RoboCop (2014)

Although not a huge fan of the RoboCop franchise, I still like the original movie enough to consider rebooting it an unnecessary deed. Based on what I just saw, I stick by that decision. The new & rebooted RoboCop is a 2014 science fiction action film directed by José Padilha. The film stars Joel Kinnaman in the title role, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, and Samuel L. Jackson. Supporting roles are provided by Jay Baruchel, Abbie Cornish, Michael K Williams, KC Collins Jackie Earl Haley, Aimee Garcia & Jennife Ehle.

So much like the original plot, Alex Murphy is a Detroit cop who is critically injured when a car bomb goes off at his residence, burning most of his body and leaving him invalid. OmniCorp is a leading company that manufacture robots for the American Military that has successfully deployed their models in various situations overseas in keeping the peace. However their entry into civilian law enforcement has been blocked by Senator Dreyfus, whose Dreyfus Act prevents non-humans to act as police officers. CEO Raymond Sellers has his marketing team join forces with leading scientist Dr. Dennett Norton in finding a suitable candidate, i.e a permanent injured cop to be fitted with their latest product that will combine man & machine. After much persuasion Murphy’s wife Clara consents to letting Alex be that candidate.

Alex is outfitted with a cybernetic body and software and wakes up once the procedure is done. He reacts violently to his situation and escapes the complex in China but is deactivated and brought back. Slowly he comes to terms with the fact that only his head, brain, lungs, heart, throat and right hand have survived and that the rest is robotic and agrees to be their man. Mattox, a military technician who is hired by OmniCorp, is skeptical of a man being to best robots in the field and in their first test Murphy responds more slowly than a drone due to his natural hesitation when making judgments in the field. In order to improve his performance, Norton tampers with his brain, putting the software fully in control in the field but making Murphy believe the decisions are his own. With these changes, Murphy defeats Mattox and his drones in a live test.

At his first pubic appearance Murphy becomes emotionally unstable as he downloads the Detroit PD’s database and sees CCTV footage of his own accident and has to be deactivated again. Pressed by Sellers, Norton has Alex’s dopamine levels dropped altering his brain chemistry to the point where Alex does not show emotion. He is revealed to the public where he ignores his wife & son and immediately apprehends a criminal that he scanned in the crowd. Over the next few weeks he drastically lowers the crime rate in Detroit as fear of RoboCop hinders the plans of criminals & thugs and the ones that dare are apprehended. The public’s opinion of the experiment soars and it looks like the Dreyfus Act could be repealed. Sellers has his team ensure that Alex is denied access to his wife & son but when Clara confronts him, it begins to affect his brain chemistry and he starts to investigate his own case and goes to his house. As his scans & investigation shows that his son was traumatized by the accident, his dopamine levels return to normal and he blasts into the hideout of the mob man Vallon, who had ordered the bomb on him and kills them in a firefight. Back at the PD he confronts two corrupt cops who were protecting Vallon and feed him info and shots one while making the other confess. However as he confronts the police chief, his program is shut down by Mattox.

Sellars spins this latest news to his advantage stating that drone will be incorruptible and hence make better law officers. An effort to repeal the Dreyfus Act is initiated, with overwhelming support. Meanwhile, Clara goes to the press and lashes out at OmniCorp, demanding to know why she and her child are being kept away from her husband. He and his team decide that Alex must not be revived and that his body is to be dismantled as he would likely go after corrupt officials, making things tough for OmniCorp. Clara is told that Alex died but Norton revives him and removes the control chip and tells him what happened. Feeling betrayed Alex heads to OmniCorp headquarters and battles the drones and with some help from his former partner, who kills Mattox when the latter is about to get the better of Alex using a software code written in, is able to get to Sellers and shoots him dead but is injured in the process as well. He is reunited with Clara and his son and his much damaged body is rebuilt back at the lab by Norton and his team. The President vetoes the repeal of the Dreyfus Act based on the testimony of Norton, who confesses everything OmniCorp has done while news reports show Murphy secretly returning to work.

Great special effects, nice showing of futuristic gadgets and gizmos, good action sequences and fun stuff blowing apart. The movie does nothing to really improve upon the franchise story or charm and is devoid of much emotion even if it is a healthy update to the franchise. Samuel L Jackson’s role as a much biased news/talk show host ends with his typical boisterous rantings. Kinnaman as an action star/ Not fully convinced and he really is one dimensional. All his roles are pretty much the same character in slightly different shades. There’s a kitchen scene in this film that is so similar to the latest season of The Killing (in which he does excel though)! I’ll give it a 7 outta 10!

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