I want the Jose Padilha’s remake of Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 sci-fi noir classic RoboCop to be good, I really, really do. I want to give the film the benefit of the doubt, but they’re not making that a particularly easy feat to accomplish. The fact that the studio is dumping the picture in early February, a notorious dead zone as far a quality movies are concerned, doesn’t exactly inspire confidence, and nothing we’ve seen so far—neither that trailer nor this new poster—has done anything to change that.
The image on this poster is pretty standard stuff. Almost any time that a movie features a solitary hero there’s at least one poster that takes this approach, where a torso-to-head shot of said protagonist takes up the vast majority of the frame. It’s a generic attempt, one that is not particularly interesting. And the stark white background also makes sure to highlight that they changed the color of RoboCop’s suit. Now he’s black instead of silver, in case you didn’t know. Am I the only one who thinks this is what it would look like if KITT from Knightrider came to life?
This poster does make a concerted effort to remind fans of the original with the tagline, “You’re Move.” You may recognize this as the tough as nails line RoboCop utters to one goon after he shoots his partner in crime. In Verhoeven’s version he adds “creep” to the end, just to be extra rad. Personally I would have preferred, “Dead or alive, you’re coming with me,” but that may have been a little too badass, though they did use it to end the trailer.
It was already hard to see RoboCop as much more than recycling an idea that was already successful once, and the use of key phrases from the first film doesn’t help that feeling any. Hopefully it brings something new to the table, otherwise you have to wonder what the hell is the point? You get the feeling they think the emphasis on the automation of warfare and policing is something different, but the first film brings that into the equation, so, at least in that regard, they’re not really doing anything that hasn’t been done before.
Even with a great cast, full of people I consider myself a fan of, it’s getting more and more difficult to muster any excitement for RoboCop. The credits include Joel Kinnaman, Abbie Cornish, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Keaton, Jay Baruchel, Jennifer Ehle, Jackie Earle Haley, Michael K. Williams, and Gary Oldman. That list alone should be enough to make you want to see any movie, but in this case all you can do is sigh and hope they aren’t squandered entirely. Part of the pleasure of the first film is its wicked sense of humor, but this comes across as so overly serious that it doesn’t look like any fun at all. The film is also PG-13, which doesn’t bode well.