It's 2028. Most of the world, except the United States, is using robots to replace soldiers and police. These robots are produced by Omnicorp, run by Raymond Sellars (Michael Keaton). He wants to win over the American public--so gets Dr. Dennett Norton (Gary Oldman) to get a human amputee recruit to put inside of a machine. When Detroit cop Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) is critically injured in an explosion set by a drug lord, an opportunity is presented. He has fourth degree burns over most of his body, is missing limbs and an eye--and probably won't survive unless Omnicorp intervenes. So they get Alex's wife, Clara, to sign a consent form. Three months later Alex is woken up to discover that he's more robot than machine. This is gruesomely shown when he asks to see what he really looks like. All of his testing is done at Omnicorp's testing facility in China. It's during this time he makes an enemy of Rick Mattox (Jackie Earle Haley of DAMNATION ALLEY, WATCHMEN, NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET), a soldier in charge of the military robots. He thinks having a human integrated into a machine is a huge mistake. Eventually Murphy is shipped back to Detroit and makes his first appearance--but he's basically a zoned out zombie at this point. Will he regain his personality?
Sure, some of the key elements are the same--such as the evil corporation and a cop being outfitted with a robot body and regaining his humanity, but this isn't a remake so much as it's a very different movie in focus and tone. I have a fondness for the original but I did enjoy this redux of the character. I'm surprised by how much I enjoye it. Recommended.