Movie review: "RoboCop"
Running time: 1 hour, 57 minutes
Release date: Feb. 12, 2014
Back in 1987, the original "RoboCop," directed by Paul Verhoeven, cemented its place in "dad movie" history for being an over-the-top, satirical look at the future of law enforcement. Detroit was used as the backdrop, with the city running rampant with crime and violence – not unlike its real-life counterpart. The film inspired toy lines and even resulted in two sequels, but now it's been brought back into modern times with a 2014 remake.
Given a sleeker, more modern look and swifter moves, the new-age "RoboCop" sets itself apart from the original, especially when you factor in the lesser PG-13 rating. It was directed by Jose Padilha, who's famous for his action-packed and violent films in Brazil. The cast is a mix of big names and new faces, starring Joel Kinnaman (AMC's "The Killing") as the titular robot officer, with the supporting cast rounded out by the likes of Gary Oldman ("The Dark Knight"), Michael Keaton ("Beetlejuice") and Samuel L. Jackson ("The Avengers").
Although the movie has been toned down from the original's heavy R-rating, it's still a fairly violent film full of action and thrills. There are frequent gun battles that may be too intense for young children, with bullets flying around and many dead bodies dropping to the ground. Despite the relative lack of blood, seeing such a large amount of casual violence might still be troubling to younger kids. Some mild gore is shown, as the main character's body gets mangled in an explosion, which is what causes him to become RoboCop.
On top of the violence, there's infrequent but harsh use of language. Some curses get thrown about, with the F-word being bleeped but still clearly inferred by the audience. There's also a small scene of minor sexuality where the main character kisses his wife – who's seen wearing her bra – and they fall into bed.
As a father, it may be a tough call to consider showing this movie to your kids. While the original is far more inappropriate, you should use your own judgment in determining if the remake is suitable for younger children. While the PG-13 rating can be loosely interpreted for some films, follow the guidance from the Motion Picture Association of America and save this movie for when your kids are older.