Robocop (2014), directed by José Padilha


Joel Kinnaman is rather bland in the title role of this science fiction actioner, but it rises slightly above average on the performances of Michael Keaton, Gary Oldman, and Samuel L. Jackson.  Keaton (the greedy head of a company seeking to crack the U.S. market for robotic law enforcement) orders Oldman (his chief scientist) to rebuild good cop Kinnamen after he is ripped apart by a car bomb explosion devised by a gang of gun-runners.  Despite wired-in safeguards, Kinnaman proceeds to solve his own near-murder, leading him to uncover high-level corruption.  Jackson, meanwhile, as the host of a futuristic “news” program, provides intermittent commentary.  Basically substitutes savvy veteran acting for the novelty of the original’s effects, if anything losing a point in its skin-deep portrayal of the star’s emotional turmoil.


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