Blah blah blah remakes.
No one wants them, but they just keep coming. All we can do is take them one at a time with the understanding that each new reboot has zero effect on the original film we probably love, like, or don’t honestly remember.
And with that in mind our first real look at director José Padilha‘s remake of the gleefully violent, morbid and twisted Robocop has finally arrived. The story remains the same as a corporation takes over the business of policing a city with unintended results. A cop (Joel Kinnaman), wounded under suspicious circumstances, is used as the meat in a half man, half machine, all cyborg sandwich representing the company’s latest weapon in the war on crime. But what happens when he’s no longer interested in being a tool for the Man? I’ll tell you what happens. PG-13 violence happens.
Check out the mildly competent yet wholly generic-looking trailer for Robocop below.
See what I mean?
Taken on its own merits it looks like a passably entertaining action/sci-fi film destined to max out under $50 million at the domestic box-office. The problem though is it looks just like every other sci-fi film coming out of Hollywood these days. The closest comparison is the recent Total Recall remake, which in addition to being a redo of a Paul Verhoeven-directed film from the ’80s, also presented itself as a humorless and witless flick with little to no ambition. And we all know how that turned out.
Honestly the biggest surprise here isn’t how underwhelming the movie looks, but instead it’s all about the cast. Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson, Jackie Earl Haley, Jay Baruchel, Abbie Cornish, and Michael Freaking Keaton? Hell, maybe we’ll buy this for a dollar after all.
Here’s the remake’s official synopsis.
In RoboCop, the year is 2028 and multinational conglomerate OmniCorp is at the center of robot technology. Overseas, their drones have been used by the military for years – and it’s meant billions for OmniCorp’s bottom line. Now OmniCorp wants to bring their controversial technology to the home front, and they see a golden opportunity to do it. When Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) – a loving husband, father and good cop doing his best to stem the tide of crime and corruption in Detroit – is critically injured in the line of duty, OmniCorp sees their chance for a part-man, part-robot police officer. OmniCorp envisions a RoboCop in every city and even more billions for their shareholders, but they never counted on one thing: there is still a man inside the machine pursuing justice.”
Robocop lumbers into theaters February 7th, 2014.