"RoboCop" returns to theaters this week in a big reboot from Sony.
The first reviews for José Padilha's take on the 1987 film are out and it's not sounding like a must see.
The movie, starring Joel Kinnaman ("The Killing"), Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, and Samuel L. Jackson, has received extremely mixed reviews. While no one says it's the worst film they've ever seen, it's clear the film is certainly far from the best.
The movie is out Wednesday to get a jump on the holiday weekend and is expected to make $26 million this weekend. The film cost Sony an estimated $100 million to bring to the big screen.
Here's what critics are saying about the film:
“… A deafening, boring action pile-up that is more Call of Duty than RoboCop.”
The Hollywood Reporter (THR):
"Neither the complete disaster some might have been anticipating nor any kind of cinematic landmark, the 2014 remake of RoboCop is a solid piece of mainstream entertainment that honors the legacy of Paul Verhoeven's 1987 original, and is certainly better than the last attack on a Verhoeven film, 2012's Total Recall.
What's missing is the original's evil wit, amoral misanthropy and subversive slipperiness ..."
"It's far from an absolute triumph, sure, but it's significantly smarter and sharper than you'd give it credit for going in, with a (mostly) committed cast (mostly) having some fun with it, and an admirable commitment to character and ideas, over and above action and effects. It might not be worth mentioning in the same breath as Verhoeven's original, but it's at least in the same circulatory system.
" ... [It] displays a lot of bold, smart ideas, interesting cuts (the introduction to Murphy post-explosion is ingenious, and the revelation of his true state genuinely horrifying), and even a couple of inspired shots (watch for the way he frames his hero's reunion with his son, framing out Kinnaman's head to only include the robotic parts of his body)."
The Daily Mail:
"Fans of Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 film will probably not approve of this robocop having such human emotions, and, Novak (Samuel L. Jackson) apart, the satirical wit of the original is mostly lacking."
Time Out New York:
“The film’s most notable weakness is its action sequences: the pace is too frenetic and the camera too shaky to hold the attention. The climax is particularly poor, involving a lot of running, shouting and blasting, then it’s over. But ‘RoboCop’ makes up for this deficiency in other areas. Its dedication to touching on tough questions – about will and self-determination, about drone warfare and necessary force, about the power of the media over public opinion – is admirable, and the script has a certain blunt wit.”
“While Padilha and his team are to be admired for bringing the concept up-to-date and addressing very real concerns about drones, robotics, and automated warfare, they’ve taken much of the fun out of the concept, making for a po-faced and ultimately somewhat forgettable Robocop movie.”
“The cast in general performs well above the minimum demands of the material. Kinnaman lacks the lithe wryness Peter Weller brought to the 1987 film, but has his own cool authority, while Keaton (perhaps having less fun with the role than the initially cast Hugh Laurie might have done) is a reserved, genuinely off-putting villain, leaving the maniacal business to a ripe Jackie Earle Haley as OmniCorp’s chief militarist. Best in show, handily, is Oldman, whose tender ruefulness as Norton does a good deal of the film’s emotional legwork.”
The best thing we saw a critic say about the film goes to Empire:
“Throughout, one character refers to the new RoboCop as ‘Tin Man’ and to the film’s credit, it desperately wants to have a heart. Oh, if it only had a brain.”
Watch a trailer for the film:
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