Paul Verhoeven’s Robocop is my favorite film of all time.* It’s tight, subversive script, disciplined usage of practical FX and sweeping score help make it a film that’s owned me since a very young age. That said, I’m not defensive of commercial properties. And after two theatrical sequels, a failed live action television show, two cartoons and whatever the hell Canada’s Faux-bocop: Prime Directives films were trying to accomplish – I’m pretty sure nothing is going to sully the enjoyment of Verhoeven’s 1987 work of excellence.
Which is why I’m not up in arms about Sony’s announcement that director Jose Padilha’s rebooted Robocop will debut in theaters August 9th, 2013 (with The Killing’s Joel Kinnaman behind the visor). For all of Robocop’s exposure, the character really only has one great film under his belt. And I’ve long held the belief that you’d have to gut a lot of what made the ’87 Robocop work (the intense violence, 80s Reaganism critiquing, Kurtwood Smith) to even consider bringing the property into modern mainstream cinema. So consider mine a perverse curiosity.
I know very little about Padilha aside from the fact that everyone who’s seen Elite Squad seemingly enjoyed it. So even though my reboot fatigue is holding sway here, maybe we’ll still get a solid actioner out of this. Here’s to deflated optimism!
*I think there’s an important distinction between one’s favorite films and what one believes to be the greatest films ever made. I’m cognizant of the fact that while Robocop is an absolute classic that deserves my undying love, it’s also not a Citizen Kane or The Godfather, Part II.