The Robocop Remake Gets A Trailer

Published on September 16th, 2013 in: Movies, Science Fiction, Trailers |

By Tim Murr


I was 11 when the original Robocop came out in 1987. The first pictures I saw from the film and the TV spots hooked me. I became obsessed with seeing this movie. Since I was poor and the film was rated R, I didn’t get to see Robocop on the big screen, but I was allowed to rent it the week it came out on VHS.

Robocop has been one of the biggest pop culture obsessions of my life and also one of the biggest disappointments. Since ’87, we’ve witnessed a TV series, two animated series, a bunch of toys and collectibles that range in quality from brilliant to “why did they make this piece of crap,” and two sequels that were just awful.

Robocop blended black comedy with graphic violence in a Detroit a few years into the future. Alex Murphy (Peter Weller) was a decent cop who’d just transferred in to one of the worst precincts and doesn’t last his first day. He gets shot to hell and is on the edge of death when his body is taken by scientists from OCP (big corporation that develops weapons and robotics for the military and runs the Detroit police). OCP takes the usable remnants of Murphy, puts them inside of a robot, and launches their Robocop initiative.

The film glossed over the rebirth phase, presenting Robo’s transformation from Murphy’s perspective as he drifted in and out of consciousness. This was one of the many smart decisions director Paul Verhoeven made. He knew that it was important to A) get the audience emotionally invested in the story quickly and B) get Robo on the screen as soon as possible.

Based on what the new trailer presents, the Robo-remake will spend more time on Murphy becoming Robocop. In fact, the trailer gives away A LOT. Murphy’s not in uniform, his near death is completely different, and Robo’s relationship with his doctors looks expanded. And there is no officer Ann Lewis.

The trailer doesn’t stand out as anything special. We’ve seen this exact trailer with G.I. Joe, The Avengers, Batman . . . right down to the “BOOM . . . BOOM . . . BOOM” soundtrack. As slick and action packed as the preview is, it lacks even an ounce of the original’s charm (which could be blamed on the trailer’s cookie cutter format).

Another point of contention nearly all fans are jumping on is the PG-13 rating. Director José Padilha wanted as wide an audience for his Robocop as possible and didn’t believe the grisly violence of the original was inherently necessary for the remake. I can agree with that. At least I can take my son to see it when Robocop hits theatres. And I will see it. Even if he does look like a walking KITT from Knight Rider.

I’m willing (begrudgingly) to give Padilha’s vision a chance; he is a capable director and seems to have put some real thought into the story. I think the film would have been better served had the trailer not given away so much this far out from the film’s release. It’s just fodder for jaded, crabby fans like me to bitch about ad nauseum.

Robocop comes out February 7, 2014, in theaters everywhere.

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