I was a kid when I watched Robocop for the first time on TV. I enjoyed so much this film that I started to mimic the character’s robotic movements and imitate the gear noises coming from his suit for weeks. When I heard that a remake was being produced, I become a little worried. Firstly because I thought that a remake of such successful movie is an enormous responsibility and any little mistake would ruin the fan’s expectation. José Padilha was both daring and brave on his choose of accepting lead this work. But at the same time he remained on a confortable zone by filming something that he knows well how to do, since he directed the Brazilian police action movie Elite Squad 1 and 2.
When the first images appeared on the internet I become more and more afraid. Padilla was beyond the boldness to present us with a totally conscious Robocop armored in a black suit. “This thing will not be well accepted by the fans”, I supposed. The heroes’ black suit fashion started in 1989 with Batman by Tim Burton and finished at the last X-men movie. Well, maybe I was wrong…
When the 2014 Padilha’s Robocop was released, I went to the movie theater with no expectations, or better saying, with a very bad expectation. There were lots of little things that could be corrected on the original film, as we can check on this funny video:
About the remake, I don’t know if what the director did with the MGM opening logo was a joke or a critic. It was weird. Anyway, while the film was running, something unexpected happens: Little by little I become very surprised with it, which doesn’t look a big deal once I had no expectations. But in fact I was enjoying the movie -it was absolutely scientific and plausible in my opinion. Padilha did well his homework.
The Robocop’s first person view, one of the main features from the original movie, was preserved and improved on a more logical system, based on our currents OS. Dr. Dennett Norton (Gary Oldman) is such a charismatic and amazed character.
As the original movie made a critic about the US society, the new movie also makes a well-built critic around the US foreign policy and shows us an alternative reality about the future. A human consciousness inside a robotic black suit (the main disapproval of fans) becomes completely irrelevant once those topics were well explained. Additionally, a Robocop made in China gave a persuasive argument to the movie, based on our current global economy.
Ultimately the film is an undercover Elite Squad, once the police hero finds out a strong corruption network inside his own department on a society controlled by a sensationalistic media.
It’s a good movie indeed, more than I could expected from a Robocop remake. My only two negative notes are:
1- On the first scenes, the ED-209 robots should speak some Arabic language while they are scanning and giving instruction to that people.
2- Padilha probably played too much FPS videogames.
Despite the hard critics that the film received, I come out from the movie theater completely satisfied, and I’m sure that if I was a kid I would once again mimic the robotic movements and the gear noises coming from his black suit.
Fabio Evagelista is a Brazilian writer.
Crossed Paths is the first book of the Myra-Hati trilogy, an epic adventure in a post-apocalyptic world, for the lovers of sci-fi / fantasy genre. This is the author’s first work published in America.