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Category:    Home > Reviews > Science Fiction > Action > Murder > Robotics > Sequel > Robocop (2014/MGM/Sony Blu-ray w/DVD)

Robocop (2014/MGM/Sony Blu-ray w/DVD)

Picture: B+/B- Sound: B+/B- Extras: C Film: B-

After being dormant for nearly 20 years, Robocop rose from the dead in an attempt to become a relevant movie franchise once again. Taking years of negotiating, a host of scripts and revisions, and a doubtful fan base; Robocop finally came to fruition in 2014 with filmmaker Jose Padilha at the helm.

As previously mentioned, fans of Robocop (for lack of better words) wanted nothing to do with this film. It was borderline blasphemous to even touch the 1980's classic that so perfectly blended copious amounts of gore with dark humor and unending action. Verhoeven's original 1987 film (reviewed elsewhere on this site) is used as the groundwork for this 2014 remake that does incorporate the key elements, but fails to execute them as smoothly and intelligently as the original.

The film follows the same basic premise of the original as in not-so distant dystopian future individuals and corporations are striving for Utopia. The perseveration on perfection allows the placement of robots and cyborgs to keep society in check; giving the illusion of freedom, while in reality it being far from. The film (like the original) uses this dystopian future filled with drones and outspoken news agencies to drive home a socio-political commentary; while concurrently delivering an action packed, violent film meant to entertain. Sadly whereas the film is beautifully made, it fails to capture the subtle undertones of the original's dark humor mixed with outlandish violence. Verhoeven's original film was discrete in message and blatant in violence; but this (PG-13) 2014 Robocop seems to be the exact opposite. This film spends much of the film locked in dialogue, throwing its intended social commentary in the viewers' face and toning down the violence.

We are no longer given the opportunity to digest the deeper meaning for ourselves as it is all (annoyingly) spelled out. The cast is solid with Samuel L. Jackson and Gary Oldman good as always; and Joel Kinnaman (as Robocop) doing a solid job, though a tad (overly) robotic at times.

The film was fun, but overall fails to do the original justice.

The technical features on this new Blu-ray are quite good, though not perfect. The picture is presented in a 2.40 X 1, 1080p AVC-encoded MPEG-4 all-HD shoot that is a much brighter/colorful film than the original with a wide ranging palette. The whites are bright and the blacks are inky, while concurrently displaying splashes of primary reds, blues, and more; overall, demonstrating a brilliant array of color and contrast. The image is crisp, clean and clear; though does have its softer moments that make the film not as crisp. In the end, the detail is superb. The sound is a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless mix that ends up being a mixed bag as some moments are top notch, demo quality and others no so much. In certain gun battles the bass is booming and the viewer is thrown into the heart of the action; but a third of the film slides by as merely adequate.

The DVD and Digital copies included are clear downgrades from the nicely displayed Blu-ray presentation; though good on the go or for those who have yet to upgrade.

The extras include:

  • Trailers

  • Deleted Scenes

  • Omnicorp Product Announcement

  • Engineered for the 21st Century [Making of Documentary]

    • The biggest featurette, only having a 30 minute run time, is lackluster and gives little insight into the film and its transition from the 1987 classic

- Michael P. Dougherty II


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