|Die Frankfurt-Tipp Bewertung:|
|Genre:||Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller|
|Laufzeit:||Approx. 117 min.|
|FSK:||From 12 years|
The remake fever has infected Hollywood once again. The latest victim is Paul Verhoeven's "RoboCop" from 1987, a brutal, cynical and extremely entertaining satire that until recently was still on the index in Germany, and which has been significantly defused for 2014 audiences. Although there are still some satirical elements, the remake focuses more on the emotional, "family is the highest good"-oriented side of the story.
When policeman Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) gets to the bottom of some corrupt colleagues and their connection to a powerful gangster boss, he is quickly silenced. However, the attack on Murphy's life does not kill the young officer, but only mutilates him to the death. This makes him the perfect candidate for an OmniCorp armaments company program that is desperately looking for a way to gain greater acceptance among American citizens for the use of their defense robots. A mixture of human and robot, which presents all the advantages of OmniCorp machines with a human touch, seems to be the perfect advertising medium. Convinced that she will otherwise lose her husband, Murphy's wife Clara (Abbie Cornish) agrees to OmniCorp boss Raymond Sellars (Michael Keaton)'s offer that his chief developer Norton (Gary Oldman) will turn the badly injured policeman into RoboCop. The only condition: his conscience and memories should be preserved. But as these very obstacles stand in the way of the project's unqualified success, Sellars decides to turn Murphy into a mindless fighting machine. But what initially has phenomenal success soon becomes a real threat…
The 2014 model of the "RoboCop" is not a bad film in itself. José Padilha, director of the two outstanding "Elite Squad" films, offers a handsome glossy look and a lot of well staged action sequences - even if the first-person shooter look of a sequence is a bit annoying. But all in all you can see that Padilha understands his craft and that he has made an effort not to let the edges and corners of Verhoeven's film be completely smoothed. In some moments he succeeded very well. Especially when Samuel L. Jackson, the TV presenter, pillories the sissies in the government and promotes the use of combat robots in America, the film reveals the satirical potential that the original also has. But Michael Keaton's character also has this same notch, which gives the movie something like a second level behind the action facade, which does the overall picture a lot of good.
However, there is a point at which this remake simply fails and which doesn't work even if you don't know Verhoeven's movie. There, the brutally battered Murphy was really just a machine that had become aware of its humanity through short shreds of memories of his family. This part of the story was enormously important, but it was treated comparatively subtly and that is why it was so effective. In the 2014 version, Murphy as RoboCop is initially a human being with all feelings and memories. And he can't deal with that at all. Despite its high-tech armor, this RoboCop is anything but cool, but just a whiny complainer. Certainly, if he can stand his ground in the test against other combat robots or if he is responsible for law and order on the streets, then he is quite close to the RoboCop as his fans know and love him. But when he bursts into tears and despair at the sight of his wife or son, it is difficult to take him seriously. Bad memories of Darth Vader's "Neeeeiiiiiiin" from "Episode III" come back! The fact that this RoboCop is a real family man is then also really annoyingly pushed to the top in the final. Here you can hardly feel anything of the wonderfully bad ending Verhoeven's RoboCop gives his adversary.
What also seems a bit strange is that the violence is present in the movie and is quite excessive, but it was presented so unbloody that the movie was even released in Germany at the age of 12. And since it is theoretically also possible for 6-year-old children to see this work accompanied by their parents, one must once again ask oneself how much sense an institution like the FSK makes. Padilha's film may be much more harmless and smooth than Verhoeven's "RoboCop". Nevertheless, it is not a film for children, no matter how little blood flows here.
As I said, the 2014 "RoboCop" is not a really bad film as long as it is not exposed to direct comparison with the 1987 film. It's also not a really good movie, though, but it simply lacks the necessary edges and corners. This work plays it too safe and is too much adapted to the mass taste to even begin to reach the same class that made Verhoeven's film such a popular genre classic. If you just want to see stylish-futuristic action with a little deep satire and even more icing, this is the place for you. But if you expect a really cool action hero and more of the cynicism of the original, you'll want to send this "RoboCop" to the junk press. Therefore: only for "RoboCop" newcomers absolutely worth seeing, for fans of the original however only with clear restrictions to recommend!
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