Nonstop Movies: ‘Robocop’

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I won’t be buying a ticket for this movie. Nope, not even for a dollar.

Joel KinnamanThe 2014 edition of the 1987 cult classic “Robocop” is dull, plodding and completely lacking the satirical bite of the original. Helmed by Brazilian director Jose Padilha, this remake is very similar in tone to his overrated “Elite Squad” movies, taking itself way too seriously and devoid of any fun whatsoever. It doesn’t help that newcomer Joel Kinnaman is an absolute bore as the lead. Apparently no one told him he’s supposed to act like a robot only after donning the Robocop armor. It’s also never a good idea to cast an amateur against formidable veterans like Gary Oldman and Michael Keaton, who clearly outshine Kinnaman and are easily the best things about the film.

robo2Kinnaman’s poor performance could have been excusable had the action scenes been even passable, but Padilha fails here even worse than he did in setting his movie’s tone. Not only is the action sparse, but it’s so distractingly incomprehensible that I sometimes had to close my eyes just to avoid the heavy use of shaky-cam work. I believe the intent was to emulate a video game feel to the action scenes, but even an Xbox game would be more fun to watch than this. It doesn’t help that the movie is Rated PG-13 compared to the original’s R rating, so you’re not going to see anywhere near the bloodshed that made the original so memorable. It also appears that Padhila has some sort of fetish for robots riding motorcycles as it felt like at least a quarter of the movie was showing Robocop driving around the city on his bike.

There’s a reason why remakes receive so much hate from movie fanboys like myself. Personally, I’ve never been against them in general, but movies like “Robocop” certainly won’t do remake fans any favors.

“Robocop,” 118 minutes, is Rated PG-13 and opens in theaters today.