BY BRIAN TAYLOR
Ever go to a themeless potluck dinner? There’s good food, gross food, multiple this, and no that. This was my experience with the 2014 reboot of RoboCop. Parts were interesting and entertaining, but in the end I felt somehow short of a meal.
Set in 2028, military and technological giant Omnicorp has designed robots to police the world; the world abroad, that is. Political red tape has prevented storm troopers from landing inside the United States. In comes pesky and soon-to-be-sent to the brink of death cop Alex Murphy (played by actor, Joel Kinnaman). Almost snubbed out by criminal elements, he is saved (salvaged?) by Omnicorp and marketed an empathetic, robotic policing option for the U.S.
The film follows a similar plot line as its 1987 counterpart and Kinnaman delivers an impressive roll as Murphy. I “like” Alex Murphy as acted by Kinnaman. But somehow, I never develop a vested interest in him like I did in the 1987 movie. I don’t feel the 2014 movie developed any of the characters very well. Neither did they really build up an evil head honcho. The sequence of the movie was very choppy and too frequently had me asking, “why did they just do that?”
Samuel Jackson — one of my favorite actors to watch, whether his roles are great or terrible — plays an over-the-top, pro-military force, newscaster that acts somewhat like a narrator/plot climatologist. While I enjoyed his presence as a Jackson fan, I feel the frequency of his appearances and extreme voiced opinion was put there because directors couldn’t trust us to figure out the messages.
“But at least they paid homage to some of the more memorable scenes and one-liners we loved so much, right?” Nope. Every attempt to tip the hat to the 1987 version was a robo-fail.
Most viewers will be just fine to stream this one in six to eight months.