Twitter Plot Summary: An LA cop teams up with an android cop to tackle corruption and stuff.
Five Point Summary:
1. Future LA has a hint of the Terminator franchise about it.
2. Michael Jai White has some cool martial arts skills.
3. Charles S Dutton! Clearly had a spare afternoon.
4. Shame “Andy” is a really, really boring character.
5. A twist! Shame it’s not very good.
These days it would seem strange if a big budget movie didn’t get a direct to DVD knockoff from either The Asylum or one of the myriad other budget movie making studios. Here it’s The Asylum again with their own interpretation of that story, where a police officer is augmented with technology and tasked with cleaning up the villainous scum who are responsible for society’s woes and resolve a serious case of corruption within the police force itself. Michael Jai White, best known for his role as Spawn in the movie of the same name, is Hammond, an LA cop who teams up with an android cop. Because, well, they can’t do the same thing as Robocop, can they?
In what will no doubt come as a surprise, Android Cop has the occasional entertaining moment, but then if you make enough of these mockbusters you’re bound to get the odd shot right now and again. There’s ample opportunity for White to show off his martial arts skills and his wisecracking acting ability, both of which are the best aspects of this production by a very large distance. There are efforts to form a buddy cop atmosphere between Hammond and the android cop partner, but they are tired, cliche, and so forced they just don’t work. Other attempts at humour are laboured, almost as laboured as the “real drama” moments where characters do their level best to emote and pretend this is a work as revered as a Shakespeare production.
The android cop’s costume looks very, very cheap indeed, wearing a modified bike helmet when in combat, and looking like just a guy in a slightly too big combat suit when he takes the helmet off. He’s also terribly dull to watch and listen to. It’s obvious that he’s supposed to be this unemotional automaton, but then the same applied to Data in Star Trek: The Next Generation, and he still turned out to be an intriguing and much loved character. Just because you’re playing an android who feels no emotion doesn’t mean you can’t put any inflection in your voice. Throw in some absolutely awful CGI and you’ve got an average Asylum movie.
Charles S Dutton represents the face of somebody moderately popular whose career has fallen on harder times and taken on an Asylum job in order to make ends meet, and shows up for no more than a few minutes of screen time. He does bring a certain level of competence in terms of overall acting ability, but then he makes everybody else in the scene seem so much poorer as a result. It’s one of those situations where perhaps calling in a slightly less well known/less competent actor may have been of benefit to the production.
Just to add insult to injury the editing is slapdash and the script lacks the polish of, well, somebody capable of writing a competent story. A major twist (which you can probably see coming anyway) leads into a third act that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense but does at least wrap up the story vaguely competently. Will we ever see more of the Android Cop? We can only hope that the answer is a resounding “no”.