Saturday, 27 September 2014

Robocop — The Eternal Argument about Remakes

26th September, 2014.

You know, remakes can be … 

Controversial … 


Controversial’s the word.

Those of us who watch films — and especially certain genres of film —are usually a passionate bunch.

I’m no exception, there.

We are, as a group, tend to be very protective of the things we feel strongly about.

I think individual movies are one of those things.

Just to give you an example, here?

I, for one, won’t go near the 2003 remake of The Italian Job.   I don’t know if the thing’s good, bad or indifferent.

I think the fact it got made at all was insulting to the original.

At ANY rate … ?

At ANY rate, you can tell I’ve had money at some point, can’t you?

At least, enough money to put some onto my iTunes account: so that I can rent a movie.

And — with the talk of remakes — you can tell I rented a remake, this evening, can’t you … ?

In this particular case, the film in question … ?

Was the 2014, José Padilha directed, version of Robocop: with Joel Kinnaman in the lead role.

And personally … ?

Personally, I have to confess: the original version of The Italian Job is something I grew up with.   A film I thought well enough of to make me not want to go near the remake.

It was the same — to an extent — with Hitchcock’s Psycho: Anthony Perkins’ unnerving performance as Norman Bates set a bar for serial killers.   One that was only sullied by the remake in 1998.

The fact I enjoyed — but wasn’t especially passionate about — the original version of Robocop, only got me interested in this year’s remake.

I wanted a re-telling that could entertain: certain in the knowledge that I wasn’t a die hard fan who’d be offended by any perceived flaws.

I think I’ve been entertained: whether there’s flaws is something else.

But let me tell you about it … 


Set in the near future, Robocop initially shows us an episode of a fictional news show fronted by Pat Novak: whose frontline reporters are following on the robot troops provided by OmniCorp to the US army, working in Tehran.

Unfortunately … ?

OmniCorp products can’t be used on US soil: indeed, we see OmniCorp head, Raymond Sellers — Michael Keaton, looking like an ageing Peter Weller, the original RoboCop — battling the legislation that prevents their use in the US.

It’s only when one bright marketing spark suggest it, Raymond realises the company has a potential new product. 

Combining man with machine … 


We’re also introduced to Detective Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) and his partner, Jack Lewis (Michael K. Williams): a pair of Detroit police detectives chasing a batch of illegal weaponry.

Illegal weaponry that Seems to have come, not from gang-lord Antoine Vallon … 

But from the Detroit Police Department’s own evidence locker.

Detective Murphy manages to report all of that, after his partner gets seriously injured in the raid that produces the evidence.

Murphy walks out of that raid, alive.

Only to be almost fatally injured, when the bomb someone’s hidden under his parked car goes off.

Almost fatally injured …

Almost … 

Until an OmniCorp medical team turn up: with solutions that will work, but will need the consent of Clara Murphy (Abbie Cornish), Alex’s wife.

Convincing her takes some time … 


27th September, 2014.

Now …

The inevitable questions arise, don’t they … ?

Is this version of Robocop any good … ?   And is it on a par with the original?

Let me try and answers that latter question first.

Is the remade Robocop on a par with the original?

Frankly, I couldn’t tell you: as it’s been a while since I’ve seen it.

I do remember walking away from it, having been entertained, if not impressed: the original is, after all, a very good piece of film.

But it’s one I didn’t necessarily feel any close emotional involvement in.

But whether that means one or the other is the better film, I don’t know.


As to my first question, there, ‘Is this version of Robocopany good?’ … ?

Well, we’re getting into matters of personal taste, I think.

You see, I’ve walked away from the remake unsure if it’s on a par with the original version: although I know one or two die-hard fans who would tell you it’s not.

I can understand that passion: after all, it’s much how I feel about Gus van Sant’s 1998 version of Pyscho.   Wrong on just about every level, and insulting to the Hitchcock original.

Speaking for myself, though … ?

Speaking for myself, I found the remake both well made, and well acted: and entertaining.

And enjoyable.

Granted, it’s not going to be for everyone.

But I liked it.

And assuming you’ve no issue with a Robocop remake?

I believe you will, too.


Debbi said...

As a general rule, I don't like remakes. I never saw the remake of Psycho, and I could tell it was going to suck.

Nobody could make like Psycho as well as Hitchcock did.

The one exceptional remake I know of is the popular version of The Maltese Falcon. The one with Humphrey Bogart. That's a great film!

I doubt I'd interested in seeing either version of Robocop. But that's just me.

The original Italian Job, on the other hand, is one I'd love to see.

Nik Nak said...

You’re joking! I didn’t know Bogie’s version of The Maltese Falcon was remake … !

I swear, writing this blog you live and learn … !

And you’ve not seen the Caine original of The Italian Job … ?

Trust me, it’s THE cliff hanger: and VERY well worth the $14·99 the US branch of iTunes is charging for it.

(Oh, and Noel Coward … ? Is something else … !)

Debbi said...

Thanks, Paul! :)

I'll definitely see that one! Michael Caine and all ... yeah! :)