Normally, I am with the minority in actually welcoming reboots of old 80’s and 90’s films such as the Dark Knight Trilogy, the new Star Trek films, X-Men First Class, The Amazing Spider-Man, and Total Recall. I believe that with the advancement of technology and complex storytelling, such attributes can give old franchises a breathe of fresh air. I’m all for re-imaginings as it gives me something to compare and look forward to. However, with the new Robocop film, I must go against my norm and say that I wish MGM had simply left the Robocop franchise alone. This new film was purely unnecessary.
This new reboot is terrible. Like, really bad. I commend the creative team for wanting to dwell more into Officer Murphy’s family, but the struggle between being a machine and wanting to be human really wasn’t there to begin with. The beginning was cool as I appreciated how we’re treated to a more in-depth look into the machinations and robotics of the Robocop body, but the story let its largest ace out of the bag way too quickly in allowing Robocop to become self-aware at such an early stage of his birthing which made his desire to become human too contrived and unnatural. Moreover, this Robocop seemed too powerful as there wasn’t any particular foe that posed much of a threat to the character. In the original, the ED-209 battle droid was a fierce and menacing opponent that held Robocop in check and nearly killed him, forcing him to retreat and recover. But in the reboot, Robocop takes out a handful of these walking tanks and keeps on going without hesitation. The aura and strength of the hero is defined by how powerful and evil the villain is, and sadly this Robocop had no such element, thus eliminating any risk, peril, or challenge that could have led to growth and character development of our hero. A missed opportunity indeed.
The film had many more faults such as poor music, the setting and scenery were too light and safe, too much time was spent with the villains, there was little mention of the character’s name, Robocop, and just being PG-13 undermined the gravity and potential of the adult classic. It was interesting to see a fresh take on the world of Robocop, but in the end it fails to really break any new ground and highlights how great and superior and ahead of its time the original Robocop really was. A simple barometer to go by: you know an action film fails when you walk out of the theater not imagining you’re the protagonist, and this is certainly the case. I need to re-watch the 1987 version to purge the reboot out of my mind. Ugh.
I rate this a 1.5 out of 5.