I grew up with Robocop in a manner of speaking. I saw the first film around the same time I saw Star Wars and Indiana Jones. That’s around five or so. I remember my dad blocking my sight from seeing the monkey brain eating scene in The Temple of Doom, but I watched pretty much everything else block-free because of my sweet elder brothers.
I got into Robocop 2 around the same age, but saw Robocop 3 and the animated series much later on, so these weren’t there as I grew up. Same goes for the live action TV-series, which all share the same flaw; they’re pretty terrible.
Fast forward the end of 00’s when some concrete info on the Robocop remake surfaces. The fool I am, I was hopeful that this Hollywood remake would be something decent, unlike so many remakes, sequels and re-imaginings thus far. I mean, somebody has to have faith in humanity, right?
Oh boy, let’s skip to few months ago.
I’m man enough to admit that I got little bit pumped about this viral teaser. The video does have that OCP spirit in it, the designs look pretty sleek, except ED-209 looks… Let’s put it this way; the original ED-209 was designed to resemble an all-out American car with huge fuel consumption. That’s where the front grill and overall design came from. The new ED-209 seems to go for parodying the movie Transformers design, but why? They’re well parodied already by themselves. Why not take similar approach and create a sarcastic design of modern cars, or Apple designs? OK, Apple design have been parodied enough elsewhere, let the horse already die there. As such, the new ED-209 concept is a miss. It doesn’t fulfil the slot that ED-209 should fill. I even have to question whether or we should be calling it ED-209.
And the Robocop concept… Oh lord.
If you didn’t know that the above concept was for Robocop, what would you have imagined it to be? The original design is iconic for a reason. If they wanted to use something that’s not Robocop at all, why to even use the name?
Because of name recognition, of course.
If you want me to go deeper what’s wrong with that design above as a Robocop, I can do that in a separate post, because pretty much everything is wrong with it, from head to toe.
But now there was some small leaks what the concept of Robocop would be in the remake. And let me tell you this that what I’m saying isn’t just my honest to God opinion, but also a fact; it reeks of failure.
First of all, as it stands now, there’s very little that’s Robocop in the story frame. Robocop wasn’t about a cyborg police going killing people and coming out good, but a man inside a shell, deciding who he was and what he was. It’s a story about the human character. This suggested concept seems to ignore this for toy sales.
Toy sales? Then why the hell they call the first version of Robocop as a toy from the 80’s? There’s nothing toyetic about Robocop’s design outside cyborg shell, and later the jetpack and the cartoons but those are out of the window, we’re talking about Verhoeven’s original film. Are they trying to make fun of current world making toyetic designs, and then make one? That’s not funny or ironic or satire, that’s just sad! It’s like laughing at somebody because they have a cat, and then going home and fucking one in the ass. I apologize, that’s just wrong.
The original film was a good satire on then current USA’s expense. However, its message still applies today because the things it rises to consciousness haven’t swept away. Even the SUX car still applies, even thou we’re going for more environment friendly cars, but SUX breaks down just as easily as modern computer controlled cars. The human characters are timeless in the film, and while you see that’s it’s clearly retro-future nowadays, the audience can believe because every thing’s there physically and not a goddamn CGI horror they’re going to be in the remake.
This concept also reeks of post-9/11. I’m not here to offend anybody, but move on people. Having Robocop, a police unit, going through an Al-Qaeda camp with some sort of action mode is beyond stupid. Creating a transforming vehicle, let alone a cyborg, is a mechanical nightmare for designers and engineers. Oh, it’s supposed to be toyetic to give out sarcastic remarks? Well fuck me silly, that’s stupid as hell. OCP, as mad as they would be, are not idiots. Incompetent perhaps, but not idiots.
Robocop having him change from civial mode to this other mode is idiotic, as it doesn’t serve the outer purpose of the design at any point. Design a sturdy, strong and determined outlook to which civilians can rely on, and what criminals want to avoid. Like the original design. There’s no goddamn need to have a secondary mode, unless OCP decides to make Robocop into military unit, and then they’d make a different prototype for that use.
You can’t make a satire out of the original film when everything it satires still applies. You’ll only end up with a product that hurts itself and will be looked down as a shitty cash-in.
Goddamn, even Jurassic Park IV’s suggestion of intelligent cyborg Velociraptor’s as police/SWAT hounds was better than this shit.
If you want to make a successful remake of anything, then respect the original source material. Otherwise you just might as well make something that has been inspired by the original work.