5 hours ago
Monday, 10 February 2014
I found this particular 'Robocop' (a re-make of the 1987 Paul Verhoeven 'classic', with Paul Weller in the title role) a surprisingly satisfying romp, much against my expectations. It has a lot of energy, which doesn't flag, and a clutch of stars in significant screen-time roles, rather than the cameos which I thought - notably Michael Keaton and Gary Oldman. Add to that a pretty substantial part in a feature film at last for Marianne Jean-Baptiste after too long a time - though she's hardly stretched in this. Then there's Jennifer Ehle as well as Samuel L. Jackson. The titular character is played by Swede, Joel Kinnaman, and at the helm is Brazilian director, Jose Padhila, the last two names with which I was unfamiliar.
It's Detroit a decade and a half on, where mobile robots are doing the work of protecting the populace from terrorism. But they lack the human element of making rational decisions underscored by emotion. 'Robocop', in his completed state (disparagingly referred to by one cynical character as 'Tin Man' for obvious reasons), was a policeman with wife and young son (cue a bit of sentiment) who's been successfully targeted by a car bomb which leaves his physical body about 90% destroyed, save for his head and upper torso. Keaton, motivated by profit for his company, persuades scientist Oldman to incorporate these surviving parts into a robot to produce a thinking 'super-robot'. (The motivations throughout this film are muddy, to say the least.) He's then let loose with physical and mental powers for which the Caped Crusader himself would have died. It's then a battle to keep him under control, especially when he's hell-bent on seeking out those who had targeted him.
It's longer than the original film, though still just under two hours. The content doesn't actually linger in the mind for very long, being essentially a vacuous, leave-the-brain-behind, story. Maybe my expectations, being low, enabled me to enjoy it more than expected. But it's efficient enough, with fairly impressive special effects. Reasonable enough to pass the time, then...........................6.