Robocop is rolling fat, heading for cinemas. José Padilha’s remake hopes to repeat the breakout success of the original, whose blend of black comedy, sci-fi SFX, existential angst and dystopian fun-with-a-gun won admirers in both the action and irony camps. Judging from the trailer, the new movie will reprise the major themes. I’ll buy that for a dollar! Yes but—in Paul Verhoeven‘s day Omni Consumer Products (OCP) was the bad guy. In the present day, cops are increasingly seen as unaccountable foot soldiers for Statists (i.e. the government); shooting pets and vets, confiscating shampoo bottles at airports and secretly tracking porn consumption. Will that matter? Robocop him/itself is still the good guy fighting against (for?) himself. And cinematic cops are still heroes, generally speaking. Perhaps there’s a throwaway line about the loss of liberty under the jackboot of killer cops somewhere in the middle of all that gunplay. Perhaps not. . .

45 Responses to Robocop Remake: A Lesson in Police Militarization?

  1. Since the price of a single movie tickets (unless I pre-buy at Cosco 2 for $15.99) my standards in movies have gone up accordingly. I did like the original RoboCop, though. Thanks to TTAG, I’ve also banned anti-gunners such as Stalone, Jim Carey, etc. This looks like a good Red Box (er). For $2-3, it’s hard to go wrong.

    Is there anyone rabidly anti-gun in this cast?

    • Well Samuel Jackson is in it and he’s flip flopped a bit. After Sandy Hook he thought more gun control wasn’t the answer. After Travon Martin, he’s wagging his finger at us and saying “put down the guns”. Personally, I never liked the guy or his movies or his goofy Kangol cap.

    • Sixteen bucks?! Where in the hell do you live?! Tickets here are only $7.50 and i still think that’s a little steep.

      edit:oh wait, is that two tickets for that price? either way, i wouldn’t piss on half of these new movies if they were on fire.

      • In Dallas, unless you go to some really shady theaters its close to $12 per person. I don’t go to movies unless I know its going to be good.

  2. it looks pretty darned interesting. i do think that will be a central theme in the movie, RF.
    if nothing else, i wanna see the auto-9 make a comeback.

    COME ON, I CANT BE THE ONLY ONE IN LOVE WITH THAT GUN!

  3. 1984 wouldn’t have been so shocking if released in ’04, y’know.

    Maybe in the future, the Statists have been ousted, police departments have been demilitarized and returned to sanity, guns and ammo flow like wine and there are in place all the other accoutrement of the reversed pendulum.

    In this society, we need RoboCop to wage war against the criminal element, because while 2A is holding glorious sway, the neutered populace of Detroit never rearmed because they had been taught from birth that guns are icky.

    Thanks, progressive well poisoning scum! Thy legacy of evil and mischief shall outlast thee even unto succeeding generations.

    • Obviously in Robocop the 2A won out since it seems like everybody has automatic weapons. If they were illegal no one would have them, right? Cause thats how laws work, they magically make bad guys not have machine guns. If Neo-Detroit would just pass more common sense gun laws they wouldn’t have to build cyborg cops to stop from being outgunned by the citiz*cough*ens I mean the criminals.

  4. Hollywood’s reliance on remakes is SOOOO indicative of their paucity of human imagination; almost anybody could do better than the current crop of “idea” men. FTS!

    It COULDN’T be the lack of original script-writing, RIGHT? I don’t believe so.

    Rather, it seems Hollywood is so afraid of making mistakes that it’s fallen into formulaic, steaming cr*p AND IT CAN’T GET UP.

    I wonder if I beat Mr. Spamolator?

  5. Another remake? Ugh! If the current line of studios, directors and writers aren’t stealing ideas and scenes from the originals they are remaking them. Total Recall, Clash of the Titans, Poseidon, Karate Kid, Godzilla, Footloose, Psycho, The Thing, The Fog, Aurthur, The Stepfather, Nightmare on Elm Street, The Omen, The Hitcher and these are ones of the top of my head.

    As for the real point of this article I agree with Robert. Most cop films make the cops as the good guy, too many examples of this one being Lethal Weapon series, Die Hard and so many others. The public’s attitude toward police is changing dramatically for the worse, as in we have a more negative view of them in the last decade or so thanks to technology and media that exposes more of the corruption, violence and actions of the police. Even though I know the police are becoming more militarized as I have experienced this first hand with their reaction to the workplace shooting in Minneapolis some time back, and IMO this is mostly due to the future plans of a national police force, I do not believe police are becoming more violent or corrupt as they have always been this way. Media and tech has just exposed it more.

    And just think of the thinking of any police officer whether he or she is for or against militarization. Militarization of the police will give them more weapons, better weapons, more toys. What cop or dept. wouldn’t want that? They do the same to the police as they do to us, they give us stuff we want(entertainment, cheap plastic crap, fast cars, big screen tvs ect. ect.) and expect us to submit, obey, follow and ignore.

    How many of us would ignore the evils or join the evil if we were offered things we want? Most. Humans in general have little free will, rarely act humanitarian or stand up for what’s right when their freedoms, or material things, are at stake.

  6. The original Robocop is more relevant now than it was when it premiered. Amoral Corporation, Crime-ridden bankrupted city, Human beings recycled into products with no rights of their own.

    Remake looks slick, but will it retain the original’s dark comedy and warnings about how power corrupts, or will it be more Action Movie schlock that will bore you to tears.

    • “Remake looks slick, but will it retain the original’s dark comedy and warnings about how power corrupts, or will it be more Action Movie schlock that will bore you to tears.”

      Hmmm. I know what *I* think.

  7. The black armor + red visor… huh, pretty big visual change. Almost anime-like in influence.

    But I guess if you want to communicate how machinery can literally make a human become inhuman… black and red it is.

    • Just from seeing the trailer, there are TONS of changes from the original story.

      In the original Murphy actually died and only had minimal memories that slowly came back of his previous life and family. He was mostly machine slowly regained some human traits and was unable to go against the prime directives on his own. This new movie has him as more of an augmented human that was only badly injured, who still retains all his memory and interacts with his family as himself right away, and apparently can overcome the prime directives on his own. On top of that, just about every other character in the film is different, changing the names of his wife and son and they even changed Lewis to a guy. Boddicker is gone, Jones is gone, and the CEO of Omni is now the main villain.

      The only things I can see that are the same are that it takes place in Detroit, Alex Murphy is RoboCop’s real name, Omni is bad, and the movie is called RoboCop.

    • That’s one of my favorite Terry Gilliam movies. Favorite movies, PERIOD. Did you see TIDELAND, where Jeff Bridges played a rotting corpse for most of the movie?

      The American Monty Python!

      • Thankfully DeNiro didn’t wreck the movie. He was supposedly horrible on set – 20+ takes for every scene, couldn’t remember his lines.

  8. Hollywood, like the European royals has become so inbred that an originol thought would frighten them. Hence, all the remakes. I don’t support Hollywood or the msm. No cable, no satellite. In the last 8 years I’ve been to a theater twice. Both times were gift cards.

    I wait until movies are being sold used at local stores like Rasputins before I buy them. Hollywood doesn’t get my money.

  9. at 1:32 Samuel Jackson’s character: “This is the future of American justice.”

    Yes, yes it is. Coming soon to a theater (and police department) near you!

    • It was hilarious, at times. I thought Peter Weller was also great in NAKED LUNCH. He really can’t act all that well, but if you put him in the right role, and the right movie, he can be brilliant.

      That might also be true of you or me, however, but we won’t get the chance.

      • Naked Lunch will live on as perhaps one of my worst date movie choices…ever. To say that she was less than a little amused would be a grave understatement.

        There’s no Miguel Ferrer(Bob Morton) in this one to say, “Lose the (human) arm.” Hmm, you make a nearly invincible RoboCop, but leave
        one human arm as the weak link in your ground-breaking technological masterpiece? Who here is going to buy that ridiculous premise for a dollar? Not I. That doesn’t even make sense. That scene in the original was important. It showed the “evil” corporate climber coldly stripping the last bit of humanity from Murphy, all while his Robo creation is listening to them, but who is completely powerless to stop it. Talk about creepy?

        I hate to say it, but most action movies are little more than platforms for CGI artists to demonstrate their newest, hottest computer tricks, and to pad their technological cinematic resumes.

        • I took a date to Trainspotting, as well as The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover. One of my exes has Naked Lunch in her DVD collection…

          “Good looking, intellectual, sane. Pick any two.” At least I’m seldom bored.

    • Chronologically speaking, shouldn’t you be getting a RoboCop(1991) vibe,
      off of Judge Dredd(1995) wearing the black visor? But then again, there was
      the first RoboCop and Judge Dredd, then the remakes Dredd and RoboCop.

  10. When I’ve seen the original as a kid in eastern Europe, I loved it. I loved the cool matte black police cars and wanted one so bad… In 2007 I bought a black ’89 Taurus with paint so weathered it was almost matte for $800. What a disapointment!

  11. I think you’re missing the real problem here; a Robocop film that’s rated PG-13. If you’re Robocop movie isn’t rated R, you’re doing something wrong.

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