Robocop, film review: 'Wisely uses plenty of sardonic humour'
(12A) José Padilha, 121 mins Starring: Joel Kinnaman, Douglas Urbanski, Abbie Cornish, Gary Oldman
RoboCop rebooted a quarter of a century after Paul Verhoeven's 1987 original still has a subversive quality. The Brazilian director José Padilha may be working for a Hollywood studio but he doesn't temper his critique of American imperialism, big business and political corruption. As if to reinforce his punk credentials, he even ends the film with a song from The Clash.
The problem is that for all the sound and fury here, Padilha struggles to reconcile the organic and robotic elements of the storytelling. It's hard to engage on an emotional level with a lead character – Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) – who is more machine than he is man.
The B-movie-style action sequences sit uncomfortably alongside the political satire and the Frankenstein-style elements. (Gary Oldman is the brilliant scientist ready to provide shadowy, crypto-fascist corporation OmniCorp the means to create a RoboCop, half human and half machine, in return for research funding.)
RoboCop is full of ingenious ideas, even if they don't knit together especially well. One of the best involves Kinnaman's cop, who has suffered fourth-degree burns over 80 per cent of his body, using the software implanted in him to solve his own murder.
Padilha also wisely uses plenty of sardonic humour to leaven affairs. "It's not a suit, Alex, it's you!" the cop is told when he first looks down on the armoured plating that has taken the place of his body.
Watch an exclusive interview with Robocop's cast and director
Review: Imaginative storytelling returns with vigourfilm
Bannatyne leaves Dragon's DenTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let's see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 2 Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
- 3 Belgium fan Axelle Despiegelaere lands L'Oreal campaign after World Cup viral photo
- 4 Britney Spears sings 'Alien' without Auto-Tune in embarrassing leaked audio clip
- 5 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories