From the onset, trailers for Robocop suggested that this version was going to be a very different animal, something a lot more tame that you could pet and cuddle unlike the Peter Weller/Paul Verhoeven film and for once the trailer didn't completely lie.
First off, the violence - there is none, well there is a bit, but nowhere near the magnitude of the original Robo gore fest. My first reaction and perhaps yours too, when the rating was announced was to ask 'how in the hell were they going to justify the reason to fuse man and metal? Cops die all the time, everyday, without it leading to such radical technological sanctions. And also with a PG-13 rating how were they going to vilify the baddies with the same aplomb as the original film's cut-throats, because that bunch of criminals were some real evil, low-life, degenerate, mofos and they got to show it. Remember, Officer Murphy in the original didn't get taken out with surgical speed and precision, his execution was a, prolonged, brutal, visceral, bullet soaked horror.
Robocop 2014's trailer daringly gave away Murphy's physical demise, as 'how' he is taken out is not as key to the proceedings as 'why'. Also, this time around the Murphy-bot is not so special - why? Because robots (with no human interface) are already in common use, but limited to international waters so to speak. There is however a surprise in the narrative about Murphy's state of consciousness that... I don't know...may upset some fans, but I canny tell you any more than that.
The drama that surrounds Murphy's transformation is more realistic than the original films. Murphy's family is much more prevalent in this story, as you can't simply ignore the next of kin's involvement, after such an attack. The permissions alone that would be needed from the next of kin for such an experiment could not be ignored.
"I'll say that the newer version is very much its own film; all the characters in his universe have a bigger part to play and the Murphy-bot is closer to being like the Terminator’s
Without exposing all the differences between Robocop original and Robocop new, I'll say that the newer version is very much its own film; all the characters in his universe have a bigger part to play and the Murphy-bot is closer to being like the Terminator’s T2 series. This of course changes the nature of the action scenes, as a hulking heavy frame does not lend itself to rolling and diving around and so now we have a very different set of rules for engaging the enemy. O, and by the way, when Murphy rides his bike you will have flashbacks of Street Hawk.
All in all Robcop is a sound film, missing only one major action scene to solidify the watch. I imagine this will spawn a sequel or two and hopefully they can get right into the heart of battles galore without too much of the soul searching.