Thursday, June 12, 2014

A Ghoul Versus Robocop (2014) Part 3

Click here for Part 2!
Murphy goes to see the Idiots, accompanied by Lewis who is still in this movie surprisingly enough. One of the Idiots asks if they're here to play Good Cop, Bad Cop and Lewis responds with a line that pretty much sums up the intelligence of this entire movie.
“Nah, Bad Cop, Robocop”.
UGH. Murphy reveals he has their fingerprints on the weapons, but because that's not good enough he pulls up the footage of them talking to Vallon from earlier. HOW STUPID IS CRIME IN THIS MOVIE?!? How does crime even exist in Detroit? One of the Idiots tries to shoot Murphy but gets a bullet in his head for trying. The other Idiot surrenders, giving up the POLICE CHIEF as being the mastermind behind this whole thing.

...I don't want to see the film that tops this as the worst movie of 2014. I don't want to think about how many crimes against story telling and logic a film would have to break to top this freaking movie. Why wouldn't the chief assign Murphy elsewhere after the restaurant shootout? Why would she give OmniCorp full access to the archives knowing there'd HAVE to be evidence against her in them? Or, as I asked you to remember, why would she let him take over any case he wanted?!? I... it's like the movie realized how totally anticlimactic Vallon was as a villain so they had to manufacture a bigger one but didn't cover their ass because EVERY action she takes is counterproductive to her scheme.

So Murphy marches into her office and puts a gun in her face, demanding she confess. Before she can, Mattox pulls the plug on him and he collapses. Wait, what? Mattox is going to be the bad guy now? What was the point of even making the chief- AHHHHHHH!!! This movie is curb stomping me while I'm down!
Mattox calls Sellars and tells him he shut down Murphy because... he wanted to be a dick and deprive Murphy of her confession? I don't know, he tells Sellars it was so he wouldn't shoot her but what would he care? She was crooked! Sellars says they can use this to their advantage though, as he spins a story there was an attempt on Murphy's life and he's in critical condition.
Novak backs this up on his show, thanking Murphy for his service and asking how many times can he give his life in the line of duty? He implores the Senate to make the right call on the vote tomorrow to repeal the Dreyfus Act. The next day the Act is repealed, despite a public statement from Clara bashing OmniCorp for not letting them see her husband. All I can do is laugh at her acting at this point, otherwise I think I'd break down over the fact someone gets paid millions to be THIS bad.
Yes Woman tells Sellars that Murphy has to be killed because they can't have him figuring out how OmniCorp has been using him. She also ties it into him exposing the corrupt chief, as the politicians they support wouldn't want him investigating THEM and oh my God, OmniCorp is evil now. Which checks the next point off our list, WHY HAVE THEM BE GOOD THE ENTIRE MOVIE?!
Good is exaggerating, but really they were totally operating within the letter of the law for the most part. Sellars's only motivation was more money, and yeah he started bending the rules more and more but never did murder come onto the table. Hell, Norton was the one being truly immoral here, Sellars probably didn't understand a word of what he was doing to Murphy. I don't think this script was even finished, they just used a second draft and filmed it before anyone noticed. And by the time they did, the budget was used up. OmniCorp suddenly turning to murder is just too left field and is yet another complete wallbanger in this film. All the wheels are going to fall off very soon.
Sellars summons Norton, telling him they're going to kill Murphy under the guise of “what kind of life can he ever have?” or some nonsense. Norton agrees, but secretly goes to revive Murphy before Mattox's men can kill him.  In another of the film's more IMMENSELY stupid moments, we find out the thing that was giving Mattox control over Murphy was a little fridge magnet stuck to the top of his head. I no longer care anymore, there's like fifteen minutes left and we're in the home stretch now. Norton removes this and frees Murphy.
I'm cutting out about 300 more Clara scenes here, as I think she just might have had more screentime than Robocop in this point. This movie is horrible, but she has absolutely sunk it into LEGENDARY status. I think I officially owe January Jones an apology. Well no, but it's CLOSE.  Sellars, with Clara and David in tow, takes off to the roof of OmniCorp to get a ride from a helicopter so he can escape the rampaging Murphy. I love how one of the few things they kept from the original movie is the bad guy trying to make an escape via helicopter, which was already beyond clich√© in 1987.
Norton goes to get help from Lewis, who is STILL in this movie despite its best attempts to forget him, while Murphy stands outside the OmniCorp building. There are about a dozen heavily armed men guarding the well lit entrance, this should actually be a pretty cool shootout... or not. Murphy just shoots one with his taser so the rest run away terrified for their lives they're going to get... tased? 
Huh. This movie's trying to get to the credits faster than I am at this point. Perhaps doing its best to apologize for how fucking stupid that scene was, the movie cuts away to the video game Titanfall for some awesome man vs. mech action.  My mistake, it's just Robocop vs. some EDs in the most cartoony and bad CGI-y manner as possible. Soooo remember when they didn't fire on Murphy in China because he's OmniCorp property? Well, here they have no problem blasting away at him. Sure, it's highly likely Mattox reprogrammed them to kill Murphy, but you know... would have been nice to see otherwise this comes off rather contradictory.
Oh hey, and speaking of contradictory, what are the Eds shooting Murphy with? Why, I do believe those are .50 caliber bullets. And as we learned from Mattox earlier, several hits from those will put Murphy back into the “recycle bin”. Guess he was just kidding, as Murphy gets shot about five hundred times and is just fine.  Things do start getting pretty serious as he's pinned to the ground getting his backside filled with lead, but DUN DUN DUUUUUUN it's SOME GUY to the rescue! Ah, it was Lewis. Almost forgot his name.
Lewis jumps in front of Murphy, and since he's not armed the Eds stop firing and Murphy is able to escape. Further down the hallway Murphy runs into Mattox, whom he can't shoot due to some programming Mattox snuck in.  Mattox is about to kill him when suddenly DUN DUN DUUUUUUN it's Lawson- sorry, Lewis to the rescue! For the second time in as many minutes! Robocop sucks!  Lewis shoots Mattox and kills him, but Mattox gets off a shot that injures Lewis. He's fine though, so on Murphy goes to confront Sellars.
Naturally though he can't arrest him either due to programming, echoing the first film where Robocop couldn't arrest Dick. But Sellars is the CEO of OmniCorp so no one can fire him! How in the world is Murphy going to get out of this one?  If you said Clara takes a gun and shoots Sellars to save her family I'd applaud you for common sense thinking, but we're watching the Robocop remake, remember? This movie HATES women. No, let's finish our list and go back WAY to the beginning where Norton was talking about how strong emotions cause robotics to fail.
Murphy's nonexistent and horribly acted LOVE for his family allowing him to overcome his programming and shoot Sellars. Yep. That's it. That's our epic conclusion. Once again, Love Conquers All.  Novak shows up to close us out. Murphy, back in the silver outfit, is back at work at the police station. Who paid to rebuild him since Sellars is dead? Why am I prolonging this torture by asking questions? The Dreyfus Act was upheld by the President, thanks to the testimony of whistle blower Norton.
Suddenly though, Jackson has a revelation about who he is and starts screaming about motherfuckers and bullshit, which is all beeped out because he's on television. Too little, too late movie. I'd almost drifted off at this point and his loud outburst woke me the hell up. He closes us out with this speech:
“Now I know some of you may think this kind of thinking is dangerous and these machines violate your civil liberties. Some of you even believe that the use of these drones overseas makes us the same kind of bullying imperialists that our forefathers were trying to escape.  To you I say stop whining! America is now and always will be the greatest country on the face of the Earth. I'm Pat Novak, good night.”
Cue the credits, which are set to the Clash's “I Fought The Law”. Fuck you Robocop, fuck you so much for trying to ruin that song for me.
And now a quick sneak peek of the 35th Golden Raspberry Awards!
Worst Picture – Robocop (Columbia Pictures)
Worst Actor – Joel Kinnaman in Robocop as Alex Murphy
Worst Supporting Actress – Abbie Cornish in Robocop as Clara Murphy
Worst Screen Combo – Joel Kinnaman and Abbie Cornish in Robocop
Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-off, or Sequel – Robocop (Columbia Pictures)
Worst Director – Jose Padilha (Robocop)
Worst Screenplay – Robocop (written by Joshua Zetumer)
This was the worst. In my aforementioned piece on the history of World War Z, I asked the question why does Hollywood pay millions for the right to a property and then use NOTHING from that property? I suggested this Robocop remake be called Cyborg Avenger instead, as the filmmakers could have used all the money they paid on licensing to be better spent on other things.  Like hiring a better writer.  Or hiring a better director.  Or hiring better actors.
But you know, even if this HAD been called Cyborg Avenger and released as a completely new franchise without the burden of being a remake of one of the most beloved movies ever, it still would have been HORRIBLE.  From topical political commentary more heavy handed than Wreck-It Ralph to a million subplots going on at once to some of the worst acting I've ever seen, this movie did everything it possibly could have wrong. I feel like they just took about ten different cliched movie plots, threw them in a blender, and started filming what came out.
You know one thing though, that REALLY bothered me about this movie besides everything else I've spent the last few hours ranting about? The overarching plot is Alex loves his family and wants to be with them, despite never actually trying to be with them. Okay, so what if he DID spend more time with them? What could have happened?
He can't really hold his wife, or sleep with her, or even sleep in the same bed as her. He can't be there for his son, he could never to go school with him without causing a scene or play with him outside without hurting him. Or hey, the most famous cop in the world has a family that's been WELL publicized on TV. If I'm a criminal on Robocop's radar, I know the first place I'm going to strike.
THAT'S the movie I want to see. The original Robocop, surprise surprise, dealt with this brilliantly by having Murphy's family think he was dead and moving on with their lives. Murphy never tried to track them down because he knew that part of his life was gone forever.
But 2014 Murphy is in denial about this, as is Clara. She spends the entire movie sobbing over him and wanting to be with him with no one addressing the fact she really can't. And you can't even tell me that's not suitable for mindless summer blockbuster fare, this movie came out in freaking February when you can tell whatever damn story you want and people will show up cause there's no other competition that week.  Do I recommend this? No. I don't care what side of the fence you're on about Robocop, this is a TRULY WRETCHED movie that better win at least four Razzies.

How did this fare against the 1987 version?  Let's find out in the Original Vs. Remake Final Rundown:

1.  What Were The Movies About?
-In the 1987 version we watch as Alex Murphy, a hardened but still charismatic police officer, is brutally murdered by a sadistic crime lord and reborn as Robocop, a cybernetic force of justice controlled by the OCP Corporation.  Used as a pawn in the battle of wills between two twisted corporate executives, Murphy battles to regain his humanity while trying to avenge his murder.

-In the 2014 version we watch as Alex Murphy, a hardened and cynical undercover detective, is severely injured by a bomb set on his car by a kind of mean-spirited arms dealer and is reborn as Robocop, a cybernetic force of justice with his humanity fully intact except when he's in combat.  Soon he is put under OmniCorp control but breaks free almost instantly so I'm not sure why that subplot even existed.  He accidentally avenges his murder way too early so OmniCorp turns evil because they need him dead to win public sympathy so they can overturn a government bill banning the use of drones on American soil even though this has NOTHING to do with Robocop because he is still a human and... sigh.  Forget it, I don't think movie was actually about anything.

2.  Which Movie Had The Better Protagonist?
1987 Alex Murphy.  Even when he was a mindless robot he STILL had more humanity and personality than 2014 Alex Murphy did as a human.

3.  Which Movie Had The Better Love Interest?
1987 Murphy's wife, Ellen, wasn't even a love interest as she only existed in flashback form and had barely sixty seconds of screen time. HOWEVER, her several lines of dialogue were infinitely more endearing than Clara Murphy wasting at least half an hour of our time whining and crying and doing HER best imitation of a soulless robot.  "I. Miss. My. Husband. Let. Me. See. Him. Now. Beep. Beep. Bloop!"

4.  Which Movie Had The Better Antagonist?
This one doesn't qualify as the 2014 version didn't even HAVE an antagonist, rather it was just a bunch of guys with ill defined motivations to do somewhat bad things.

5.  Which Movie Had The Better Story?  Which Movie Wins?
Yeah, I think you know the answer to both of these already. Utter disaster with this one, but hey, I'm sure the sequel will learn from all these mistakes at least. Right? Right? Hello?