Joel Kinnaman Opens Up On Disappointing RoboCop Remake

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

Every movie lover knows remakes are very hit or miss, and the pressure is really on when a studio is remaking one of the most beloved films in cinematic history. That’s certainly what happened when Joel Kinnaman starred in the 2014 RoboCop remake. The original film starring Peter Weller is rightfully lauded as one of the best action movies ever made, but the remake stunk worse than that weird, mutated guy from the original film.

Even the actor agrees the remake went off the rails: according to, Kinnaman said the RoboCop remake should have embraced “Verhoeven satire, because it’s so ingrained in the RoboCop franchise and its being.”

Joel Kinnaman’s True Thoughts About The Remake

Joel Kinnaman was very careful with his statements about the film, and it’s very clear that he doesn’t think of the RoboCop remake as a complete failure. He went on to say that he privately thinks the remake would have been more successful if it didn’t have the RoboCop name attached to it. That name led to fans having certain expectations from the remake, and chief among those expectations was the kind of satire that director Paul Verhoeven brought to the original RoboCop.

Shouldn’t Have Been A RoboCop Movie?

Reading between the lines, it sounds like Joel Kinnaman is saying that the 2014 RoboCop remake would have been a serviceable action film if it wasn’t part of a well-known franchise. He may be onto something there. Kinnaman does a decent job of bringing a new breed of cybernetic cop to life, and it’s fun watching him clean up the streets with (ahem) robotic precision.

Decent acting and fun fights are all most audiences expect from a new action film, but fans couldn’t help but expect the new RoboCop to demonstrate some of the satire of the original.

Lack Of Satire

What kind of satire from the original RoboCop is Joel Kinnaman alluding to? Take your pick… RoboCop’s over-the-top violence and guns-blazing approach to crimefighting served to satirize the popularity of films like Dirty Harry. RoboCop himself is a walking, talking commentary on the dangers of giving police departments cutting-edge military technology with which they can wage war against citizens.

Furthermore, the background of the movie is a brutal satire of Reagan’s America as it showcases media figures who are completely desensitized to global atrocities and children who grow up playing morbid board games such as NUKEM, which is all about destroying enemy countries through pre-emptive nuclear attack.

Missing The R-Rating

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While Joel Kinnaman’s primary gripe is with the lack of biting satire, he did point out another major issue with the film: the RoboCop remake ended up being PG-13, whereas the original was rated R (a rating it had to fight hard for via extensive editing). Amusingly enough, Kinnaman recounts telling the media in an earlier interview that the remake would “of course” be rated R because “only an idiot would make RoboCop a PG-13 movie.” He was chastised for this gaffe, but considering how much the original RoboCop is famous for its ultraviolence, Kinnaman was probably right that the remake should have been rated R.

Joel Kinnaman After RoboCop

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Fortunately, things worked out for Joel Kinnaman: he went on to get big parts in blockbuster films like Suicide Squad and major TV shows such as House of Cards and For All Mankind. Meanwhile, the RoboCop franchise ditched the idea of film remakes (for now, at least) in favor of video games, and players can now re-live the R-rated glory of that original movie in the game RoboCop: Rogue City. As for the RoboCop remake…honestly, even if we saw it in the deep discount bin, we can definitively say we wouldn’t buy that for a dollar.