength, and together with strong CGI and action aplenty make for a very entertaining re-visioning of the 80’s classic.
Rating: M Violence.
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