After reading the script to RoboCop (2014) today, which should last 130 minutes or so, it’s clear now why this movie was delayed untill February 2014. The production stills that have people talking should be the least of their worries. This film is so sanitised and devoid of character, its unreal. But first, the one thing it has over the original – an explanation as to why the company would bother putting the remnants of a man in the RoboCop unit. Here, it is explained that they do it so that if the machine fucks up – i.e. shoots a civilian, they can blame it on human error. After that interesting – brief – exchange of dialogue, this movie sinks beyond mediocrity. From there, the writer has no idea where to go. It immediately reminds me on the Total Recall remake – soulless, directionless. Even towards the end it can barely decide who the real villain is, so how is RoboCop himself supposed to? Around 4-5 times that buck is passed around to 4-5 non-developed nobodies.
After an opening scene about the conquest of Iran – yawn – we get down to the business of putting tracing paper over someone else’s work and copying it. Badly. Murphy is killed, just like in the original. But here, Murphy’s partner (Lewis), is a man, who runs like a coward and leaves Murphy to the dogs. The death scene is then one fit for saturday morning cartoons – Murphy is shot (Which we don’t really see) then syringed in the neck – which we do see. Then, we all know the deal, RoboCop is made from a corpse. For around 10 minutes in the movie, RoboCop is wearing the original suit (RoboCop 1.0). After a board meeting, it’s decided that this suit will be too intimidating for children, it’s old hat and stupid. Redesign it. So it is redesigned into a ‘fabric suit’ (RoboCop 3.0) for civilian use which can morph, Iron Man style, into the SWAT suit seen in production stills when combat is required. And I use the term ‘combat’ in the loosest sense of the word, more on that below. By this point, near halfway, nothing has happened of any significance. Satire? Commentary? Forget it. Was this thing typed by a computer? Where’s the human touch?
After some inner turmoil, Murphy/RoboCop wants to capture his killers. 2/3 of the way in, with the script reading like a dead-duck, the writer injects a SWERVE. It was Murphy’s partner who set him up in return for a promotion. Then, an ANTI-SWERVE, he didn’t afterall. And damned near the end of the movie, we’re back at square one, and RoboCop is none the wiser. Did I mention that this movie is PG-13? RoboCop now takes care of enemies by shooting them with darts. That’s right, small darts that incapacitate criminals. In the script, the replacement for Boddicker (‘Vallon’, a nobody and of no consequence at all), notes that RoboCop has made 191 arrests with no fatalities. In one utterly cheesy scene, RoboCop shoots tear gas from behind his bikes headlight, having 6 enemies cry and squint into submission. If that wasn’t bad enough, the movie actually pokes fun at the detractors of PG-13. “Lets make him PG-13”. Yup, that’s an actual line of dialogue. There’s no violence, no swearing, no blood. There’s no tension. Maybe even worse, there’s almost zero satire.
Shockingly disappointing. The old TV series was actually more on form than this. This isn’t old Detroit, from the get-go it’s Delta City.