Robocop 2014 Review

It’s kinda bad, then gets better.  The new Robocop 2014 movie isn’t terrible, but it’s not as great as the original and here’s why.  I give Robocop 2014 9/10 then 3/10 then 8/10 (beginning, middle, end).

The best part – the ED209 were amazing.  Excellent work from the CGI guys and gals on cooking that up.  The audio department perfected the sound of the ED209 walking to give some real impact, they had a real robotic menacing voice effect like the original movie.  My favorite part of the movie.

Now on to the rest of the movie you have to sit through to see the awesome ED209:

The acting is average to great.  The doctor who builds Robocop is amazing and really owns every scene he enters.  The evil CEO is a good actor placed in a bad role.  He carried the position well but it should have been a guy in a suit.

Samuel L. Jackson as the news reader was great, but again, he was a great actor in a bad role.  The hand movements to move things on screen were awkward and that UI would never be used in the real world.  It just felt like the Robocop producers tried to be fururistic/modern without thinking about how all this technology works in reality.   Samuel Jackson should have been sitting in a studio.

The main Robocop guy who played Murphy was trying his best but just didn’t hit every note.  Murphy is supposed to be a good guy capable cop who hits a bad situation.   They should have spent more time building him up like in the original.

The Robocop testing phase dragged on way too long.  It’s the second fifth of the movie and it feels like it goes on forever.

Lack of build up of characters and corporation.  The movie wasn’t lacking coherence, it just lacked punch.  It felt like it was jumping between scenes but there was no solid meat to the movie.  Like the producers just wanted to show cool action scenes from their todo list without watching the movie themselves.  The evil corporation wasn’t evil enough, the good guy wasn’t nice enough.  

Too many bit parts from random actors and some cringy scenes that dragged.  But it could have been amazing and that’s what hurts the most.  This was trilogy material and it had potential to be a triple blockbuster.

No evil corporation.  Yes I know it had Omnicorp, but it was run by a cool guy CEO type.  It should have been boardmembers sitting around a table in suits like the original, with charts and Powerpoint.  Instead we see a glass meeting room that just looked weak.

The Dean (police leader) had little presence.  If anyone watches any movies from the 80’s they always have a boss who has to do things a certain way because they have a boss to report to.  You don’t get that feeling with the Dean.  She does her best but tough shoes to fill and really requires screen presence to pull it off.

Robocop can jump.  Why can Robocop jump?  He is a 1 ton bullet proof tank and he’s leaping through the air like a cat.  It’s just ridiculous and totally ruins the atmosphere and believability of the movie.  He also moves just that little bit too fast.  The original Robocop walks slow, because of his weight, and it adds a huge amount of power to the role.  Like this Robot cop is coming to ruin your day power.

The new Robocop suit is cool but too complicated and black.  It’s hard to clearly see the damage Robocop has received in battle so you can’t easily see if Robo is hurting or not.  The footstep sounds were copy pasted from the original movie and excellent, but the movement sounds, like turning, lacked punch.  This is the Transformers audio problem.

Transformers audio problem: The Transformers movies have a particular sound effect they used for when the transformer robots transform.  It’s supposed to sound alien and cool  It’s like chu chu chu chu as the parts move around and they transform.  It sounds terrible and does not fit the process shown on screen which is huge pieces of metal moving around and hitting each other.  It has ruined many movies.  It’s up there in bad movie tropes with blue and orange filters and lens flare.  Oh and spinning bullet time camera on shooting scenes and shaky cam on action scenes.  This really is the worst decade for movies ever.

Too little future tech in the movie.  I know Robocop is not supposed to be 2050 but it should still have some cooler looking vehicles, and maybe some robot drones flying around.  The front lights on Robocops motorbike looked cheap.  I would have liked a talk through of what awesome features the bike had like the Batman movies had.

Robocops CGI room scan was a mess and used too often.

Spinning camera effect.  Over and over again we see the spinning camera bullet time effect copied from Matrix.  It just made me dizzy and I started to lose interest in the movie.  You know it will be taught in film schools now as a great way to excite the viewer into the action but I just don’t like it at all.

Blue and orange.  Every movie is blue and orange and this is no difference.  I just hope we get past these cheap filter soon.  The movie could have used more lens flare though to really make the lights pop.

Needed slow death scene.  The death scenes were one shot and it’s over.  No final words, no speech about why the evil guy wanted to do his thing, just pop and it’s over.  There were two main villains in the movie and both had weak death scenes.  Throughout the whole movie it felt like the Director was afraid to linger on anything in case the the audience lost interest and it shows in a weak coherence.

No cool catch phrases allowed.  The original Robocop was made by those cool catchphrases you repeated to your friends in school for weeks.  This has none.

Some awesome quotes from the original Robocop movies:

“Dead or alive, you’re coming with me.”

“Come quietly, or there will be… trouble.”

“Excuse me. I have to go. Somewhere there is a crime happening.”

“Your move, creep.”

Robocop: “My programming does not permit me to take action against an officer of this company.”
The Old Man: “Dick, you’re FIRED !”
Robocop: (smiling slightly) “Thank you.” (fires)

The Old Man: “Nice shooting, son. What’s your name ?”
Robocop: “Murphy.”

See how cool those are?  nothing like that in this movie.  Just a brooding guy in a cyborg cat suit.

The worst part – the movie failed to perform and will probably not get a sequel.  The original Robocop movie came in a trilogy and it’s a shame this new Robocop 2014 movie will likely not see a Robocop 2.  So much blockbuster potential wasted by averageness and modern film schools.

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