-- Rick Mattox (as played by Jackie Earle Haley)
Generally speaking, I welcome them, and I think it's entirely natural for storytellers to want to build on an established legacy in a way that enhances the original while perhaps taking the property in new directions. Add some flavor to the universe. Give audiences a little something extra to both look at and think about. My central requirements for a reboot is that -- minimally -- you have to have something compelling to enrich this cinematized reality: otherwise, it's going to ultimately feel like a cheap imitation.
Alas, that's exactly what RoboCop (2014 version) felt like: a cheap imitation.
Director Jose Padilha's incarnation of the crime-fighting cyborg really only enhanced the effects, maybe even streamlined the action with some newfangled camera trickery, and those two elements alone proved that the filmmakers and his creative crew failed to understand the charm of the original. Yes, yes, yes: I get that they kept the kinda/sorta sardonic wit -- those moments of cultural parody that propelled so much of this world's humor -- but to do so they brought in Hollywood's biggest foul-mouth with Samuel L. Jackson (no offense, Sam), and again it just felt like it all was produced with the attitude of "we saw what you did, director Paul Verhoeven, and we can do it better."
Well? You didn't, Jose.
And I say all of this with the full confession that I so very much love the work of Joel Kinnaman. He's a fabulous talent -- genre projects included -- and I've no problem accepting him in the role of the central figure here. I don't have any issues with his work in bringing Alex Murphy back to the screen. I do think it's sad that he was pretty much saddled with an inferior script -- one that essentially tried to rehash far too many elements of the original to give him anything fresh, new, and different to do with the character -- but at the end of the day (or the end of the shoot) it is what it is.
So ... once more ... just to clarify ... I didn't hate the film ... I generally speaking don't hate reboots ... I just saw this one as entirely unnecessary because it failed to try something authentically its own ... and flicks like that are always destined to wind up inferior. Great effects and great post-production are all well and good ... but if you're not bringing a new idea? Then I'm perfectly content to stick with the first and best incarnation of the cop from Old Detroit.
Here's the plot summary as provided by our friends at IMDB.com:
"In 2028 Detroit, when Alex Murphy, a loving husband, father and good cop, is critically injured in the line of duty, the multinational conglomerate OmniCorp sees their chance for a part-man, part-robot police officer."
As always, thanks for reading ... and live long and prosper!