TheSpectrum.com – OK, I’m publicly admitting it: I’ve never seen 1987’s “Robocop.”
So while I have nothing to compare 2014’s version of the film to, I was going in unscathed and without preconception. Without being armed with expectations, the reboot’s disappointment levels are at a minimum.
In other words, “Robocop” was kind of fun.
Detective Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) is fighting a war against corruption in 2028 Detroit. When he gets a little too close to finding out which of his fellow cops are actually bad guys, someone attempts to blow him up.
Luckily for Alex, a company called OmniCorp is searching for wounded officers and soldiers to use in a new project — essentially using robotics to replace and enhance what the officers have lost.
So, Alex’s wife Clara (Abbie Cornish) gives consent, and Robocop is born. Or, created.
I’m mad at myself for not seeing this in the theaters. Michael Keaton plays Raymond Sellars, the head of OmniCorp, and I just can’t get enough of this man. Why did we stop casting him in movies?
Perhaps it’s because I have fond memories of “Batman” and “Beetlejuice,” but I’d love to see Keaton in more films. He’s a great actor and a formidable presence.
He wasn’t the only actor with gravitas to appear in “Robocop,” though. Playing the political television pundit Pat Novak is none other than Samuel L. Jackson. While his scenes seem more like an afterthought, it’s still fun to see him in any film.
And then there’s Gary Oldman, who plays Dr. Dennett Norton, the man responsible for the science behind Robocop. Oldman ranks among my most favorite actors. He’s incredibly versatile, super likable and, darn it, how can he have only been nominated for an Oscar just once?
The only actor I was really unsure about was the lead. Kinnaman, bless his heart, was fine playing a robot, but all his human scenes were so below par that I could just see him trying his hardest to act. I guess it’s a good thing he spent the majority of the movie in his Robocop suit.
The special features on the Blu-ray were pretty engaging. The featurette “RoboCop: Engineered for the 21st Century” showed us how the filmmakers updated the look of the titular character from its 1987 predecessor and how they created the actual suit.
I was an actor in a nationally recognized haunted house in Salt Lake City for a few years, and I had to wear a full-body Pinhead suit. We’re talking pounds and pounds of draped leather on top of latex. The thing was incredibly hot.
Come to find out, there are these cooling suits that can be worn underneath these latex outfits, and Kinnaman got to wear one. Who knew? I looked on in envy as they showed how tubes filled with water would circulate underneath all the latex and plastic
Boy I wish I had access to one of those back in my haunted house days. Kinnaman got off easy.
I guess now it’s time for me to get the Blu-ray rerelease of the original “Robocop.” We’ll see if it holds up almost 30 years later.