Oh, Hollywood. You give us a great film that people come to love and adore, and then you wait a few decades and think you can do it better. Then you fail miserably. The Italian Job, Planet of the Apes, Death Race 2000 and The Day The Earth Stood Still are just some of my favorite films victimized by a horrendously awful remake.
The next one I can add to that list is Robocop, the fantastic 1987 action movie whose remake is due out in 2014.
Earlier this week we showed you two of Robocop's new robo-cars, including a Ford Taurus and an (ugh) Dodge Caliber. Now, care of the The Daily Mail, we have pictures of his new police motorcycle as well.
I wasn't too excited about a Robocop remake in the first place, and now having seen these photos of the new character design – which one astute Daily Mail commenter at called "cheapskate carbon fibre version of Batman" – I'm even less enthused. I never really saw Robocop as a motorcycle guy, seeing as how he seemed to weigh slightly less than a car himself in the films.
But more than the goofy design, it's the tone I'm worried about. As star Joel Kinnaman said to the Mail, "Of course, [director Paul Verhoeven] has that very special tone, and the reboot is not going to have that tone. It's a re-imagination of it."
See, Robocop wasn't just an action flick, it was satire of the first water. Its targets were the news media, politics, corporate culture, greed, and perhaps most of all, the American auto industry at the height of its arrogance and decrepitude.
The original Robocop is totally a movie for car guys and gals. Not just because of the Taurus, which was considered a sleek and futuristic design in its day, or because it's set in Detroit, but because it features villains that are scathing send-ups of the American auto industry in the 1980s. Without GM and Chrysler at their peak incompetence, you wouldn't have the faulty ED-209 or the scheming Dick "Who cares if it worked or not?" Jones.
Granted, a few spy shots don't mean that this movie won't have the themes of the last one, but I'm concerned that it will be more of a straight-up action flick (and not a very good one) rather than one with a potent satirical edge, like the original was.
I do have some hope for the Robocop remake in one regard: it's got a great cast lined up. Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Keaton and Jackie Earle Haley have all signed on, and every one of them is a force to be reckoned with. Let's hope they can pull it off. A decent remake of Robocop? I'd buy that for a dollar.
What do you think of the motorcycle, and the remake itself? What are your favorite moments from the original film?
Photos credit The Daily Mail