Robocop 2014 — A Lackluster Remake That Might Have Been

Michael Keaton is Raymond Sellars, head of the international robotics conglomerate, OmniCorp, who has a world monopoly on robots that are peacekeepers. Now he pushes for America to follow suit with robots as policemen, ones who have no emotions to interfere with their directives and who make no mistakes — supposedly. When Alex Murphy’s life hangs by a thread as the result of a car bomb, his body mangled, all extraneous flesh is cut away and replaced by robotics except for his lungs, heart, and brain, though his brain can be manipulated by computer, made to stop and go at the will of the operator. Yet, unlike all-metal robots, this half-breed still retains his memories and his emotions, which causes problems. Something has to be done about it from the conglomerate’s bottom-line point of view. And, ah, as Hamlet would say, there’s the rub.

It doesn’t sound so bad, this movie, when you break it down into its plot components. In fact, we are invited to exalt and ponder the fact that the human soul can surmount all repression and restraint, and rise up against the tyranny that seeks to undermine the mind and spirit. Sounds noble . . . It might have been if it were written better. It might have been if it had moved forward with less lethargy. It might have been with someone vital in the lead role.

In order to get a little “action buzz” about halfway through the movie, I had to sit through the boring first half where it tries, and fails, to make the viewer bond with the sweet, darling family of good cop Alex Murphy. Ho-hum. Lame. And no, I didn’t. Bond, that is. The good actors hired for splash and color were wasted on this nondescript script. The words “good acting” are in no way applied in this instance to Joel Kenneman (RoboCop), or Abbie Cornish as his wife Clara Murphy. The only time Kenneman stood out on-screen was in the metal suit with the face plate down accompanied by the computerized commanding voice. 

As it was, Michael Keaton was wasted and Jennifer Ehle was thrown away in a particularly dull role as the corporate assistant, where she appeared and spoke a few words in brief cameo flashes. I have never forgotten Jennifer Ehle in the role of Lizzie from Pride and Prejudice. She’s been wasted ever since.

A smattering of humor was injected with the appearance of Samuel L. Jackson parodying the antics of Rush Limbaugh, and, if I’m not mistaken, there were a few livening flashes of color in the performance of Jackie Earle Haley as the robot master Rick Mattox. But they were not enough to light any fires in this wooden remake. Maybe it was kept in a damp basement too long.




15 thoughts on “Robocop 2014 — A Lackluster Remake That Might Have Been

  1. Ackk! This — and others of this ilk — are definitely not movies I’d go to see. I only watched “Ironman” because I’m such a Robert Downey, Jr. fan.

    “I have never forgotten Jennifer Ehle in the role of Lizzie from Pride and Prejudice. She’s been wasted ever since.”

    I agree….2000%.

    • Mike and I have been comics fans since childhood. Haven’t always liked movie versions, but when Stan Lee got mixed up with them they were great. Mike claims Robert Downey Jr. IS Tony Stark, made to order and I agree. You can’t get better than him.

      The 2000% is exactly right. What happened, I wonder. She was magnificent in that role.

      • “What happened, I wonder.”

        So do I. Maybe she was more interested in getting the paycheck than doing really great movies. I dunno, but it’s a shame and a terrible waste of talent.

        The only comics I remember reading as a kid were Archie. Never got into super heroes or creepy stuff.

      • Oh, I liked the Archies, too, and still read them. I didn’t get in to the creepo stuff, either. Would love to see Jennifer Ehle in something that is worthy of her talent.

  2. Have you been watching SYTYCD? A few good dancers in the auditions so far, but I fast forward through all the crumping, hip-hop, etc. stuff. Also the boring dance crews that Justin Bieber introduces. I hope we have some Jasmines, Roberts, Kathryns and Melanies this season.

    I’m very curious to see “Rising Star” which premieres June 22. It’s a completely different concept for a singing competition show.

    Did you see any of DWTS this season? Ice dancer Meryl Davis blew everyone else out of the water and she inspired true genius choreography in pro Maksim Chermkovskiy. They had the consistently highest scores in the history of DWTS. And their chemistry nearly melted my TV. I think Maks is flat out GORGEOUS! and he’s absolutely smitten with Meryl. Here are my favorite routiines with them and they’re beautiful in full screen:.

    Viennese Watlz – I LOVE this song by Christina Aguilera and Blake Shelton style.

    In week 4, everyone switched partners and Merly danced with Maks’ brother Val. Their Argentine Tango blew me away. WOW!

    For one of the finale numbers, the judges chose to have the pairs do the same dance style they had done with their switched partners in week 4. So here’s Meryl and Maks’ Argentine Tango. Wow! again.

    Meryl and Maks’ Freestyle – I think this is the most beautiful routine I’ve ever seen on this or any other dance show. I agree with Carrie Ann….they should get married. 🙂

    I just HAVE to include this one. For the results show, all the couples had to come up with a dance in 24 hours that was a fusion between two dances. Meryl and Maks got the Foxtrot and Cha-cha. It’s really nice.

    And they win! I loved how Meryl said, “It’s all you” to Maks when they won. She knows how much this meant to him and I thought that was a simply lovely thing for Meryl to do.

    I’ve watched this show since the beginning and there will never, ever be a season like this again as far as I’m concerned.

    • Thank you so much for sharing those with me. If I had known the show was that good this year I would have watched it. But since I didn’t really recognize any of the contestants, I didn’t. Those were all wonderful dances, but the first tango with Val was awesome. The freestyle one with Max was like nothing on this earth. The brothers are great dancers, though I think Max is the most handsome. He looks like he’s lost some weight and looks younger. Maybe a tuck or a face lift? Different hair style? Something’s different. And Max has waited so many years for that mirror ball. Thanks for sharing the finale, too. It was great to watch him get it.

      • Well, I loved ALL of Meryl and Maks’ routines SO much that I just had to share them with you. I’ve watched every single routine every night for over a week. I’m just mesmerized by them. I shudder to think what this has done to my bandwidth, but if necessary, I’ll buy more. It’s been worth it to me. Charlie White was excellent, too, as you’d expect.

        Yes, Maks is definitely more handsome than Val. He has such great hair and such a gorgeous body. He may have lost weight, I dunno, but I don’t think he’s had any “work” done. He looks the same to me as he always has except this season, he actually looked happy and not so sullen. Tom Bergeron said Meryl has made Maks all “warm and fuzzy.” LOL

        Meryl is in Hawaii for three weeks with some friends. Charlie White is there, too, with his long-time girlfriend, Tanith Belbin, who is also a world champion ice dancer and a silver medal winner in the 2010 Olympics. On June 10th, he asked Tanith to marry him. Yay! Charlie and Meryl are taking a year off from skating.

        What amazed me was that Meryl and Charlie were doing the Stars on Ice tour all over the US at the same time they were training for routines on DWTS. Many times their pro partners flew to the cities where they were performing just to get in practice time. Meryl chalked up 89,000+ miles flying from various cities back to LA for DWTS. When asked how on earth she managed such a schedule, Maks said, “She’s bionic.” 🙂

        Maybe you noticed, but there were lots of shots of Meryl’s parents and younger brother in the videos. Charlie’s mother was present for all of his routines, too.

  3. P.S. I have been watching SYTYCD in bits and pieces. There have been a few great ones. I’m just not as interested in the tryouts anymore. For one thing (don’t laugh) I’m still having head problems.:)

  4. Yeah, I can understand not wanting to watch the SYTYCD auditions. I record the show every week so I can skip the ads and the stuff that doesn’t interest me. I record everything I watch just so I can fast forward through the ads.

    So sorry to hear that you’re still having problems with your head…medically, I mean. 🙂

  5. Can you handle one more? I can’t believe Max came up with this amazing jive routine when he was so incredibly frustrated in rehearsal. He’s amazing and so, of course, is Meryl. They did this routine the same week they did that gorgeous Viennese Waltz.

    • Loved the Elvis piece! They were fantastic. I called Katie about all you’ve shared and she is horrified that she missed the season where Max won. When she visits I will share your links with her. Thanks for them all.

      • Wasn’t that Elvis piece amazing? And all the more so since Maks had hit a creative block and couldn’t figure out what to do. That would be wonderful if you shared the videos with Katie. MANY people have been VERY sorry that they didin’t watch the show this season after they found out Meryl turned out to be so fantastic and Maks finally won.

        It you’re going to share the videos with Katie, here are some others I thought were terrific. Well, who am I kidding…..EVERY routine they did was terrific Here they are in order.

        The first week, their first dance, the Cha-Cha. The intro package is adorable. It’s amazing how much happier Maks looks this season than he ever has before.

        The second week, they did a Swing number. Wow!

        Week 3 and the Foxtrot. Gorgeous and they got their first 10s.

        For week 4, everyone switched partners and Meryl danced with Maks’ brother Val. I know it’s posted above, but I’ll put it here, too, so they’re in order. Argentine Tango….I think Val is as smitten with Meryl as Maks is. 🙂

        Week 5 Meryl and Maks were back together and did a Samba. It’s absolutely adorable and I feel they were under scored.

        Week 6 — a stunning regular Tango.

        Week 7 – The Salsa. I would have like this better if it was just Maks and Meryl and not a group, but it’s still wonderful.

        Week 8 – The Rhumba. I want to say something about this. The guest judge that week was a woman named Abby Miller who has a TV show called Dance Moms. She works with pre-teen girls and she’s an absolutely HORRIBLE teacher. She’s mean and an ogre. There’s a YouTube of the pros talking about her and how their own teachers inspired them and made them love dance. They ALL said Abby doesn’t do that. Her comments after this dance were out of line, obnoxious and infuriated me, but Maks did a great job of putting her in her place….to the cheers of the other pros and the audience. You rock, Maks! I loved this Rhumba.

        Week 9 was the semi-final with the Jive and that gorgeous Viennese Waltz dance to Just a Fool.

        I love the way Maks can’t stop hugging and kissing Meryl. He clutches her the way a child clutches a favorite doll. It’s so adorable.

        And finally, the last week with Maks and Meryl’s Argentine Tango and Freestyle, Then the results show with their Fusion of Foxtrot and Cha-Cha and their win.

        Week 9 was the semi-final with the Jive and that gorgeous Viennese Waltz dance to Just a Fool.

        I love the way Maks can’t stop hugging and kissing Meryl. He clutches her the way a child clutches a favorite doll. It’s so adorable.

        And finally, the last week with Maks and Meryl’s Argentine Tango and Freestyle, Then the results show with their Fusion of Foxtrot and Cha-Cha and their win.

        Week 9 was the semi-final with the Jive and that gorgeous Viennese Waltz dance to “Just a Fool.”

        I love the way Maks can’t stop hugging and kissing Meryl. He clutches her the way a child clutches a favorite doll. It’s so adorable.

        And finally, the last week with Maks and Meryl’s Argentine Tango and Freestyle, Then the results show with their Fusion of Foxtrot and Cha-Cha and their win.


      • These are so awesome!! I’m kicking myself up one side and down the other for not watching this season. I even watched Meryl and Val again. So sharp, so quick. I can’t even think that fast and smoothly, much less move. Thank you again for the links. Katie and I are going to have a ball. Wish you were here. Coffee, doughnuts, and drooling. You can’t beat it.

      • Yay! Can’t tell you how happy I am that you enjoy the links so much. I’ve watched them all so often that I could probably do the routines and repeat all the dialog. LOL 🙂 I would LOVE to be there to watch them again over coffee and doughnuts. It’s makes me so sad that people I’ve come to love on line live too far away to do that.

        Val’s choreography for the Argentine Tango was fabulous and I disagree with Len about there being too much staccato. I think it was an awesome Tango. I’ll bet Val was green with envy that Maks had Meryl for a partner. He did say in an interview I saw somewhere that working with her was so easy and that she grasped the routine almost immediately. Figures….she’s had 17 years of learning choreography for her ice skating routines. Maks said that, too. He and Meryl worked out that amazing swing routine in ONE morning. Maks said with anyone else he had to spend a whole week then pray it would hold together by Monday night’s show.

        I still think one of the cutest things was in the first week when Maks asked Meryl if she could spin into his hand, then realized what a stupid question that was. 🙂 She spins like a top


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