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Sometimes Hollywood liberals can be so smug in their worldview, they don’t know when they’ve stumbled upon a good piece of art and instead mess it up by rubbing their politics in your face.
Rarely is this more obvious than with Samuel L. Jackson’s performance in the entertaining but nonetheless disappointing reboot of the film “Robocop.”
In many ways, the film has a lot going for it: A fresh face in the title role, outstanding actors in supporting roles, excellent special effects and engaging action sequences combine to both pay homage to the original 1987 film of the same name and give the franchise new life.
And with the premise of robotic drones being used to enforce “security” and the ever-increasing surveillance ability of law enforcement in the U.S., this new “Robocop” had the potential to both be an action film and provide a timely and poignant story.
For the first 15 minutes of the movie, it seems like that’s exactly what the filmmakers had in mind.
The story unfolds as we expect: A good cop in Detroit is horrifically injured in an explosion, and only extensive robotic prosthetics can preserve his life. Once inside the armored suit, our hero then proves he can crush street crime with a vengeance, but also suffers the isolation of being the only cyborg on the planet. His conscience also begins to nag at him, and soon he’s fighting not only crime, but also his robotic programming in order to preserve his humanity.
But as the film progresses, the significant questions start getting lost in the action, the character development recesses into the shallows, and then in the film’s final act, the leftist slant sends the movie into a tailspin.
And it’s too bad.
For one of the things Republicans and Democrats, conservatives, libertarians, tea partiers and liberals – at least those across most of America – can agree upon is that the freedoms we cherish in this country are ominously threatened by those who are claiming to keep us “safe.” Robotic drones as eyes in the sky, surveillance cameras watching our automobiles at all times and the invasive data collection of the National Security Agency is a uniform concern across the political spectrum.
“Robocop” was set up perfectly to tap into this collective angst and give the audience a great story.
Then the leftist worldview behind the movie just … couldn’t … go there. Couldn’t possibly paint the federal government as the bad guy. Just couldn’t make the obvious connection.
“Robocop” could have been a morality tale about a man inside the machine who resists the erasing of freedom in the name of “security.” It could have been a cautionary tale about the extent of surveillance over our daily lives. It could have given a frightening picture of technological totalitarianism – a picture it promises in the first 15 minutes, but then promptly forgets.
Instead – and this is a bit of a spoiler – the filmmakers decide Robocop needs to strike a blow against the penultimate leftist bogeyman: the military-industrial complex, big corporations that only care about making money, and their partnership with warmongers that drive American policy overseas.
Some excellent lines and significant points made earlier in the film just get flushed down the toilet, as the film looks to score digs against Hollywood’s caricature of all things Republican and patriotic.
The final nail in the coffin of this film comes from Jackson, whose smug final lines smear the leftist politicizing on so thick it suffocates what came before:
“Some think machines violate our civil liberties,” he says, as a sarcastic mouthpiece for the big corporations the movie works so hard to vilify. “Some think drones make us imperialists.
“Stop whining!” he continues. “America will always be the greatest country on the face of the earth.”
With all the subtlety of a YouTube comment submitter and a cuteness only a leftist would think was clever, Jackson mocks the meaningful points “Robocop” could have made to instead shove his smug agenda down our throats.
Too bad, Mr. Jackson. It could have been a good movie.
- “Robocop,” rated PG-13, contains roughly 40 obscenities and profanities.
- The film isn’t nearly as violent or gory as its predecessor, but still contains several, stylized action sequences, shootouts and explosions. The gunfights can seem almost video-game like. There are some scenes with the main character’s decimated and wounded body that are somewhat gruesome.
- The film has very little sexuality, save for one scene between husband and wife when they kiss, he removes her shirt and they tumble to a bed, where she reveals significant cleavage. Their scene is interrupted before it goes any further.
- The film contains no significant religious or occult content, though several men in Tehran attempt a suicide bombing, presumably out of an Islamist sense of martyrdom.