FilmReview

Review: "RoboCop" Is Entertaining But Action Is Disappointing

Maya Zach ‘17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Joel Kinnaman in RoboCop. Photo Credit: Kerry Hayes/Columbia Pictures.
Joel Kinnaman in RoboCop. Photo Credit: Kerry Hayes/Columbia Pictures.

RoboCop is set in the not-so-distant future, when the US has turned a large number of countries into what might be considered police states. Raymond Sellars (Michael Keaton) and his company OmniCorp have deployed robot police forces to patrol terrorist nations to secure any threats without the loss of American lives.

Since the United States refuses to allow conscience-less robots to patrol the nation, Sellars decides to create an organic-based robot by placing a human inside of a robotic suit. Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman), a police officer with a near-flawless record who was nearly killed in an attempt on his life, is the perfect candidate. Murphy becomes the figurehead of OmniCorp as the beloved RoboCop.

RoboCop has a surprisingly elaborate story for what could be just another action flick in a long line of the same old stale action flicks. The film deals with war and current events in ways that actually pertain to the United States in the present—and will most likely still be applicable in 2028, when the film takes place.

Joel Kinnaman and Gary Oldman in RoboCop. Photo Credit: Kerry Hayes/Columbia Pictures.
Joel Kinnaman and Gary Oldman in RoboCop. Photo Credit: Kerry Hayes/Columbia Pictures.

More surprising, however, is how disappointing many of the action sequences are. The constantly spinning cameras and the awkward angles in which the action is shot lead to some rather disorienting scenes. Coupled with the bright muzzle flares in dark rooms, this causes an uncomfortable, possibly seizure-inducing feeling.

While the action sequences are, for the most part, unsatisfying, the technological aspects are far from lacking. Not only can Murphy’s suit tap into Detroit’s CCTV system and assess whether a target is a threat, but it can also create incredible simulations that plan out an attack strategy against dozens of enemies. The concept is well developed and executed beautifully.

Samuel L. Jackson in RoboCop. Photo Credit: Kerry Hayes/Columbia Pictures.
Samuel L. Jackson in RoboCop. Photo Credit: Kerry Hayes/Columbia Pictures.

To add in a little comedic relief, Samuel L. Jackson plays Pat Novak, a pro-robot newscaster who alerts America to Alex Murphy’s current situation and how it pertains to the future of the robot police force. The Novak Report is used as a form of narration to bring the audience up to speed. However, the film does a good enough job showing the story through the eyes of Alex Murphy and Raymond Sellars that The Novak Report becomes rather unnecessary. Though these segments may be entertaining, they add no substance to the film.

Kinnaman manages to strike the perfect balance between the monotone robot and the emotional and passionate Alex Murphy. He slips with ease between the two halves of his character, genuinely making them seem to be separate entities. Solely through the use of facial expression, Kinnaman translates the pain, joy, and rage that Murphy feels to the audience at a level that is rarely seen.

Though it may not be the best action film of 2014, RoboCop provides a fairly good story. It gives the audience a character to root for, and it definitely has a great sense of humor.

Overall Grade: B-

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