Out & About

February 20, 2014

2014 version of 'RoboCop' reasonably satisfying

It was ‘80s remake weekend at the movie theater this past week, with Hollywood recycling a mediocre romantic comedy (“About Last Night”), a terrible romance (“Endless Love”) and a sci-fi classic (“RoboCop”).

“RoboCop” had the most to lose and the least to gain, but the kinder and gentler 2014 version is still reasonably satisfying, even if completely unnecessary.

Joel Kinnaman (TV’s “The Killing”) takes on the stoic title role, playing Alex Murphy, a scrupulous policeman untainted by the corrupt Detroit police department around him.

Things are awfully tough for a good cop in 2028, however, and when Murphy is left near death, he becomes a new kind of police officer.

Robot police are already patrolling streets across the world, but America refuses them, preferring officers who, theoretically, have a conscience.

Thanks to the scientific genius of Gary Oldman’s Dennett Norton, however, the U.S. can have the best of both worlds — a human/robot hybrid — and Raymond Sellars (Michael Keaton), evil CEO of OmniCorp, can get a lucrative share of the U.S. market.

Unlike the original movie, Murphy’s wife Clara (Abbie Cornish) knows — even approves — that her husband is being turned into a literal crime-fighting machine. She doesn’t know, though, that the corporation can control his emotions or even shut him down if he becomes inconvenient.

The cast also includes Jackie Earle Haley as a corporate robo-wrangler and Samuel L. Jackson as a bombastic, ultra-conservative “news” host who pushes for robot domination of the streets.

Kinnaman wears the metal suit well, and the new version of “RoboCop” benefits from much better special effects. It’s also considerably less violent than its predecessor, squeezing itself into a PG-13 package. The pace is slower and the story is more character based, though there’s still a reasonable amount of action.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Steve Ouellette's Movie Reviews

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Entertainment Videos
Fox Dons 'Bondage Strap' Skirt at Comic-Con Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Uzo Aduba Says Emmy Nod Is 'Crazy' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up Mirren Not Thrilled to Play 'The Queen' on B'way The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' ShowBiz Minute: Hoffman, Oberst, Box Office Shawn Mendes Jumps From Vine to the Music Charts Cook Shifts Gears in 'Planes: Fire and Rescue' ShowBiz Minute: Stritch, Marvel, Beyonce ShowBiz Minute: Cole, JWoww, Box Office ShowBiz Minute: Garner, Backstreet, George 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success Legendary Actor James Garner Dies 'Pageant' Star Nick Cearley on Show, Skivvies Roger Ebert Doc a Surprise Summer Hit First Lady Salutes Monae
CVPH Job Opportunities