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Paul Verhoeven’s “Robocop” was plenty ahead of its time in 1987, but the new remake, directed without much zest by Brazil’s Jose Padilha, is content to simply be of its time. Set a few steps into tomorrow, it opens with a scene of US Army robo-warriors “pacifying” the people of Tehran and closes with a satiric pro-drone warfare speech delivered by a strutting Samuel L. Jackson.
In between those pointed bookends, the movie is business as usual: An acceptably muscle-bound B-movie whose few fresh plot twists and solid supporting cast (Michael Keaton, Gary Oldman) are drowned out by dull action choreography and a flavorless lead actor (Joel Kinnaman). But the film doesn’t embarrass itself or dishonor its predecessor, which is something.