RoboCop trailer – reactions

The subject of remakes is one that triggers strong reactions, particularly with those who have grown up with the originals and now see them brushed aside by something which has apparently been created with no intrinsic understanding of the original other than to cash in on brand recognition. We’ve previously written about how Hollywood has turned a blind eye to major science fiction works, preferring to remake established properties over and over, and also praised the vision and originality of the work of director Paul Verhoeven whose Total Recall was remade in 2012 which will be followed by a remake of RoboCop next year.

Les Anderson – I like the suit update but the helmet doesn’t work and the flip-up visor is just too Tony Stark. And here is one of the problems. With the success of Iron Man, we’ve had a glut of effects features featuring either guys in high-tech armour or giant robots or both. There are too many to mention and more to come. I know that has been a genre staple since the earliest days of cinema but I’m getting a little tired of it. I imagine that’s the reason why this remake was greenlit.

The great thing about the original RoboCop was its originality and distinctiveness from what was then the trend. This remake is just another shoot-em-up genre flick that looks like everything else out there. I blame commercially-available CGI (amongst other factors) for this over-homogenisation of genre features. I’ll probably still go and see it, though.

Stephen Sutherland – I’ll be very surprised if this turns out to be more than a generic action movie. It gets some nostalgia points, but that’s it. Though one or two lines of dialogue made me think they might be making a comment on drone warfare…

Garry Mac – This trend for humourless remakes of late eighties/early nineties movies escapes me. The generation that watched these movies and loved them seems to have grown up thinking that the satire, the camp, the cheesy dialogue was all somehow a product of its time, an embarrassment, and that the films would be better if that stuff was excised.

And what we’re left with is soulless, generic effluent. Noise. Movies that slip out there and gain no traction of any kind. I can’t see a generation of fifteen year olds watching remakes of RoboCop and Total Recall with fondness when they’re older.

But maybe I’m just getting old… Good cast though.

Wes May – Loved the trailer. As someone who has fond, youthful memories of the original’s violent vision of the cyborg warrior cop from a future Detroit, I admit I was worried about what this remake would turn out like. And while I haven’t seen the finished product in its entirety, I am impressed with the sleek look of the RoboCop armor, which maintains much of the original’s futuristic look, while updating it with cool, modern flourishes (I’m LOVING the black, urban warfare armour!).

Joel Kinnaman from The Killing was a great choice to play the lead role of the brutally maimed and nearly dead police officer chosen to receive the….upgrade. A great cast featuring Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Abbie Cornish and the ubiquitous Samuel L Jackson (and his hair) doesn’t hurt the film’s prospects either. Really looking forward to this one.

Michael Flett – Considering that everything about this should scream “no!” it doesn’t actually look as bad as it might have done. There are hints in there that there may be more to this than the original, that the RoboCop unit itself has more, I’m not sure sentience is the word, but will have more proactive role than just a fancy suit of armour. Of course, this may just turn out to be a new way to introduce the OCP directives of the original, in which case, they’ve pretty much dealt their hand already.

In order to approach the genius of the original it has to be modern and relevant, and if it does turn out to be a straight remake, or worse, a sanitised remake with none of the political or corporate satire of the original, it will be a bargain basement knock off. Who needs mockbusters when the major studios are making their own?

I think I’m the only one who finds the car bomb interesting – it brings in aspects of domestic terrorism, and it also means that Alex Murphy isn’t just some beat cop who happened to bust the wrong crowd, he has been specifically targeted.

A particular link they could have made would have been with modern warfare, amputations, artificial limbs, but they seem to have changed as little as possible other than spraypainting him black. I guess black is the new black… And speaking of such things, it’s a very white film, isn’t it? Whoever thought Samuel L Jackson would be cast in the “token racial minority”role?

While the original made a star out of Peter Weller, which was unfortunate for him as he is an excellent actor who for many people has never been anything more than the guy in the armour. He never had the career he deserved, was pigeonholed by that, yet the film would not have worked had he not been able to communicate the humanity within the machine despite the physical restrictions upon him.

Joel Kinnaman comes to this with a wealth of experience, yet the only major role I’ve seen him in is The Darkest Hour, where I wanted every character to die as swiftly and horribly as possible so I could get out of the cinema and on with something more worthwhile, but O
livia Thirlby later proved in Dredd that it was the film at fault, not the actors, so fingers crossed for him. Those are certainly big boots he has to fill.

And speaking of boots – am I the only one who thought the shot of the robot running down the corridor looked like a Cylon? Again, in a post Battlestar world, to do a man/machine story, they are going to have to be pretty sharp. I wish luck to director José Padilha, but to compete with Paul Verhoeven’s best, he’s going to have to roll out the big guns, and from the looks of this they didn’t even have the budget to get Sam Jackson a hairbrush.

Brian Robinson – I’m not predisposed to like this and this trailer does nothing to assuage my worries. It plainly looks horrible and seems to miss the point of the original film. I can’t see a reason for this to exist other than to just make a film for its own sake.

Adam Dworak – I’m not going to even bother with this obsession with remakes. Everything has been said already.

It looks very generic, a standard Hollywood action blockbuster, predictable and obvious. It looks like an exact copy of the original RoboCop, same story, same characters, even the armour before they turn it black is exactly the same. In 1987 there were limits to what could be done with the technology which no longer exist, so why hasn’t some attempt been made to update it? They could have done so much more, but he looks ridiculous, a man in plastic armour. It could be some guy dressed up for Comic Con. There is no imagination here.

In the days of the original, it was the equivalent of what District 9 was to us now, an allegory showing the growing distance between the rich and poor in our society, and I don’t see any of that depth in the new version, just another vacuous blockbuster.

Al Phillips – I actually like the trailer and the new look RoboCop. It looks like it’ll be man with a shiny new body rather that a machine with an organic bit in it. A take on the character that will make it easier for the audience to feel an affinity towards him/it. I’ll definitely feel a bias towards Verhoeven but will allow the newbie to try to persuade me otherwise. The robogauntlet had been thrown down.

Owen Williams – I desperately hate to admit this, but I really enjoyed the trailer. I don’t like myself for it. I have shamed my biological family and the wider geek family that has adopted me.

Opening with streets lined with ED-209’S and what appears to be a rioting city we’re quickly given a glimpse of a different origin story for Alex Murphy. Considering his brutal and graphic dismemberment in the original this was probably more to keep the rating at a more accessible level for the young uns.

The dreaded “black suit” seems interchangeable with one similar to the original (here’s betting Alex is wearing the silver by the end of the movie) and there’s more than a hint of Stark Industries about it, particularly the mask. It all looks good, apart from Robo on a bike. Don’t think I’ll get used to that.

The shame is that there’s a lot to like, judging by the trailer. Keaton and Jackson never fail to deliver. The additional focus on the Murphy family is welcome and the conflict between man and machine is as much a focus of this as the original.

I hate myself, but it has me interested.  I just wish they’d never made it.

Robocop is scheduled for release on February 7th 2014

Follow the link for our full review of RoboCop



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