Last year I reviewed “Atlantic Rim” a low budget (and lower quality) version of blockbuster “Pacific Rim”. Needless to say “Atlantic Rim” had no ambition of any kind therefore the absence of fun was prominent upon filmmakers making it to the audiences watching it. This year it’s “Android Cop” a lower budget version of 2014’s “RoboCop” remake which from a technical and narrative standpoint fails to grab my attention in any form. Unfortunately “Android Cop” also fails in telling a story and from a technical standpoint the word “cheap” never leaves your mind.
Android Cop is set in the year 2045, a Los Angeles Police Department detective and his new Android partner enter the Zone, a forbidden section of the city plagued with an unknown disease to look for the mayor daughter. As far as a plot goes if you could physically put together bad pieces from any bad action movie you would have created this film plot. Two things stand out immediately; one is how it safely sticks to its genre boundaries with no variation on what it does and another being no understanding of humanity. Listen I’m no cop nor expert on human psychology, but who in the right mind thinks talking about organ donation is the way to convince someone not jump off a building. If that wasn’t enough “Android Cop” also fails to rip off elements of the film its trying to copy. It’s more in the line of a bad buddy cop film than a “RoboCop” rip-off. Usually in good buddy cop films there’s a balance between two characters strengths and weaknesses, but in this film we get two protagonists who are incompetent at their jobs. In one situation we have the android cop in a hostage negotiation and the way he solves the problem involves a grenade. This moment goes to prove the android stupidity further since the weapon he carried was a long range rifle. Character development is swallowed in particular an important characteristic of a protagonist is revealed through a laughably bad twist. As dumb as the film characters might be they do say goofy things. My personal favorite that even in context makes no sense is “We got them locked up tighter than a Frog’s ass in a tsunami”. Recycled bad plot points from bad action movies and laughably bad dialogue together creates a plot more artificial any machine.
The action scenes of the film are weak and the low budget is no excuse for it. Transit (2012) is an example of a low budget film whose few car oriented action scenes can match a Hollywood blockbuster visually and technically. “Android Cop” on the other hand just looks cheap. During gunfights we hear hundred of shots being fired and maybe see four or five bullets make contact with anything solid. Worst being the gunfights mostly consist of cover and shooting without any tactical mix up from our heroes or villain who are trained in armed combat. That’s not taking into account the fact no bullets holes remain during or after a gunfight. Action scenes involving any kind of vehicle looks unfinished and in certain moments are hilarious. Fights scenes on the other hand is one sided with the stars never getting hit. Mark Atkins direction is simple and during the action scenes Atkins refuses to make them visually interesting. Michael Jai White is a uncompelling lead. His tough guy performance makes his character forgettable, although when it comes to goofy moments his tough guy performance makes it funny. Randy Wayne is lifeless. I understand he plays an android; however, he has no personality of any kind keeping one blank, soulless expression during the whole film. Wayne costume on the other hand just appears to be heavy armor and nothing about its design gives off the vibe Wayne is an android. Although Randy Wayne lifeless and motionless performance does do the job convincing us he’s a machine better than his costume. Music is forgettable and editing is underwhelming.
Android Cop looks and feel cheap. Action scenes are poorly done, acting is one note, story is a collection of bad movies ideas, and direction is uninspired. As poorly made as it is at least its watchable and contains some entertaining moments if unintentional, but even with that it’s not really much of a film with a goal to reach.