Brazilian director Jose Padilha is mostly known for dark and gritty crime films such as Elite Squad and its sequel Elite Squad: The Enemy Within, and now the 46-year-old has a good chance to wow new audiences with RoboCop Although the film looks clean and slick when compared to Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 original, Padilha’s spin on the source material might be a more fantastical take on the source material.
Sony released a new TV spot from Japan for the remake. The 30-second commercial reveals some new footage that wasn’t featured in any previous trailers, like RoboCop on a motorcycle. The more film I see, the more I’m convinced that Michael Keaton’s Raymond Sellars specifically chose Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) for the RoboCop project and it wasn’t just a random act of violence like in the original. Nevertheless, it seems like Padilha is adding to RoboCop to make it different enough to be its own movie.
One of the “spins” Padilha seems like he’s going to introduce into the film remake is RoboCop’s memories of being a human. We actually see Murphy’s face underneath the visor, and his wife Carla (Abbie Cornish) and son David play a bigger role. Padilha knows how to put together a well paced and action heavy movie, so there’s no real reason why RoboCop might be a bad film. I mean, he’s a better director than Len Wiseman, so there’s a good chance that the RoboCop remake would be better film than the Total Recall remake.
Recently, the studio has pushed back the release date multiple times. It was originally set for an August 2013 release date, but Sony moved Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium into its spot. It was then bounced around again to make way for George Clooney’s The Monuments Men, and is currently slated to open on Valentine’s Day weekend, up against the adaptation of the widely popular young adult monster romance Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters.
Despite negative reactions to RoboCop’s first trailer, there are some surprisingly good early reviews. Test screenings suggest that Padilha has captured Verhoeven’s vision for a dark and bleak future, but with an updated version and with a PG-13 sensibility.
The film takes place in the year 2028 when a multinational conglomerate OmniCorp is at the center of robot technology with drones that are winning wars around the world. The corporation now wants to bring their technology to the home front to protect cities in the United States. Alex Murphy is a loving husband, father, and an honest cop in Detroit. After he is critically injured by a car bomb, the corporate giant utilizes their robotics technology to save his life, and he is reborn as RoboCop.
RoboCop stars Kinnaman, Cornish, Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson, Gary Oldman, Jackie Earle Haley, Michael Kenneth Williams, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Miguel Ferrer, Jennifer Ehle, and Jay Baruchel, and hits theaters everywhere on February 12, in 3D and IMAX.