Wednesday, February 12, 2014

RoboCop Review - 2½ Stars

The  RoboCop reboot gets a boost from the low expectations of most viewers.   So it is with great surprise that I tell you “RoboCop” 2014 is better than expected, thanks to state of the art special effects and a really good cast.  Policeman Joel Kinnaman (best known from AMC’s “The Killing”) plays the honest Detroit cop blown to smithereens while investigating internal police department corruption.  This happens as greedy industrialist Michael Keaton (great to see him again) needs a change in the law that will allow robot police to patrol American streets, making him billions.  Scientist Gary Oldman comes up with the idea of a marriage between a human and a machine to give the robot a conscience and win over the public.  So the scientist and the industrialist scoop up what’s left of Kinnaman  and turn him into RoboCop.  Except there’s a few flaws, including the fact that to get him operational they take out the part of his brain with a moral conscience.  Pretty soon Abbie Cornish as his wife rekindles Robocop’s human spirit and the revenge begins — sort of like Frankenstein all over again.  This story gets an occasional boost from a hilarious turn by Samuel L. Jackson as a cable TV blowhard, demanding a change in the law to allow RoboCops on American soil.  Somewhere around the ninety minute mark Robocop starts to run out of gas and the filmmakers start pouring on the clichés, such as the final scene with the bad guys on a skyscraper roof waiting for a helicopter rescue while holding RoboCop’s family hostage—a scene that looks like a  hundred other movies.   Does it deliver what it promises?  Better than expected sci-fi classic reboot.  Is it entertaining?  Kinda fun.  Is it worth the price of admission?  For sci-fi action fans.