Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Preview: Robocop (2014)

Remakes, as a rule, are usually terrible. You'd think that if they at least kept the elements that made the original entertaining, the update would be fun, if a little superfluous. But most remakes/reboots/re-imaginings have no love for the source material, and so end up being unwatchable exercises in boredom (see A Nightmare On Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Halloween, etcetera).

Now we're about to be handed a shiny new take on Robocop. The first film in the franchise is perhaps the most exciting, ridiculous, and all-around 1980s-est science fiction flick ever made, so a remake had better work pretty freaking hard to not piss off the fans. And the trailer looks... um, it looks surprisingly good.

Seriously, take a moment to consider everything that trailer just promised: Alex J. Murphy, visual nods to the original, an interesting free will vs. (literal) machinations discussion, and a cast that includes Samuel L. Jackson, Gary Oldman, and Michael "I'm 1980s Batman" Keaton! Yes, the black suit is a little silly, but I can understand them wanting to establish their own look for a new movie. It shows that they have their own stylistic choices to make. And it'll allow them to sell more than one action figure. Still, I am cautiously optimistic about this remake, and that is NOT something I usually say when it comes to beloved horror and sci-fi franchises.

Robocop has been back in the spotlight lately, with his Detroit commemorative statue nearing completion and the announcement of this film. Hopefully the cast and crew will deliver a solid flick that can stand on its own two metallic feet and bring us a great new franchise, and if not, well, I'm never far from my DVD copy of the original.

Five bucks says that ED-209 still can't handle the stairs.

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