Robocop Movie Review
Kidzworld reviews Robocop, the re-boot of the ‘80’s movie about a good cop turned into a half man, half machine enforcer. Will his human emotions make him more than a machine?
By: Lynn Barker
When a huge, greedy, high tech corporation turns badly-injured police detective Alex Murphy into their half man, half machine super cop, they didn’t count on his love of family and true justice to mess with their plans.
In 2028 Detroit, huge company OmniCorp has created robot soldiers and huge drones used overseas to both fight and keep the shaky peace. OmniCorp CEO Raymond Sellars (Michael Keaton) wants politicians to allow him and scientist Dr. Norton (Gary Oldman) to combine man and machine and make law enforcement officers in the U.S. With the right permanently injured officer, the prototype would be effective and tug at the heartstrings of America making citizens beg for more.
Policeman and family man Alex Murphy (Joel Kinneman) is critically injured by a car bomb planted by crooked cops on the payroll of local crime boss Antoine Vallon. Norton picks Murphy for the RoboCop program, and after getting consent from Murphy's wife, Clara (Abbie Cornish), puts what’s left of Murphy’s body in a high tech exoskeleton suit with computer software, giving him extra strength and info on every criminal in the police records racing through his brain. Murphy at first freaks at his situation but visits Clara and tween son David (John Paul Ruttan) and it seems there may still be a connection.
On the Streets in Action
Rick Mattox (Jackie Earle Haley), OmniCorp's military tactician, thinks Murphy will never be as efficient as a fully mechanical robot. In order to make Murphy perform better when he gets overly emotional, Norton tampers with Murphy’s brain chemistry so he no longer displays any emotions. Murphy attends a press conference, where he ignores his waiting wife and son, and apprehends a criminal in the crowd. With this and popular TV reporter/host Pat Novak (Samuel L. Jackson) touting the success, RoboCop is a public relations goldenboy and afterward Murphy is successful in drastically reducing the crime rate in Detroit but Sellars wants to keep him from seeing his wife and son so they won’t see how emotionless he is.
Clara gets to Murphy and tells him about their son’s nightmares. Murphy’s love for his family overrides his programming and, after he realizes how much the car bombing traumatized his son, he zeroes in on solving his own attempted murder and bringing bad guy Vallon to justice. Murphy/Robocop is able to kill Vallon in an ambush and arrests the two dirty cops who were his operatives. He also tries to arrest the police chief who is also “dirty” but Sellars has him shut down!
Shut Down Robocop!
Seeing that Clara is talking to the press about not being allowed to see her husband and afraid that Robo will tip his own involvement with the bad guys, Sellars sends both scientist Norton and enforcer/tactician Mattox to kill him. Norton helps Robo to consciousness and tells him the truth. Robo goes after Sellars determined to bring him to justice and protect his family.
This Robocop reboot is not only sci-fi fun and action-packed but has a great message at its core. No matter how advanced our machines get, the human element and love will always override the system. It’s Robo’s love for his family that allows him to do just that and both protect his loved-ones and stop his enemies.
The film could have used more humor to balance out some tense and violent moments but the original movie, more tongue-in-cheek and made in 1987, saw our future as fantasy when we are very close now to living in a world where robot soldiers and even cyborg cops are much closer to reality. Our world is certainly full of evil corporations and spin-doctor TV hosts who can both make and break the news. On the downside, some characters, like bad guy Vallon and Murphy’s injured partner Lewis (Michael K. Williams), are barely developed.
As Robo/Murphy, Joel Kinneman (of TV’s “The Killing”) is just great. He “acts” with his face alone for most of the movie and when a solitary tear rolls down Robo’s cheek, it really gets ya! Jackie Earle Haley is fun as macho Maddox and Michael Keaton, who once played Batman, is great as greedy industrialist Sellars as is Gary Oldman as the scientist whose ambition in tempered by morality.
Some of the battle action in Robocop is rough but not really “bloody” although it might disturb those under age 13. With the strong family-love-conquers-all message at its core, the film is worth 3 and a half or, with our system, 4 stars.
Robocop Movie Rating:
Robocop is in theaters now!