The new RoboCop remake will hit theaters next week. The film was originally supposed to be released back in August 2013, but Sony decided to push the release date of Neill Blompkamp’s Elysium from March to August 2013 to capitalize on a bigger box office. In turn, Sony then moved RoboCop from August to February 2014. When the project was announced back in 2011, fans of RoboCop were worried that a Hollywood remake would merely be a watered-down version of the ultra-violent original from director Paul Verhoeven. Hollywood has a bad track record with lukewarm remakes of popular genre movies such as Total Recall, Straw Dogs, and The Thing, but now that Sony has screened the film early, it seems that film critics are divided on the new remake from Brazilian director José Padilha.
According to a few early reviews such as Guy Lodge from Variety, the remake goes in a different direction than the original and is a surprising upgrade from the original’s sequels.
Shifting the prime target of its satire from corporate greed to post-9/11 jingoism, this well-cast, smarter-than-expected remake repairs much of the damage done to the iron-fisted lawman’s reputation by meat-headed sequels and spinoffs; it’s a less playful enterprise than the original, but meets the era’s darker demands for action reboots with machine-tooled efficiency and a hint of soul.