fwiw, I finally caught the Robocop reboot on Netflix over the weekend. I think as a sometimes thought-provoking action movie, it's OK. Hold a candle to Verhoeven's original? No way.
-I found the opening military sequence of ED-209s on the rampage in Tehran while a CNN-type foreign correspondent tags along pretty thought provoking. It's interesting to posit, "well, if we can invade countries with no loss of life risk, how does that affect foreign policy?" But the film wants to return to Detroit, and doesn't really do much with this foreign policy idea.
In this iteration, the ED-209s use TSA-type scanning technology to scan every person encountered for concealed weapons, explosives etc. And then still the angle that they're not thoughful enough to know how to deal with a human threat other than eviscerating them
-I actually quite like the initial iteration of the Robocop armor -- It's like a leaner, slightly updated version of the original film's. Not really keen on the later black color variant but...
-I do like that the film tries to explore whether the Robocop variant of Kinnaman can still have any kind of meaningful relationship with his wife and son. Robocop 2 touched on that ever so briefly. Though I didn't find the kid actor playing his son all that convincing.
-A few entertaining action sequences though for better or worse, this Robocop is less of a bulldozer tank and more of a dodging parkour type for much of the movie (he's told his armor can withstand up to .50 caliber gun fire). You may find that all more of a "con."
-As we discussed here earlier, the new film's setting up Murphy's murder as a strangely uninvolving bomb situation imho doesn't build sympathy for the character the way Murphy's brutal gunfire-slaying in the original movie. Also, that movie sets up the audience hate towards his killers right there. Here it's such an uninvolving event and it's not (to me at least) really clear who's in on it until later.
-I just don't find Joel Kinnaman (AMC's The Killing) all that magnetic a screen presence. I think he's OK when the script calls for him to be monotone or withdrawn. I don't think he's the right fit when the script calls for him to be anguished and in pain.
-Actually, I just found the whole generally overqualified cast (including Michael Keaton and Gary Oldma) isn't given enough exciting screen-chewing dialogue as in the original movie. To me, a Robocop film should be In Your Face (you can't really impersonate Paul Verhoeven's direction but I think you can adopt some of his "in your faceness" as director), and this one's just too subtle for the most part.
-Ironically, while they kept the gore-factor down to get a presumably more box-office friendly PG-13 rating, that obviously didn't help.
-The movie has no sense of humor whatsoever. It uses a few lines from Verhoeven's film -- "I'd buy that for a dollar" and "Dead or alive, you're coming with me" but no "Dick! You're FIRED!!!!" -- but imho they come across very flat in this new take.
-While the CGI effects seemed very sharp to me, I do think something about the stop motion in the original film (by Phil Tippett of Star Wars fame, I believe) gave the ED-209s some actual personality then. Here they are perfectly CGI animated, for better or worse.
My brother and I caught Kingsman: The Secret Service, which is just completely unhinged and deranged at times. I think that's actually closer to a Paul Verhoeven action movie than the Robocop remake.
Too bad Matthew Vaughn's probably got zero interest in Alex Murphy.