Director: Jose Padilha
Starring: Joel Kinnaman; Gary Oldman; Michael Keaton; Abbie Cornish; Jackie Earl Haley; Jay Baruchel; Samuel L Jackson.
Plot: In 2028 Detroit, when Alex Murphy – a loving husband, father and good cop – is critically injured in the line of duty, the multinational conglomerate OmniCorp sees their chance for a part-man, part-robot police officer.
So before I start, I just want to get this out of the way… I’ve never seen the original Robocop(1987). I know, what sort of film reviewer could ever claim to offer a suitable point of view on a film remake when they haven’t even seen the original? Well, me… Hopefully. I shall leave the Paul Verhoeven version aside in an attempt to objectively look at Robocop for what it is; a modern age, post 9/11, action sci-fi movie.
Jose Padilha, a Brazilian director whose work was done entirely in his native tongue until this point, was gifted a massive task with his first English language film given the huge cult following Robocop has and the critical success of the original. What we got from him was what I’d consider to be an overly long and entirely convoluted piece that seemed to make no attempt whatsoever to suspend disbelief. The use of cutting to indicate flashbacks just radiated the worst of the old-school B movies and the means in which flashbacks were introduced was just cheesy… Super cheesy. It was a shame though, because the design of the cop himself, and the CGI of his armour, were pretty special. Add that to a script that did well to get by corporate sensorship due to its anti-corporation message and general “you are being controlled” warnings regarding news and propaganda, and you have a pretty nice Pizza dough, to use a food metaphor. Unfortunately, despite the plot, it was leaning towards the cheesy side of the spectrum and I failed to become so engaged with the seemingly lifeless cop that I didn’t feel fear for his safety at any one stage. This, along with the direction which could be to blame for this, make for a less good Pizza topping (to continue the food metaphor). The acting? Well, Gary Oldman and Abbie Cornish were good. I’m not entirely sure why such a talented actor as Jackie Earl Haley ended up in such a stereotypical ‘army vet’ role, or why Michael Keaton felt the need to play the most cliche corporate good/bad guy ever. Honestly, Joel Kinnaman wasn’t that good either. Consider the actors the sauce..
This Pizza was the Ham & Pineapple of Pizzas. It had seemingly fantastic foundations regarding story, message and politics, but it was ultimately let down by the Director’s ‘cheesy’ choices in how to capture the story, and the often uninterested or over the top Pineapple (I MEAN PERFORMANCES), along with the 90’s cop drama score, killed any chance I had of enjoying this one.
Rating: Ham & Pineapple Pizza – 3/10