Screen Gems Movie Reviews
with Kennie Bass. You'll find it First On Fox!

Robocop February 14, 2014
Studio: MGM
Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of action including frenetic gun violence throughout, brief strong language, sensuality and some drug material.

Director Paul Verhoeven's original "Robocop" was an ultra-violent satire poking fun at American excess. Although the new version has a similar hero at its center, it steers clear of much of Verhoeven's commentary about the U.S.

In 2028, the mega corporation OmniCorp is making big money from the military using its drones overseas. The company wants to use the technology here in the states but the public doesn't like that idea.

When a Detroit cop is critically injured in the line of duty, Omnicorp's boss decides to put a man inside a machine, and Robocop is born.

But before he hits the streets, he has to train against both human and robot adversaries.

Once Robocop passes his tests and goes on patrol, a massive public relations campaign gets underway. it extolls his virtures and proclaims him Detroit's best bet for salvation. Pat Novak (Samuel L. Jackson) is one of his biggest advocates. He's kind of a Rush Limbaugh or Bill O'Reilly of the future.

This version of "Robocop" offers some pretty good action sequences and a decent performance by its lead actor, Joel Kinnaman (Alex Murphy). Unlike the original, where Murphy actually died before being put in the suit, this Murphy is still alive. However, he's critically injured and needs the suit to survive.

As flashes of Murphy's conscience rise to the surface, his corporate overlords do their best to re-wire his brain to create and unstoppable crime-killing machine with no remorse or misgivings. But the power of the human spirit is too strong, setting up a final confrontation.

Gary Oldman (Dr. Dennett Norton) and Michael Keaton (Raymond Sellars) are both pretty memorable as the scientist behind the suit and the CEO who wants to use it to improve his bottom line. Unfortunately, they and the other actors just aren't given very much to do. This is a by-the-numbers action movie which could have been more if it had taken a cue from its predecessor and actually said something about the future and the lengths will go to protect ourselves.

On my rating scale, "Robocop" earns a DOUBLE.

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