'Robocop', released in the US yesterday (12th January), has been described as lacking in the violent and cutting satire of the original. Where reviewers have praised the film, they felt the character of Robocop (and his alter ego) has been made more sympathetic.
Robocop has failed to impress critics following its release in the US yesterday (12th January). Reviews have primarily focussed on comparisons between the original 1987 version of the film.
Joel Kinnaman stars as Robocop.
In this version, it's 2028 and police officer Alex Murphy is injured serving the people of Detroit, robot technology company OmniCorp step in and transform him into, well, a half robot, half human cop. Unfortunately the film's title is not the only thing which hasn't improved since the 1987 original.
Joel Kinnaman (The Killing US) stars as Robocop and heads up an all-star cast including the likes of Gary Oldman (Dracula) and Michael Keaton (Batman). Abbie Cornish (A Good Year) stars as Robocop's wife, Clara.
Critics have universally panned the remake and not merely for attempting to improve a much beloved original. The majority of the reviews have focussed on comparing the two films and have not, in contrast to the original, viewed this remake in a positive light. Betsy Sharkey (L.A. Times) and Ann Hornaday (Washington Post) agree Robocop has lost much of its satirical sharpness, violence and dark humour.
Robocop has failed to step out from the shadow of the original.
However, other reviewers have claimed the adaptation is fairly up to date and does address issues currently debated in US society. Kyle Smith (New York Post) and Mike LaSalle (San Francisco Chronicle) both felt the film was, contrary to other reviewers, "a superhero film for grown-ups" which "responds to everything that has changed in American life over the past 27 years, addressing new threats and exploiting new anxieties."
Those who have positively reviewed the film have concentrated on the difference in scripting and characterisation. Specifically how the director, ensured the Robocop character was more sympathetic than his 1987 counterpart. On this matter, Michael Phillips (Chicago Tribune) wrote: This is at heart a pretty sad movie. Verhoeven wouldn't be caught dead making you care about anything in his "RoboCop"; Padilha is after something different."