In our present day of drones, governmental surveillance and cyber ubiquity, the reality of RoboCop seems more immediate and ominous than it did upon the original film's release 27 years ago. That's the strength of director José Padilha's slickly produced, nicely cast remake. Prohibited by law from expanding their drone robotics to U.S. soil, OmniCorp CEO Raymond Sellars (Michael Keaton) teams with scientist Dennett Norton (Gary Oldman) to develop a human-machine hybrid. Their prototype is Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman), a Detroit policeman critically injured while investigating crooked cops and a local crime boss. Although Padilha scrubs much of the original's dark humor, there are sardonic flourishes, like accompanying RoboCop's combat simulation exercise with "If I Only Had a Heart," and casting Samuel L. Jackson as the film's chorus in the form of a right-wing TV "news" show host. An intriguing, even affecting, first half ultimately gives way to a harried final third, as the narrative wholly embraces its Frankenstein's monster subtext at the expense of still-unexplored social and political conundrums.
Official Site: www.robocop.com/site
Director: Jose Padilha
Cast: Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Abbie Cornish, Jackie Earle Haley, Jennifer Ehle, Jay Baruchel, Marianne Jean-Baptiste and Samuel L. Jackson
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