RoboCop, the latest in a string of '80s remakes, has a lot in common with the original directed by Paul Verhoven.. However, anyone expecting the same shock to the system that the 1987 flick delivered, will be disappointed.
As police officer Alex Murphy, The Killing's Joel Kinnaman wears the suit well. He delivers in his role, as do the performances from the stellar supporting cast which includes Michael Keaton, Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson and Abbie Cornish.
Read on before hopping into the squad car.
1. PTSD Soldier: One of the strongest angles in the remake is the focus on Alex Murphy's intense emotional and physical struggles following a near-fatal car bomb. Kinnaman does the role originally molded by Peter Weller proud. How can this super solider re-connect with the wife (Cornish) and son? The theme of feeling whole again totally works.
2. A-Listers Sell Cheesy Dialogue: Let's face it—the original film was never the most subtle of tales, nor did it mean to be. Having actors like Keaton play the greedy OmniCorp head and Oldman as the scientist who forsakes his morals to "fix" Alex is way more engaging than it should be.
3. A Little Satire Goes a Long Way: The entire film is told through a show hosted by pundit Pat Novak (Jackson). The issue of the day? Why Americans are so against robots. Jackson has a ball playing a hyper right-wing news-type. These scenes entertain, but there's not much humor outside of these segments.
4. PG-13 Dials Down the Bloodshed: Like 2012's Total Recall (another film whose '80s original was directed by Verhoven) most of the action is akin to the consequence-free thrills of videogames. Only an early scene where Alex is taken part, revealing how little of him is human anymore, resonates.
5. Omar With No Wires: Michael K. Williams in any show or film is always welcome. We only wish he had a more substantial role as Alex's partner Jack. More scenes between the Alex and Jack would have been awesome.