On this week's Flicks Junkies podcast, John Clyde and I (along with guest host Curtis Linnell) come down a little hard on José Padhila's latest effort, "Robocop."
In our defense, everything we say is pretty accurate, but "Robocop" is actually a better film than a lot of people are expecting. Given any other name but that of the '80s classic it's based on, and people would've simply written this movie off as an entertaining broken-glass flick.
Unfortunately for Padhila, people remember loving the original, and it's hard to sell people on a remake.
So for those of you on the fence about revisiting this '80s update, here are five reasons it may be worth a future rental.
It's a solid effort
Does everything in "Robocop" work? No. However, it's kind of surprising how much effort went into realizing this project. What I was expecting, and what I suspect a lot of people are expecting, was a lazy Hollywood cash grab, and "Robocop" is not that.
There is a lot to pick apart here, but as far as movies in February go, "Robocop" is definitely better than average.
With the exception of maybe Joel Kinnaman, yes he's Robocop, there is a really talented cast on set here. Michael Keaton's character is let down by an underdeveloped script, but he sells what he's given. Samuel L. Jackson, Jay Baruchel, Jennifer Ehle and Gary Oldman all show up with sincere performances, and the movie is better off for it.
"Robocop" may be hovering around 50 percent on RottenTomatoes right now, but it would have been far, far worse with a less-experienced company.
In an age of drone strikes, sophisticated robotics and mind-controlled software, the questions "Robocop" wants to ask are important ones. Are they subtle in their presentation? No. Dear goodness no. They actually have a narrator yelling at you, in case you didn't pick up on what you're supposed to be thinking about. But that's beside the point.
The bigger point is, this movie has something to say and it's worth listening to. I mean, again, you don't have a choice in the matter because they're practically on a megaphone screaming at you, but still, you won't walk away from the theater thinking, "That was pointless."
The original hasn't aged well
If you've revisited the original film in the last decade or so, you've probably begrudgingly accepted the fact that it isn't a very good movie. That's not to discredit what it was, or to suggest you can't still love it. In fact, in my mind's eye, it's still a winner. But unless I'm having an '80s throw-back movie marathon, the 2014 "Robocop" is probably the film I'll revisit if I need a "Robocop" fix. I don't really imagine I'll have many of those, but still, this was actually a pretty respectful and appropriately update to the classic.
Page 2 of 2 - You've already seen 'The Lego Movie'
Let's be honest, it's February and your movie choices are pretty slim. If you've already seen "The Lego Movie," then you're not left with many options. "The Vampire Academy" or "Endless Love?" Don't do that to yourself. You may find a theater that still has "Lone Survivor" or even "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit," and then, sure, flip a coin. But if you're absolutely going to see a movie this weekend, you don't have to worry about "Robocop" being the wrong choice.
At the end of the day, I'd call this a future rental. We were lucky enough to see it on IMAX, and that probably is the best way to experience the movie, but I would've traded said experience in for pajamas and a recliner any day.%3Cimg%20src%3D%22http%3A//beacon.deseretconnect.com/beacon.gif%3Fcid%3D145067%26pid%3D46%22%20/%3E