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    RoboCop Review Roundup: Critics Give Remake With Joel Kinnaman Mostly Cool Reviews

    RoboCop, Joel Kinnaman Kerry Hayes/Columbia Pictures/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures

    Lots of people flock to the movies during a snowstorm, but if you're thinking about schlepping your way to the theater, the critics wouldn't necessarily recommend you hit up a screening of RoboCop.

    In fact, reviews for the reboot of the 1987 film are almost as dreary as the weather. Despite an impressive cast including Joel Kinnaman (as Alex Murphy/RoboCop), Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Abbie Cornish and Jennifer Ehle, the reviews ranged from dismal to decent.

    Here's more of what the critics have to say...

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    • Manohla Dargis writes in the New York Times that RoboCop is "a nicely cast, respectable remake of the wittily corrosive 1987 Paul Verhoeven film," adding that the reboot "is less the struggle between man and machine than between the original's pop nihilism and the bottom-line commercialism driving this new vehicle." But, Dargis points out, "the new RoboCop has a star in the making with Mr. Kinnaman, an intensely sympathetic actor best known for the AMC series The Killing, and it also features a handful of excellent side players, including Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton and Jennifer Ehle. All that's really missing here is a point of view.
    • "On the design front, the updates to the familiar RoboCop iconography are respectful but sleekly streamlined. Gone are the endearingly clunky robot effects of the original film, as all the machinery here — including, of course, that all-important suit, here given a slight Daft Punk accent—exudes contempo architectural glamour," concludes Guy Lodge for Variety.

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    • Betsey Sharkey writes in the L.A. Times that "in the 27 years since RoboCop first rocked the movie world, much has happened and apparently the filmmakers behind this year's remake didn't get the memo...To put it bluntly, RoboCop, the movie and the man, seem a little dazed and confused." She concludes that the remake "isn't going for the biting satire of Paul Verhoeven's 1987 original, or its extreme violence," and while the "sci-fi side hasn't evolved much," she finds "most of the thrill is gone."
    • "When the So Bad It's Good Society comes to evaluate José Padilha's 'RoboCop' for membership, its star witness will be a scene found roughly halfway through," writes Chris Hewitt of Empire. "It involves the film's hero, Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman), just after he's been blown up and encased in his life-saving metal suit. Murphy asks his creator, Dr. Norton (Gary Oldman) how bad his situation really is. Norton, reluctantly, shows him, as robots remove first Alex's legs, then his arms, then his torso, revealing him finally as nothing more than a wailing head above a pair of CG lungs and a disembodied hand, floating around randomly. Sadly, the scene doesn't end with Norton telling Alex that he can still play the piano. It's awful, and symptomatic of the problems that dog Padilha's reboot of Paul Verhoeven's 1987 classic. No heart, no balls, no funny bone."

    • In the Chicago Tribune, however, Michael Phillips finds that while the RoboCop remake "doesn't really believe its own poster," he sees the positives. "The tagline 'Crime has a new enemy' suggests little more than point and shoot—the same old cyborg song and dance," he writes, adding, "While nobody'd be dumb enough to reboot the original 1987 kill-'em-up franchise by holding back on the scenes of slaughter in favor of sly political satire about arm-twisting Fox News jingoism or American business ethics, Brazilian-born director Jose Padilha manages to do all that and still deliver the product."

    RoboCop opened Wednesday. Do you plan to see it?

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