Detroit’s RoboCop is back, only this time in black, and will be fighting for justice and against his makers in contemporary times. The first trailer and likewise footage for Sony and director Jose Padilha’s RoboCop reboot has finally been delivered after a sneak peek played during Comic-Con back in July, and it tries mightily to separate itself from the previous incarnation despite several obvious and sometimes blatant nods to Paul Verhoeven’s Sci-Fi classic.
Joel Kinnaman (AMC’s The Killing) stars as Detroit police officer Alex Murphy, a dedicated public servant working in the year 2028 where corruption courses through every institution. To boost their bottom line, powerful corporation OmniCorp decides it’s time to bring their military hardware to the homeland and fuse high-tech weaponry with a human mind. A perfect candidate for a half-machine, half-man “RoboCop” surfaces when Murphy is critically injured.
In the original RoboCop, Murphy (Alex Murphy) was killed in action with little of his human body left to salvage after Clarence Boddicker (Kurtwood Smith) and his goons unloaded countless rounds into the defenseless cop. For the remake, Murphy is still alive after being the victim of a car bomb and his entire left arm is salvaged for the RoboCop program. At least its there when his wife is presented with the chance to “save him,” and the fleshy hand is on RoboCop while he’s out doing his thing.
Padilha pays homage to the original RoboCop in numerous ways scattered throughout the trailer, starting with an original design that closely mimics the suit worn by Peter Weller. An OmniCorp executive played by Michael Keaton recommends the armor be upgraded to military black, and as a result RoboCop ends up looking a heck of a lot like a cross between Batman and Iron Man.
There’s an unwritten rule in remakes that a catchphrase from the original makes it into the update. I’m not a fan of the practice, but this new RoboCop trailers ends with the infamous line, “dead or alive, you’re coming with me.” The bigger question for potential moviegoers is, “would you buy this ticket for $10?”
Sony is releasing RoboCop on February 7, 2014. The film also stars Gary Oldman, Abbie Cornish, Jackie Earle Haley, Michael K. Williams, Jennifer Ehle, Jay Baruchel, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, and Samuel L. Jackson. Sadly it is rated PG-13 and not a hard R like the original, though I recommend not passing judgment until the finished film is ready to be seen – even if it does give off a bit of a Total Recall remake vibe.