Late last year, when I heard that the immortal classic ROBOCOP was being remade, I groaned a mighty groan, especially when I, and tens of thousands of Robo-fans, saw the redesign of our beloved 80′s cyborg. Such a ruckus was created on the web about Robo’s design that Columbia Pictures/MGM removed the movie from its intended Summer blockbuster slot, to a February 2014 “we have no faith in it” release date.
Since then it’s been pretty quiet on the Robo front, aside from a few photos of the flying drones, massive ED-209 death-machines, and the sleek Tron-lite Robocop armor.
Imagine my surprise when I got home from the doctor’s office today and discovered that the official first trailer for the film was finally uploaded to Youtube! I quickly clicked on the link to watch the trailer, and this is what I saw:
After watching this I have to say that it looks better than I expected, but I think they missed the mark with this (derivative) reboot. The original Robocop was basically an awesomely violent retelling of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ that poked fun at Reagan-era militarism and economics. It was a product of the times but has remained surprisingly relevant in the nearly thirty years since it’s release. (Seriously, Detroit currently resembles the Old Detroit from the 1987 film!)
Jose Padilha’s redo goes in a completely different direction and seems to be trying to focus on how Alex Murphy copes with his new lease on life. Is Murphy actually acting of his own accord, or are the freedoms of human choice that he experiences actually just part a computer program? Hmm… that’s actually kind of interesting. Plus there’s obviously plenty of action (culminating in a battle against an army of robots), so the movie isn’t going to be super mopey.
However, I don’t know if I can get past the fact that Murphy’s wife gives the OK to have him turned into a crime-fighting superbot because that’s better than him being a crispy vegetable… AND WHY DOES HE STILL HAVE ONE HUMAN HAND?! I THOUGHT WE AGREED ON TOTAL BODY PROSTHESIS! (Probably to wipe a tear from his son’s face after he explains to him that daddy is a robot now and won’t be coming home anymore.)
My misgivings about the redesigned Robo-armor (i.e. the resulting offspring of the armor/costumes from PACIFIC RIM, HALO, DREDD, and TRON) aside, the film has a really solid cast, including Jackie Earle Haley, Michael Keaton, Gary Oldman, and Samuel L. Jackson. Though I’m wired to hate this film… it’s got me curious. Worse things have been done to the character (e.g. the emasculating live-action TV series), and this could lead to (FINALLY!) the ROBOCOP VS. TERMINATOR movie all of us nerds have dreamed about.
I’m skeptical, but I’m willing to give this one a chance. What say you fellow Robocop fans?