Seductively produced, provocatively scripted update of the 1980s sci-fi/action franchise is more interesting than any of its forebears, mostly because it gleefully wades into political satire in its story of a barely-there policeman (Joel Kinnaman), horribly wounded from a firefight and reassembled as an android, who gets adopted by a scurvy corporation to serve as a “humanized” robot law enforcer. The groans and grins of recognition keep on coming -- from the performances of Michael Keaton (Omnicorp CEO), Gary Oldman (compromised scientist), Samuel L. Jackson (rightwing TV news host), Zach Grenier (balky senator), Douglas Urbanski (mayor of Detroit), et al., to the “Iran War”/drones/police state riffs. Director José Padilha keeps all the balls in the air skillfully, and newcomer Joshua Zetumer’s screenplay – adapted loosely from the 1987 one by Edward Neumeier and Michael Miner – romps across the diseased America of the near future like a reporter in heat. Highly recommended (110 min.).
Director: José Padilha
Producer: Marc Abraham, Eric Newman, Bill Carraro and Roger Birnbaum
Cast: Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Samuel Jackson, Michael Keaton, Abbie Cornish, Jackie Haley, Michael Williams, Jay Baruchel, Jennifer Ehle and Marianne Jean-Baptiste