Elite Squad

Joel Kimmaman

They TOLDJA us! After several days of rumors swirling around that actor Joel Kinnaman was close to signing a deal to become the new Robocop in Brazilian director José Padilha’s reboot of the franchise, Deadline Windsor has now confirmed that the deal is done. This means it should only be a matter of time before he goes in to be fitted for his metallic visor and hidden leg gun. For those not yet in the know, Padilha is a director known best for his Elite Squad movies, which were action packed looks at Brazilian street crime, as well as the corruption that runs rampant in their politics and police forces. They’re a little heavy-handed where the politics are concerned, but that generally gets made up for by how brutal and fun their action sequences are, and it’s probably safe to expect that this new take on Detroit’s number one cop will be in the same vein. He’ll be directing from a script co-written by Gran Torino scribe Nick Schenk and newcomer Joshua Zetumer, so there’s some more indication that this new Robocop will probably be the sort of movie that gives you some socio-political commentary alongside its bloodletting.

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News of a RoboCop remake has been bouncing around for literally years, usually with Darren Aronofsky’s name attached in some manner. Recently, the plan for the film has been that Aronofsky would serve in a producer’s role and José Padilha, helmer of 2007’s Elite Squad, would be sitting in the director’s chair. Even more recently, Dutch film site Film1 caught up with the director to have a chat about Elite Squad 2, and at the end even managed to get a quote out of him about how his approach to the material will differ from original RoboCop director Paul Verhoeven’s. Padilha’s comments were posted in some sort of indecipherable moon language, but luckily the gents over at /Film were kind enough to run it through Google translate and have some good old-fashioned English come out the other end. Padilha roughly said, “I love the sharpness and political tone of RoboCop, and I think that such a film is now urgently needed. But I will not repeat what Verhoeven has done so clearly and strongly. Instead I try to make a film that will address topics that Verhoeven untreated. If you are a man changes into a robot, how do you do that? What is the difference between humans and robots developed? What is free will? What does it mean to lose your free will? Those are the issues that I think.” That’s kind of vague, but I guess what Padilha is getting at is that his version of RoboCop will focus […]

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When do they get started? When some poor schmuck volunteers. Fortunately, that schmuck – in the form of Elite Squad director Jose Padilha – has signed up for the job to direct the reboot of Robocop. Is there a better choice out there? Probably not. For one, Padilha is almost completely unknown to US audiences, and if the studios are going to keep forcing us to revisit the icons of our past, they might as well introduce us to the talent of the future while they’re at it. The project could give some great exposure to a worthy director. For two, Elite Squad and its follow-up are incredible movies that use violent action as less of a plot device and more of a calling card. Essentially, the logic of why MGM chose Padilha (even with names like Robert Rodriguez floating around) is a hell of a lot clearer than why, say, the guy who directed that Justin Bieber concert is now directing G.I. Joe 2. This is optimistic news. Although it will be light years different than Darren Aronofsky’s vision, Padilha is a talent that demands to be seen, and this project is a great way to showcase his particular set of directing skills. Let’s see if they can get this monster to work. [Heat Vision]

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+
published: 12.15.2014
B


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