I am sure most of you are familiar with Robocop. The film that Paul Verhoeven will be most known for (sorry Showgirls). Robocop was a film that when it was first written, no director would pick it up, most of the time they never turned over the first page of the screenplay. It was the title that almost ruined it. No director took a movie by the name of Robocop seriously.
But then Paul Verhoeven got his hands on the screenplay. Verhoeven, just like any other director in Hollywood, didn’t even read the script. He just decided it didn’t worth his time. His wife on the other hand, picked the screenplay up and started reading. In the end she reached her husband and told him “You know, you should read it, it’s not bad.” and so he did. And thank God for that.
Robocop is a science fiction film about a police officer who is killed in action, and a corporation by the name of OCP (Omni Consumers Products) that collects his body and resurrects him as a cyborg police officer named Robocop. Reading the plot summary doesn’t make the film come off as a particularly original movie, or even a good film for that matter. That’s why everyone’s head exploded out of sheer awesomeness when they realised they were witnessing a masterpiece. The film could have ended up being just another low budget pop corn flick from the eighties, but it didn’t. It turned out to be one of the greatest science fiction films ever made.
I am sure by now you all realize how much I like Robocop. To be honest, I’m not a real fanboy, but when I watch a good film, I know how to appreciate it, and Robocop is one of those films. The original is a classic and after watching it again recently, I had to ask, do we really need a remake?
First of all, I am not against remakes. Actually I would love to see good remakes based on favourite movies of mine, like Escape from New York. I love John Carpenter’s Escape from New York, but it hasn’t aged as well as most of his other films, so I’d love to see a remake of that, one that will respect the original material and one that will be made because the director/writers want to make it, not because the producers demand a remake. The movie industry is, as the title suggests, an industry. But it’s also an art form, If the creativity doesn’t hit you while working on a film, then don’t do that film at all.That being said, the moment I found out there will be a remake to Robocop, I didn’t get angry or anything, I just put the facts down on the table, looked at them for a minute and realised that a remake is not possible. Why is that you ask? Well, let’s see.
Robocop is a film based on a very specific vision by a very specific director, Paul Verhoeven. The film is put together by his idea of filmmaking. If someone tries to remake Robocop with their own ideas, it will fall apart. Paul Verhoeven has a very unique vision when it comes to action, so unique in fact that it can be considered his signature. Same goes with his excellent use of satire, something that’s essential and plays a big role in Robocop.
The film is known mostly for its action sequences and the satire that goes on between the scenes (in the form of over-the-top and outrageous commercials) and during scenes. If another director tries to do what Verhoeven did, no matter how good he is, he will just be imitating Paul Verhoeven’s work. Robocop is a one movie deal. It was so original and so uniquely good that not just a remake, but a sequel for that matter can’t work. That’s why the film was followed by maybe the two worst sequels in the history of cinema.
Robocop had a dark tone and a perfect blend of drama and satire that cannot be recreated, neither in the form of a sequel or a remake. What’s worse is that Robocop managed to be something more than another eighties action flick, and the remake will probably fall on that category. It will be a blockbuster film with a lot of action and CGI. Where the original managed to be different, the remake will probably end up being the same old “blockbuster shit” we’ve been watching for the last 10 years.
In the end, the real question is not if we need a sequel to Robocop, but if something like that is even possible in the first place. My answer is no, it’s not. Two sequels followed the original Robocop and they prove just that. Recreating or continuing that story is impossible. Again, I am not a fanboy, and when the remake is released I will most probably go and watch it. That being said, I do not stand behind the decision to remake this film by any means. I think it’s unnecessary and I can’t possibly see it working. If you are still struggling to see the subject from my point of view, do one simple thing. Ask yourselves, “is it possible to remake Blade Runner?”
If you said yes, there is no hope for you.