Whether You Want It Or Not, The RoboCop Remake Is Happening
We here at The Brown Tweed Society do not uniformly oppose remakes. We do not blindly reject reboots or reimaginings. What we dislike are YARMs for YARM’s sake, the updating of beloved films with only spruced-up special effects and maybe some story-tweaking. When done well, you get the new Star Trek and the Nolan Batman movies. When done meh or blech, you get most of the rest.
While a terrible remake of a beloved movie certainly stings, a middling-but-unnecessary remake is almost as bad. Yes, that’s what I’ve been trying to pin down: unnecessary. A crappy redo will anger you, meaning you have no problem avoiding it forever after and cursing its name when spoken, and perhaps even denying its existence. However, an OK makeover isn’t enough to rile you up either way. It’s like rearranging a room not for any functional benefit, but because you’re bored. You certainly wouldn’t rent it, but YARM: The Remakening might be the only Sunday afternoon alternative to watching golf. You might also realize that damn, this remake could have been good if they’d just done one or two things that you would have been happy to suggest, had they asked you.
Which brings us to RoboCop. RoboCop is a late-80s classic, known and quoted by most Gen X kids you’ll meet. It had action. It had gore, but not so much that it made you scared and barfy. Parts of it were actually pretty thought-provoking and, sadly, prescient. It was just vulgar enough to make watching it at age 11 invigorating and risky. It had a touch of the now-signature Verhoeven camp, and a tongue-in-cheek but not overpowering humor. By the looks of a few set photos and snippets of turmoil plaguing the movie, though, I’ve decided that the new RoboCop is going to be a Dark Knight rip-off visually and conceptually. I know that setting expectations from a few costume shots isn’t fair, but I’ve been burned too many times to get my hopes up. It is somewhat of a relief that Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson, and Michael Keaton star, but that’s not enough to lift the veil of dread.
It didn’t have to be this way, and maybe it won’t. If you’ll remember, the remake was initially in Darren Aronofsky’s hands before he shelved it to focus on Black Swan. That’s a pedigree I could trust. Maybe because of everything that has surrounded this remake, and the sad state of YARMs in general, I’m pretty skeptical. I don’t know why it would be any different with RoboCop, but let’s hope that the folks involved with this do it right.