In the age of remakes, reboots and franchises, there are constantly movies coming to the big screen that polarize audiences. There seems to be two schools of thought on the matter. One group is almost always excited about these projects, purely for the fact they’re going to get to see more of a franchise they love. The other group is almost always opposed, thinking that all a remake or another sequel can do is tarnish the legacy of the existing films they love.
As for me, I land somewhere in the middle. When it comes to certain films, I’m very, very opposed to a remake (see Jumanji and Point Break), but I’m certainly not against the idea as a whole. One project that I’ve kept an open mind about and found myself getting more excited for as its release approaches is José Padilha’s remake of the 1987 classic RoboCop.
While every reboot is polarizing, I think this is one you should be really excited for, as it has potential to bring new life to one of the most beloved sci-fi films. Because of this, I’ve followed the project since it was announced, and there are quite a few very good reasons that I have for looking forward to it.
In order to help those of you on the fence feel the same way, I’ve put together a list of six reasons why I think this remake has the potential to be something special.
So, without further ado, read on for six reasons why we can’t wait for RoboCop!Next
1) The Progress Of CGI
Plenty of older science fiction movies have special effects that still stand up by today’s standards, and even more have very dated effects, but are all the more charming because of it. Still, many older films just look like they could use some major freshening up. If there was ever a movie that could be better off because of 25 years of progress, it’s RoboCop.
In any movie where you have a main character that isn’t entirely human, the effects are going to play a huge part. Say what you will about CGI, but in recent years, when used well, it has benefited a lot of films and made quite a few possible that wouldn’t have been otherwise. Compare that with stop-motion or any other practical effects that used to be so prevalent in sci-fi movies and it really isn’t even a contest. Films like Gravity wouldn’t have been possible 25 years ago, and while RoboCop was possible, it wasn’t able to fully live up to the visual potential of its premise.
I’m not one of those people who is all about the visuals, especially when it comes at the cost of a quality story, but I’d be lying if I told you I don’t love a movie with impressive effects.Previous Next
2) The New Suit
Speaking of things that are enjoyable to look at, RoboCop’s new suit is absolutely awesome. Along with the improved visuals comes a modern sleekness for the film, but from what we’ve seen in trailers and posters so far, it’s mostly just for the suit. Obviously one of the coolest parts of any robot is his shiny metallic exterior, and it looks like Padilha’s take on the character will not disappoint in that department.
The suit really looks fantastic. I’m not sure what OmniCorp made the robotic exoskeleton out of in this iteration, but whatever it is, it looks incredible. I’m almost inclined to compare it to Batman’s costume in the Dark Knight, but I have a feeling that RoboCop is packing something even more powerful than Kevlar.
On the note of Batman, how about that motorcycle? One look at the above image of RoboCop’s bike and it’s clear that inspiration has been drawn from some of the coolest rides in movie history. Between the suit and the motorcycle, this new RoboCop is working with some impressive equipment.Previous Next
3) More Focus On The Man Inside The Machine
The movie may be called RoboCop and not ManCop, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’d be a pretty stupid idea for a movie if there wasn’t a man inside the machine. The conflict of the story isn’t OmniCorp versus the crime, it’s the struggle of the humanity within the half-robot half-man. Really, it’s the struggle of the man inside trying to escape the controls of his machine.
The original film did a very good job at examining that struggle, but there were some aspects that were majorly lacking. When I watch the original film, I do so for the great action and sci-fi elements, not for the character study aspect of it. In an interview with a Dutch website a few years ago, director Jose Padilha discussed a bit about how his take on the story would differ from the original.
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?
It’s what Padilha says about the difference between humans and robots that has me the most excited. That’s obviously a popular theme in sci-fi movies, and it becomes more and more relevant with the evolution of artificial intelligence. There’s going to be a battle between Alex Murphy and the robot around him, and I can’t wait to see how Padilha tackles that conflict.Previous Next
4) Joel Kinnaman
Obviously, one of the most important parts of any movie is the titular character. In the case of RoboCop, officer Alex Murphy was originally played by Peter Weller, an actor who didn’t have much in the way of major exposure before his starring role in 1987.
Stepping into Weller’s shoes is a rising star named Joel Kinnaman. Fans of AMC’s The Killing will recognize Kinnaman as Det. Holder, but for most other American moviegoers, the name is likely an unfamiliar one. But just because he isn’t already a major action star doesn’t mean he doesn’t have the potential to become one. He’s a talented actor with a great presence and he’s also fairly good-looking. Basically, he has the essentials for a modern action hero, which RoboCop has the potential to turn him into.
If you need proof of his ability before rushing to see him play Alex Murphy, check out Daniel Espinosa’s Easy Money. The Swedish film tells the story of JW (Kinnaman), a man who becomes a drug runner in order to maintain his double life. That role won him a Guldbagge Award (a Swedish film award given by the Swedish Film Institute) for best actor in a leading role. I have no doubt that RoboCop will feature another excellent performance from Kinnaman.Previous Next
5) Jay Baruchel
Even though sci-fi isn’t necessarily a genre filled with comedy, it still is nice when humor is present. With most science fiction, that isn’t the case. Think about the premises of some of 2013′s best films in the genre. A couple of astronauts float hopelessly in space. A man hit with a lethal dose of radiation has to go to desperate measures to save his life. A man can’t sustain relationships with normal humans so he falls in love with his computer. None of those scream a hilarious good time. And neither does “A man gets blown up and put inside a machine to keep crime off the streets.”
Still, just as there were some laughs to be found in Gravity, Elysium and Her, I’m fairly confident that RoboCop is going to have its funny moments, too. And if I had to put money on it, I’d bet a good majority of those are coming from Jay Baruchel. We still don’t know how big his role is going to be, though I’m assuming it isn’t huge, but his one line from the trailer was certainly the lightest bit of the two minutes, and it was enough to make me laugh.
Baruchel is one of my favorite comedic actors working today, and I think he’s just about perfect for a movie like this. While he may not be considered one of the funniest guys out there, I think there’s a nice subtly to his humor and he provides me with just as many laughs as some of the bigger names in the industry. But unlike the biggest comic names, his presence won’t take away from the gravity of the plot or the social issues it tackles. I couldn’t have been happier to hear about his casting, and I don’t doubt that he’ll be one of the most enjoyable parts of the film, even if his role’s a small one.Previous Next
6) It’s RoboCop!
Come on now. You know the fact that this is another RoboCop movie makes it well worth your while. The original franchise is incredibly fun and enjoyable. There’s great action, plenty of cool sci-fi elements and a man put inside a robot! What more could you possibly want?
I firmly believe that the RoboCop reboot will end up being more of a good thing. They’ve put together a lot of really strong pieces and there’s no reason why that shouldn’t spell success. If everything goes well, this could be the first of a few new chapters in the franchise, bringing RoboCop to a whole new generation of fans.
Regardless of whether you feel the franchise was in need of a reboot, there’s no denying the fact that more RoboCop should mean more fun at the movies. I can’t promise this is going to be on the level of the original film, or even a “good” movie. What I can promise though is that it’s going to be a fun time at the theater. Besides, there are far worse movies that you could see in February.
What are your thoughts on RoboCop? Are you excited as well? Head on down to the comments section and let us know!