With the release of the RoboCop remake just a few months away, Sony is testing the waters, screening the film for test audiences. While the first teaser trailer almost shut down the Internet with negative reactions, it appears the film may be much better that the trailer suggests.
The people at Comic Book Movie posted a spoiler-free early reaction to RoboCop. A contributor, who watched the film (an unfinished version), reacts to the new film, while comparing it to Paul Verhoeven’s original. It seems like director Jose Padilha’s RoboCop has a complex social and political subtext, but one that is just different than the original. An action-packed, exciting experience, the update takes a different approach to the Alex Muprhy/RoboCop character. The audience member writes:
This film does not have the hyper-violence of the original, nor the comedic quotability of the Verheoven classic. It won’t replace the 1989 film, and GUESS WHAT: It doesn’t try to. It’s a new interpretation of the character that is faithful to the essence of what the original concept of the character was.
This “reboot” (and I really hate to label this as such) is a sophisticated take on the story of Alex Murphy. What GORE this movie lacks in it’s PG13-Rating, it more than compensates in substance over style. This is a much, much more psychological version in which emotional acting and intelligent writing takes priority over realistically brutal executions.
Aside from writing 1989 instead of 1987, the new RoboCop appears, at least, to be a serviceable action film, with its own set of complexities, dealing with the immediacy of police action. The review continues:
So to answer what I’ve seen many people wonder on various sites’ comment/message boards, there is more subtext in this movie (both socio-political and ethical) than in the original. Even the lack of violence itself serves as commentary. This movie, in that regard, is very realistic.
Lastly, he recommends the new RoboCop and feels that the film is, on its own terms, better than the original. He praises the all-star cast and the filmmakers for telling a restrained version of the story, one that still touches upon the social and political themes of the original, catering to old and new fans alike. Wrapping up his review, he writes:
I (impersonally) guarantee that you get the old Robocop you loved and a new Robocop that can fully be embraced. Some people want an R-rated Robocop film, but R-rated action films are not what people flock to see anymore. Is it more important to see a single film that’s violent for no reason, or a sequel to an intelligent action/thriller that doesn’t highlight excessive violence but what it takes to use restraint?
I, for one, can’t recommend this movie enough to people. I feel confident in verifying that, personally, I think this is a SUPERIOR movie, when you take into account the score, cinematography, action choreography, editing, costuming, makeup, acting, directing and writing.
Now I haven’t seen the film yet, but it’s hard to take this early reaction too seriously. It feels like he either didn’t watch or like the original. In that case, the early reaction is still valid. This is one person’s opinion, and you can make of it what you will. While the new RoboCop certainly looks slick, it’s rare that a remake surpasses the original. Something, however, tells me that the new RoboCop might surprise audiences and might be a better movie than we think.
RoboCop hits theaters everywhere on February 7, 2014, in 3D and IMAX.