Good, Bad & Ugly Review: RoboCop (2014)

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 48& (Critics) / 65% (Audience)
Directed By: José Padilha
Written By: Joshua Zetumer
Starring: Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Abbie Cornish, Jackie Earle Haley and Samuel L. Jackson
Studio: Sony Pictures

Synopsis: In 2028 Detroit, when Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) – a loving husband, father and good cop – is critically injured in the line of duty, the multinational conglomerate OmniCorp sees their chance for a part-man, part-robot police officer. (Source)

The Good:
Samuel L. Jackson was great as an amalgamation of every loudmouth cable new channel host from Bill O’Reilly to Ed Schultz. His Pat Novak was a welcome jolt to a movie that all to often was in desperate need of some serious shaking up.

The Bad:
This movie was so limp and lacking of anything exciting. Even the shootouts were blah. And there was this really bad knack of telling without showing that was a recurring problem with this film. We were told that crime was at alarming levels but we were never shown it; we were told that RoboCop cleaned up the streets but were never shown it; we were given a supposedly shocking reveal of a good guy actually being bad but were never shown anything that would have even made the audience remember that character existed let alone that we should have been paying attention to what the character was up to when on screen.
There was also a severe lack of any type of a memorable villain. Not a one of the folks that ended up being villainous was interesting in the least.
And the stellar cast was wasted especially poor Michael K. Williams (Omar from THE WIRE), who deserved much better than just being the guy who offered advice and got shot a lot.

The Ugly
For what possible reason did they keep Murphy’s human hand? In the reveal of just what parts where flesh and what was machine, that sad little hand sticking out to the side was laughable. It was just dumb from the point of view of the scientists who turned him into a cyborg and for the effects crew who should have known better.

Final Verdict: I went into this movie determined to not let my affection for the original film cloud my judgment while also hoping to see more of the talent director José Padilha displayed in his ELITE SQUAD films. And I honestly think I gave RoboCop a fair shot to impress me on it’s own merits but it failed. Aside from Jackson’s performance I was bored to tears by this overly pedestrian attempt at putting a new spin on a classic movie. It’s a shame too because this cast and this director really should have been able to come up with something a lot better than what they gave audiences.

Grade: D

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