Monday, February 24, 2014

Update #11 & Review: Robocop (2014)

Because I have nothing better to do, I reviewed a few recent comics I read on Comics Reader.  It's much shorter than my last round-up just because I haven't bought as many lately.  I'm trying to be more discerning or something.

Saturday I went to watch the Robocop reboot and soon wished I hadn't.  It was in a word BORING.  So boring if I'd had better things to do I would have walked out of the theater by the midway point.

Like all bad reboots they basically ran the original through a filter to screen out anything interesting, leaving behind a bland, lifeless story.  Which seems difficult because the original story was so simple:  Man is killed by criminals, becomes cyborg, takes revenge on criminals, and in the process takes down a larger conspiracy.  It's so simple of a story that it's been repeated several times in movies like Darkman or The Crow and in my book Chance of a Lifetime--free on Kindle and Smashwords!

Instead they had to fuck things up completely with a series of bad decisions.  The first was going for a PG-13 rating.  This was as bad of an idea as making the fourth Die Hard PG-13 so MacLane couldn't even say his catchphrase.  Because of the lower rating they couldn't have all the blood splatter and body count of the original movie.

The second terrible idea was that when he wakes up as a cyborg he remembers everything.  And his wife, kid, and the rest of the world all know who he is.  So instead of the machine becoming human we end up with the human becoming a machine becoming human again.

Then instead of action we get boring technobabble about dopamine levels and his state of mind and all sorts of other bullshit.  Plus a couple of gross shots where he's just a head and lungs.  Yuck.

Instead of his partner being Anne Lewis, his partner is John Lewis, who does little but get shot twice and act like a human shield once.  And since I guess there's a budget on screen time for women they focus on his wife instead and yet never really get to the core issue:  How the hell can you have a normal family life with a cyborg?  The answer is you can't, which is why the original was smart to just write the wife and child off.

The whole thing is like the writers had no idea what made the first movie work.  You don't watch Robocop to watch doctors study him or for him to mope about his wife and kid.  You watch Robocop to watch him blow the hell out shit with that big fucking gun!  It's an action movie, not a drama!

And of course instead of the goofy news breaks and goofier commercials and the "I'd buy that for a dollar!" guy we get Bill O'Reilly-esque segments starring Samuel L. Jackson.  Though his bleep-filled tirade at the end was one of the few moments where the audience actually reacted.  A couple points though I was wondering when  he'd ask, "What's in your wallet?"

With good reboots like the Nolan Batman movies or the Daniel Craig Bond movies they add something new to the mix.  In those cases it was saving the franchises from camp and silliness.  With the Abrams Star Trek it was dumbing it down to the mainstream level.  With Robocop there's absolutely nothing of value added while it loses all the things fans liked about the original.

(1/5 stars)

1 comment:

  1. Glad I didn't see it. Saw the Lego movie instead!



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