This 2014 version is an underwhelming science-fiction film that attempts to remake the RoboCop movie of 1987. Frankly, the original film had a bigger impact both personally and in society as a whole. Our updated RoboCop 2014 stars Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, and Michael Keaton.
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.
I remember when RoboCop 1987 hit the theatres. It had the same effect on the viewers and the media in the late 80s as did many of the science fiction space travel and robot films of the 1950’s had on the public of that day. It made the idea of being able to join robotics technology with a human that has limb limitations very real. This 2014 RoboCop version takes morality and issues of ethics well beyond its predecessor; more on that later.
[Spoiler Alert] In the first RoboCop (1987), Officer Murphy is seriously wounded and is built up much in the manner of the television series The 6 Million Dollar Man with the exception of a heavy emphasis on making the police officer looks like a robot without completely losing the human aspect. It also reminds me of the superhero Ironman. Ironman, however, is a fully function human who is both a brilliant inventor and a billionaire.
Stripped of Humanity
2014 RoboCop strips Officer Murphy of nearly everything that makes him human except for his brain and face. He’s pretty much just a human head mounted and encased in an armored mechanical man. Murphy is the victim of a plot to blow him up. His wife thinks he’s dead or dying until she is given an offer that would mean a new life for him if she agreed to some extreme experimental methods. She agrees; a live husband with mechanical enhancements is better than a dead husband – right?
This movie, as did the original, brings this moral and ethical debate into the foreground. However, in this 2014 version, it goes beyond the 1987 version to issues of intentionally removing body parts that still work, stripping the humanity away by bio-mechanical-computer-integration of the only thing that makes Murphy who he is – or was: his brain. The research company with the techie-gear to rebuild Murphy, in reality, only wanted his brain and a face to make their remote-controlled police-bot.
His entire body was not destroyed. He was in no worse shape than a current military veteran that was blown-up by an IED (Improvised Exploding Device) and lost one arm and part of each leg. We’ve had military members lose all four limbs and still keep their torso and head – yet this movie allows a private company to remove functioning body parts only to make it easier to add more robotic parts and avoid having to interface mechanics with human muscle and tissue.
If it was the writers’ and director’s intent to imply that businesses and the government would really go to the lengths presented in this film – well they made their point, as unlikely as it is. I’m sure their still waiting for their copies of the alien autopsy files from the Top Secret Area 51 facility (so secret that everyone knows about).
For your amusement, here is another movie of a talking head: The Brain That Wouldn't Die (1962).
I give the creators, the writers and director credit for adding updated visual effects and technological references in the movie; however, they haven’t really added anything to make the movie unique or memorable. In fact, this is another forgettable remake film. Wait for this one to reach your cable, satellite/dish or library shelves before spending any money on it. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying to skip it altogether, I just glad the library had it available so that the only money lost was in gasoline to drive there and back.