Director Paul Verhoeven’s original ROBOCOP was quite the subversive and satiric spectacle back in 1987. It even fostered two sequels which were—-well let’s just say less than remarkable.
This week ROBOCOP reboots for a new generation of moviegoers and crime has a new enemy.
The setting is in the near future 2028 and multi-national conglom OmniCorp is at the center of robot technology. Their drones already bringing in millions of dollars from overseas policing operations.
“This is the future of American justice.”
Problem is slick CEO Michael Keaton has been unable to crack the American market which, of course, would mean billions to OmniCorp.
His in-house development team led by top scientist Gary Oldman is furiously improving the drones and robots to convince an apprehensive Congress that they would also function well on American streets.
Meanwhile PR weasel Jay Baruchel is desperately trying to find convincing ways to humanize these machines—something the boys in Washington insist on.
The perfect opportunity presents itself when Detroit cop Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) is critically injured by a car bomb when trying to bust up a gun smuggling operation.
So he has OmniCorp—shall we say—rebuild the officer with what’s left of his body parts, turning him effectively into part man—part machine.
What Keaton also DIDN’T count on was that the man left inside the robotic machine is still pursuing justice.
All that with updated and improved special effects and bookended by a talking head TV show called The Novak Element, anchored by Pat Novak played WAY over the top by Samuel L. Jackson.
Guess they thought they were spoofing Bill O’Reilly and Fox News—you think?
So what did I make of the reboot?
Frankly it turned out far smarter and better than I’d expected. A worthy semi tongue-in-cheek trip into the troublesome and violent state of affairs in the near future.
It all ends with the song “I fought the law and the law won'” playing under the end credits.
As for my 13 year old grandson Gage Poessiger who attended the screening with me, he liked it a ton.
The just under two hour long, PG-13 rated ROBOCOP falls somewhere between a B- and a C+ score. YOU be the judge!
(Reviewed at AMC 30, Olathe)
JACK GOES TO THE MOVIES Friday mornings at 6:40 a.m. and 8:40 a.m. on NewsRadio KMBZ FM + AM.