'RoboCop' Given Expectedly Dark, Modern Sheen in First Trailer

September 6, 2013


In the long-niggling RoboCop remake, The Killing's Joel Kinnaman stars as the new Alex Murphy, rebuilt as a tertiary "husband" character from a primetime drama--inhumanly fast at hoisting his child and kissing his wife, the emotionless robotic shorthand for establishing that he is A Loving Father we should sympathize with when something bad inevitably happens. That (hopefully) doesn't take long, as soon Murphy's car alarm seems to seriously malfunction, exploding the Loving Father and giving Detroit's surprisingly-extensive robotics department only two options: leaving him one-armed and confined to a wheelchair, or painfully inserting him into a RoboCop remake. Guess which one they go with.

With this first trailer for the film, Scientist Gary Oldman contends "the human element will always be present," but as is so often the case with RoboCop authority figures and remakes, that's not very true. Despite the inclusion of scenery-chewing ringers like Oldman, Michael Keaton, and Samuel L. Jackson, the film largely looks like the kind of dull, broad, predictable rehash already ineffectively patrolling summer's theaters. As was expected, director José Padilha seems to have made something so polished, mechanical, and corporately-revised it would play as satire had the executives in charge allowed such a concept. (A scene of a slimy Keaton insisting on updating the classic metal suit with a cool black finish and shiny head seems like an early behind-the-scenes peek of the decision-making process.)

That said, while the preview leans hard into the "man regains his humanity" theme, if the film at large is able to say something new about today's police states, drone enforcement, and the thriving military-industrial complex--sadly, probably too late for a scene of RoboCop scanning metro Detroit's emails--it could still find a relevant rationale for its existence. If not, then at least take comfort in that nothing can take away from how good Sam Jackson's Ronnie Cox looks. He wins the cosplay contest at this year's RoboCon.

(Thanks: MagitekChoc, Simon, et al.)

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