Robocop: Movie Review
Would we all be better off if humans became part-machine?
RoboCop is a remake of the 1987 Paul Verhoeven film of the same name, and like most reboots, it doesn’t match the original. But director Padilha has done a pretty good job with this. It’s slick, moves quickly, and raises some serious ethical questions along the way.
What's Robocop all about?
The year is 2028. Multinational company OmniCorp is developing and distributing robot soldier technology to the Middle East and other overseas locations. When policeman Alex Murphy is blown to smithereens in an explosion, he is salvaged and born again as man-meets-machine RoboCop. RoboCop has advanced smarts, formidable strength and starts lowering the crime rate of the city.
The film portrays the not-too-distant future in an exciting light – though I’m surprised for all the technological advances that they weren’t able to discover the technology required to stop RoboCop’s constant whirring at every movement.
Where's the emotion?
What I would have appreciated in this film is more humour. Much of the action is very cold and emotionless (but this fits with the machine-centric story). And seriously, Samuel L. Jackson’s news anchor is just unnecessary.
As I mentioned earlier, this film is all about man vs. machine. The filmmakers spook us with this future where robots are starting to gain some level of control (as Elysium did last year) but with Murphy/RoboCop the lines are very blurred. As he is resurrected, he becomes more and more machine to the point that he loses almost all emotion. He loses his humanity.
Can you improve on humanity?
Watching RoboCop made me thankful for the way God has designed us. He made us human, and in his image. He designed us to be these intricate beings that technology simply cannot replicate. He gave us the ability to reason and to think ethically. He gave us emotions that no machine can experience.
But although God made us perfect, humans are flawed by sin because of the fall. We humans are all corrupt due to our rebellion against God.
Despite being made in his image, we all chose to reject our creator and live our own way. That’s why we need Jesus to restore us. He fixes us, gives us a new heart, and restores us in a way that technology never ever could. In Romans 7:24-25a, Paul writes:
What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this dying body? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Machines aren’t the answer to human imperfection. Jesus is. He is the perfect human – and God himself – and he has entered into humanity to redeem us, free us us, and perfect us, through his death in our place.
The final word
RoboCop is a successful remake that helps us to consider who we are, and the flaws of technology. It’s just a shame that the silly elements let the film down. Be aware that there is violence but nowhere near the level of the 1987 original.