The past few years has seen a whole host of classic eighties films being recreated as modern blockbusters. Among horror films there’s been a host of success stories as plots and effects are updated for modern audiences – zombie movie ‘The Crazies’ is a personal favourite. Other movies have completely lost their charm as they get pulled into modern retellings – ‘Fame’ and ‘The Karate Kid’ both lost their charm when viewed without the rose-tinted spectacles of nostalgia.
The latest 80s remake to arrive is “Robocop” – the 2014 release is a remake of the 1987 movie of the same name. The plot of both films revolves around a dystopian future Detroit, and Alex Murphy, a cop who is melded into a machine, to become a cyborg-super-policeman – the titular Robocop. Super strong and nearly impervious to damage, Robocop can bring order to the streets, as long as he is under control…
Science fiction movies are, I think, at a natural advantage when it comes to remakes. A modern audience watching the 1987 movie, already have technologies ahead of those in the film. It’s hard to be absorbed into the fictional future onscreen when they’re using brick like mobiles and wow-ing at clunky robotics. The 2014 release looks like it has some impressive effects, particularly in terms of modernising the Robocop suit – in appearance it looks more like Iron Man’s ensemble, than that of the movie it’s inspired by. I think it’s safe to assume the film will have it’s fair share of big budget fight and chase scenes and be impressively bought to life in that sense at least.
There’s two really interesting departures from the original movie – which are evident from the trailer alone:
1. The certificate has been lowered from the adults only 18 on the original, to the 12A on the new film. In part this will be due to the changes in censorship over the intervening years, but it probably means some less dark and gorey plot points in the new film, to bring a broader audience into cinemas.
…The trailer hints at several interesting storylines…
2. Robocop has a family. In the original movie Alex Murphy is killed early on, and loses his family and memories of who he is. In the trailer for the new movie there are various shots of a sheepish looking Robocop kneeling to talk to his child. This major plot shift makes the whole thing a little ridiculous in my eyes – though it could give us some great comedy moments. Perhaps Robocop will return home from patrolling the streets to give his son a bath – oiling up with WD40 to prevent rust of course. It’ll be interesting to see how this part of the film plays out.
It looks like it could be a great big budget action movie though. Samuel L. Jackson and Gary Oldman have both taken roles in the film, which is generally a good sign. Joel Kinnaman is relatively unknown in terms of feature films, so it’ll be interesting to see what he’s created. The trailer hints at several interesting storylines – with the more conscious man inside the suit making for some interesting new elements.
…The trailer has a couple of great lines…
I’m still hoping for that classic eighties feel though – with lots of brilliant one liners. The trailer has a couple of great lines – “Dead or Alive, you’re coming with me” being lifted straight from the original film, so maybe it’ll have the right amount of eighties charm inside the modern effects.
A 7th of February release date makes this a great movie to avoid all the saccharine sweet Valentines Day releases next year.