AMC's The Killing was a giant disappointment, but if it did anything, it was introduce me to one of its stars, Joel Kinnaman, an actor I expect to see a lot more of. I think he more or less rocks it as Murphy, hot-shot before the suit, tragic and sad in it. Walking into it, if there was anything tht was going to make this movie seem more than just a retread of the 80s sci-fi classic, it was going to be him.
The other strength is that drone warfare is kind of a big deal right now. It's a big talking point and a pretty justified fear. They manipulate this through the cold (but humorful) CEO played by Michael Keaton and the fear-mongering news man played by Samuel L. Jackson. Both are a lot of fun to watch and are great satires of real life counters.
There is just still so much to the concept that they could have committed. The man in the machine vs the machine duality thing was just as good as the original. If you are going to replace the crime and dystopia of the first with drone warfare kind of stuff you can't skimp on it. At certain point, it just becomes an action movie about a man trying to get home, free and clear.
Robocop remake was valiant effort but it couldn't spin the ideas of the original enough to walk on its own.