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@Maverick99sback says RoboCop 2014 deserves your respect, Creep

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The One Where Robocop Is SO Much Better Than You’ve Been Led To Believe, (And Will Ever Be Allowed To Believe Too)

I’m in a bit of a quandary. Alan Simmons has already nailed LFF’s review of Robocop. (HERE). I’m compelled to chime in with why you should be going to RoboCop. I feel like I have too. After tweeting the below, late last night, twitter was in stunned silence. Gasp after gasp, as people realised I wasn’t being my usual sarcastic self – I was being deadly serious. I’ve been unfollowed by 75 people since.

I don’t care.

Robocop, 2014, is bloody sensational.

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Even though I have no loyalty to Director, José Padilha (haven’t seen either Elite Squad, will now), I feel quite determined to defend him. I can sit fairly smugly as I never cried foul when this remake was announced. I’m OK with it. There’s not several Robocop movies and a TV series in my world. There’s Verhoeven and that’s it. If you want to cry foul, decry Robocop 2, and that awful fucking jetpack in Robocop 3.  Shout at your TV series that was made kid-safe, far before Padilha stepped behind the camera.

In fact, lets put all of the 12A nonsense to bed now, shall we? The opening scene has a suicide bomber blowing up, on screen, as he jumps on an ED-209. What’s not to love? The fact it’s preceded by a 5 minute Samuel L Jackson (that dick on the news needs to get fired. Confusing Sam Jackson with another black man isn’t just offensive – it’s racist) – monologue put me even more at ease. I thought that would be it, but he keeps popping back. I sat bolt upright and thought; Hang on a second, these guys get it. Robocop, and Verhoeven’s masterful Starship Troopers too, are brilliant pieces of satire. Satirise the Government, satirise TV stations. It’s aged so well, and still so biting at times.

Sure, there’s no effing and jeffing, and the gore is obviously not there either. But we’ll get a 15 cut of this film. Maybe even an 18. They’ve just been as clever with the editing as Gibson was to cut Passion Of The Christ down from the most 18 of 18’s, to a PG for an Easter re-release. As clever as Saturday Night Fever giving me the shock of my life in teenage years, after I’d been brought up on the on the PG version. But lets not pretend there’s not room for both versions. Most of the violence is taser guns, or robot on robot, anyways. Any film that has someone trapped under rubble, and willing to blow their own arm off to get free, is OK by me.

As Samuel (don’t call him Sam) pops back at regular intervals – whether it’s debating the need to replace soldiers on foreign soil with robots, or praising Michael Keaton as a pioneer – you realise the film is stretching itself. It would have been so much easier to play Keaton as a slimy Wall Street type. A la Belfort, perhaps? Loads of money, fancies putting a man in a machine. Bad guy. But he’s not. He speaks a lot of sense. So much so that I even now endorse the black suit. The fact we get chrome either side helps, of course.

It’s just a thrill to see Keaton back on the big screen. Probably thinking to himself; Where did it all go wrong? He gets involved in some pretty heavy conversations. This isn’t a shoot ’em up. In fact, as good as the action is (frenetic), the film is one I can see Mrs T enjoying, too. You have so much more time given to Mrs Murphy and Master Murphy. So much so it makes me a bit irked they never addressed this in ’87.

How about Robocop’s first trip Home, ending in him realising that he can’t stay the night. Where would he sleep? How will he charge himself? Just brilliant details for the kind of film where you don’t normally get anything like resembling layers. Even Clara meeting him at the door and struggling to find any flesh to touch, so instead going in for a half-hearted, but genuine, hug. I sat genuinely surprised. Pleasantly nodding that, even an hour in, they know what they’re doing.

The oft-talked about reveal of what’s left of Murphy is worth noting. As the suit disappears as Gary Oldman(adding the kind of gravitas he added to Nolan’s flailing Bat franchise), proves a point, my jaw dropped. Ina  single shot, they justify the one human hand on show (another pre-viewing bug-bear). It’s excellently done, and as others have mentioned, a moment where Kinnaman steps into the role. I thought it would be a nice tribute to Weller if they kept his voice, but understand why they didn’t.

I’m trying to rack my brains as to any mis-steps. I can’t think of any.

Out of the four supporting cast members, all of whom elevate this film no end, Jackie Earle Haley could’ve done with a tiny bit more screen time. He steps up towards the end, but that clearly needs to be fleshed out in the inevitable Director’s Cut. Along with some CGI blood, and more offing and jeffing. Keep the bleep at the end, mind. That got a great laugh. And Sam’s lion riot at the start, too.

Get Burton on the phone, Keaton. Complete me that perfect Bat Trilogy I was robbed of.


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