02/15/2014 10:42 pm ET Updated Apr 17, 2014

"RoboCop" Has Soul

Movie Review Jackie K Cooper
"RoboCop" (Sony/Columbia)

"RoboCop" is a movie whose time has come. In 1987 when this story was first projected on to movie screens it seemed to be just a futuristic idea that made for a fun film. Now in this age of drones it appears to be a bit more plausible. It certainly helps this new version of the film that the special effects can be so effective and that the cast is almost letter perfect down the line. Taken altogether this movie goes the 1987 original one better by having more soul in the story,

The movie starts with TV host Pat Novak (Samuel L Jackson) urging the country to get with the program and legalize the use of drones in America as well as other robotic equipment. This type of equipment is being used in other countries and Novak thinks the US is falling behind. His pleas seem to be falling on deaf ears because the country does not want a robot that does not have compassion and understanding going after people. There is too great a chance of mistakes being made.

When police detective Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) is hurt in a car explosion, the head of OmniCorp sees an opportunity to change America's mind. Raymond Sellars (Michael Keaton) puts all of the power of his company behind getting a machine that is also part human. He turns this project over to brilliant scientist Dr. Dennett Norton (Gary Oldman) who saves Murphy's life by replacing his injured parts with machinery. In short he creates RoboCop.

The film spends a good bit of its running time studying the impact of this transformation on Murphy. It also shows how it affects his wife Clara (Abbie Cornish) and their son David (John Paul Ruttan). This impact on his relationship with his family gives heart to the film's story and makes RoboCop more human.

Michael Keaton is very good as the treacherous Sellars. It takes a while to discover his true colors and that is partly due to Keaton's likeability which he uses in full force. Still as good as Keaton is, Oldman is better. He is the perfect foil for Keaton and also creates someone upon whom the audience can rely. Coming in third in this acting sweepstakes is Jackie Earle Haley. He takes the small role of Sellar's henchman and makes him an evil force in the film.

Kinnaman manages to hold his own against the "robot suit" that encompasses his body for most of the film. He still creates a living creature who holds on to his soul when all else seems lost. Cornish is stalwart as his wife.

The movie is rated PG-13 for profanity and violence.

A good story, excellent actors and believable special effects make this movie more than just run of the mill entertainment. This "tin man" has a heart, a brain and courage.

I scored "RoboCop" an imaginative 7 out of 10.

Jackie K Cooper