Robocop is a part of my childhood. What 80s child wouldn’t love the story of a robot bringing his own brand of justice to the bad guys?
“Dead or alive you’re coming with me.”
“Bryce! Your parents let you watch Robocop when you were five!?” Honestly, I don’t recall. My guess is I saw it sometime in the early 90s. Over the years, I watched all three movies and built a large, nostalgic bond with Officer Alex Murphy. When I heard they were remaking Robocop with an unknown to me, actor Joel Kinniman, I was skeptical to say the least. It’s not often that reboots are good. However, I love movies, so I knew I was going to watch it.
Kinniman, age 34, has been acting since 2002, primarily in the Swedish film Industry. In 2009, he proved his potential in the Swedish thriller “Easy Money” which garnered him world wide attention. In 2011, Kinniman became detective Holder, a recovering meth addict/vice cop promoted to homocide detective. I watched Kinniman on AMC’s “The Killing” in order to prepare for Robocop and get a feel for his style and ability to play a leading role. Three seasons later, I was sold. I’m excited to see where Kinniman’s career will go.
“I’m still young in my artistry, and I must dare to do things even when there’s a risk for failure” – Joel Kinniman
Alright, enough backstory, the real question is did I enjoy Robocop? Overall, yes I did. Many people have taken issue with the push for a PG-13 rating of this release compared to the well deserved R rating of the source material. I do not have this issue. Good entertainment is good regardless of the amount of blood squibs and cursing. I’d prefer to let a movie stand on it’s own. That being said, I went into Robocop with low expectations and left satisfied. This is a solid action movie for our generation hitting on the ideas of self, identity, free will, and corruption. There were also several nods to the original film, some of them felt forced, but overall those in the know certainly smirked when they were recognized.
Michael Keeton plays a Steve Jobs-esque CEO of a leading technology defense foundation whose goal is the privatization of the police force worldwide. Keaton, an acting veteran, played his part well. I say this because I didn’t like him and that’s the point. Gary Oldman and Aimee Garcia played the scientists who created and maintained Robocop. Each played their role well; they were sympathetic, conflicted, and frightened and I was right there with them. At times, Gary Oldman seemed over-qualified for the role, like a rocket scientist trying to get a job as a barista in Starbucks. His passionate performance seemed out of place when surrounded by overall one dimensional characters. Samuel L. Jackson who received the “honor” of the one bleeped F-word in the movie had fun with his role, but was overall forgettable.
Kinniman as Robocop was great. Throughout his journey from Alex Murphy to Robocop you begin to truly feel for this man who has lost everyhing. I was on team Murphy from the first tear. Kinniman is already a towering man, so adding a heavy robotic suit makes him a force to be reckoned with. People felt small around Robocop, he felt powerful and that is how it should be. Kudos to Director José Padilha for seeing star quality in Kinniman.
I look forward to seeing where this franchise goes in the future.
Did I care that the suit was black? No. Was it silly that it had abs? Yes. Did I care that I only heard the original score during one of Sam Jacksons rants? Well… a little. Would I recommend this movie to people? Yes. This movie is not the original, but that is okay. Director Padilha tried something new and in several areas knocked it out of the park. If you’ve never seen a Robocop movie, and are a fan of action movies with a little drama intermingled, check this one out.
Though less graphic then the original Robocop movie has it’s share of violence and language. If you want a complete rundown check out the review at Plugged in Online.
Let me know your thoughts. Did you enjoy the new Robocop? Were you a fan of the original?