‘RoboCop’: The Reviews Are In

Read, in the name of the law! See what critics have to say about the new 'RoboCop' remake.

Director Jose Padilha’s “RoboCop” remake enters theaters Wednesday (February 12), ready to protect and serve — although you might not enjoy the cyborg cop’s particular brand of justice.

The reviews are in for the new take on “RoboCop,” starring “The Killing” actor Joel Kinnaman in the iconic title role. While some applaud the movie’s differences from Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 action classic, others take the new “RoboCop” to task for lacking the “heart,” “funny bone” and “balls” of the original, to hear one critic tell it.

Stop, in the name of the law, and read what reviewers have to say about the “RoboCop” remake.

The Story
“The broad strokes are the same: Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) is a police officer and family man whose body is destroyed by a violent gang. A corrupt organization, OmniCorp, rebuilds his body for urban pacification, keeping a few recognizable chunks of human flesh intact to appease consumers who are — understandably — wary of automated machines keeping the peace on American soil. Alex Murphy disappears, and RoboCop takes his place, but Murphy’s mind can’t be sterilized for long and he eventually turns on his capitalist overlords to prove once and for all that he is a man, not a product.” — William Bibbiani, CraveOnline.com

The Face of the Law
“Joel Kinnaman is fine as this version of Robocop. If Peter Weller is your be-all end-all Robocop, you’ll have problems with Kinnaman’s very emotional performance, but it’s a different vision of the character. In fact I would have prefered to see that emotional version of Robocop continue, but since this movie must conform to the original (you know, homages and winks must be made), 2014 ‘Robocop’ is suddenly and without much good reason rendered a zombie by a huge dose of sedatives. This gives Kinnaman the chance to walk around like Weller and deliver lines in a monotone for a while, but it’s a symptom of the schism in the film. The story doesn’t actually need him to behave that way, marketing does.” — Devin Faraci, BadassDigest.com

The Redesign
“On the design front, the updates to the familiar RoboCop iconography are respectful but sleekly streamlined. Gone are the endearingly clunky robot effects of the original film, as all the machinery here — including, of course, that all-important suit, here given a slight Daft Punk accent — exudes contempo architectural glamour.” — Guy Lodge, Variety

The RoboCop-Out
“When the So Bad It’s Good Society comes to evaluate José Padilha’s ‘RoboCop’ for membership, its star witness will be a scene found roughly halfway through. It involves the film’s hero, Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman), just after he’s been blown up and encased in his life-saving metal suit. Murphy asks his creator, Dr. Norton (Gary Oldman) how bad his situation really is. Norton, reluctantly, shows him, as robots remove first Alex’s legs, then his arms, then his torso, revealing him finally as nothing more than a wailing head above a pair of CG lungs and a disembodied hand, floating around randomly. Sadly, the scene doesn’t end with Norton telling Alex that he can still play the piano. It’s awful, and symptomatic of the problems that dog Padilha’s reboot of Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 classic. No heart, no balls, no funny bone.” — Chris Hewitt, Empire

The Final Word
“Remaking a classic is a thankless, some would say pointless, task: you’d be hard pressed to find anyone outside of the production team who ever thought this reboot of Paul Verhoeven’s still flawless 1987 action movie was a good idea. But, to give director Jose Padilha and his scriptwriters their due, the new version goes out of its way to distance itself from the original. Junking Verhoeven’s sledgehammer satire and outrageous ultraviolence in favour of real-world politics and 12A thrills, this is a slicker, shinier, admittedly inferior affair. But with a strong cast, a roaring pace and at least one genuinely unforgettable scene, it’s by no means a write-off.” — Tom Huddleston, Time Out London

Leave your own “RoboCop” reviews in the comments below.

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