The quote in the header is unfortunately accurate. Hollywood has a well-documented obsession with remakes, and it’s no surprise that Paul Verhoeven’s iconic Robocop is on the docket. I’m of course a bit nervous, because I absolutely love Robocop, despite its flaws — in fact, sometimes I think I love it because of them.
Yet flaws aside, it’s easily one of Verhoeven’s best films, a gory, gruesome exercise in sociopolitical satire and violence. It’s a mess of a film, but a goddamn glorious mess. On the other hand, it’s actually an excellent candidate for remaking — in the right hands.
Right now, those hands belong to José Padilha, who directed the outstanding Elite Squad and its sequel. I’m perfectly content with that. He’s cast Joel Kinnaman (“The Killing”) as his Officer Alex J. Murphy, the man who will become Robocop, and there are some nifty new ideas about the suit design and the science behind it being tossed around. Kinnaman, recently interviewed by MTV, had this to say:
There’s a lot of neuroscience now raising the question, ‘Is all the intelligence in the human body in the brain?’ and they’re finding out that, no, it’s not like that. The body has intelligence itself, and we’re much more of an organic creature in that way. It’s not a control tower that does everything.
I like that they’re thinking about the concept in new ways, which really is the only way the endeavor becomes worthwhile. About the film itself, Kinnaman said that:
It’s a re-imagination of it. There’s a lot of stuff from the original. There are some details and throwbacks, but this version is a much better acting piece, for Alex Murphy and especially when he is RoboCop. It’s much more challenging… [The helmet is] not going to be jaw action. They’re still working on the suit and how it’s going to look, but the visor is going to be see-through. You’re going to see his eyes.
I’m down with that. Padilla is definitely a skilled director, so there’s some serious potential here. What say you, kids? Would you buy that for a dollar?