When news that a remake to Robocop was coming out, the internet almost imploded with the sheer volume of venom and bile that was unleashed. The original Robocop has always had a warm place in the hearts of fans. The clever mix of ultra violence, angst and social commentary meshed well to give us a truly stunning piece of ’80s cinema. So it’s understandable that there may be a certain amount of tension when a new version is released. Even this reviewer was slightly nonplussed by the news, and when shots of the new suit came out face palms were felt all around the world. It looked pretty dire and people could hardly believe they were thinking of using this version over the classic silver suit Peter Weller wore. It did not really exude confidence in the new film. Well now it is time to put up or shut up because the new trailer is out. See what you think below.
So there you go. Now I do not know how this trailer went down with everyone else, but personally, I liked it. The tone still seems to be dark, but not as gritty as the original. The darkness is still there hidden under all the shiny metal and techno heavy visuals. Hopefully it will not suffer the same fate as the Total Recall remake, where the futuristic look over shadowed the fact that the film somehow managed to take all the fun out of the movie and made it a dreadful bore. This trailer is anything but that, with the action coming at you thick and fast and for once you can actually see the events as they take place, rather than say the Transformers franchise where the gleaming metal battles all gel into a CGI mess.
Let’s not forget about the cast, and boy what a cast. Samuel Jackson, Michael Keaton, and Gary Oldman are just a few of the names involved, and they certainly seem to be enjoying themselves. Unlike the OCP from the original where most of the people working for the company were dicks (and we loved them for it, who can forget Dick Jones, Bob Morton and Clarence J.Boddicker), here it seems Oldman is to be the scientist with a heart, while Keaton is chewing up the scenery in a more corporate way than his predecessors.
Giving Alex Murphy and his family more screen time seems to be a good call as it adds a nice dynamic to the tale. How do decide if your husband should be given a new lease on life but lose some of his humanity? These clips with the family should make for some touching scenes in the movie if the trailer is to go by.
The new designs look great. ED 209 has been slightly revamped, and as much as I love the old clunky model I am interested to see how this new, more streamlined version will fare on-screen. The new suit after all the moaning does look good in action. The visor sliding up and down adds a nice element, and again helps to keep the human side of Robocop visible more. The scene with numerous Robocop models taking on the Alex Murphy Robocop certainly interested me and the voice is spot on. The main downside to this is there is no police presence in the trailer that I could see. So the dynamic that Murphy and Anne Lewis had in the original seems to have been removed to focus more on Alex Murphy’s family issues. I can see the point, but it does not mean that I a tinge of remorse we are going to lose that side of the movie. But that’s what happens with change.
Let’s just get one thing clear in our minds. This is never going to be Paul Verhoeven Robocop. That movie is irreparable. But much liked other remakes that have worked (Dawn of the Dead, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Star Trek) it has taken the core idea and given it a different spin. Do we forget about the original Texas Chainsaw movies now that the remake has been made? Of cause not. Both live together in cinematic harmony and both have their own fan bases. Could we have room for two Robocop’s? I believe so, but only if the film is good. The last thing we need is another shitty remake. Fingers crossed this will be the former rather than the later, and if it lives up to the promise of the trailer we could be in for a treat. No matter what, Peter Weller’s iconic turn in the role of Robocop will never be forgotten, but maybe we can find a space for Joel Kinnaman portrayal too? I would like to think so, we’ll just have to look past that PG-13 rating first…