for the most part i tend to be reasonably tolerant of remakes and "reimagined" films. the only exceptions i can think of would be the stupid attempt to make Brideshead Revisited as a 100 minute movie, and anyone daring to try and touch a Kubrick film. my tolerance and patience, and that of any reasonable film fan, was surely tested when it was announced that they were to remake the much loved 80s classic RoboCop.
the 1987 film of RoboCop stands as one of those all time greats, being as close to cinematic perfection for a genre as you can get. amazing story, great cast and a thoroughly entertaining film. it would perhaps be wiser to simply re-release the film that remake it, but there you go. the remake is well under way, and will be with us next year.
tolerance for the remake has been encouraged by the casting, to say the least. if one has a look at the cast list then one shall see great promise. Samuel L Jackson, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton and possibly the ace Clive Owen being involved means that this all must have looked really, really good to them on paper.
having an outstanding support cast is all very good, but it's rather important to get RoboCop himself right in order for any RoboCop film to succeed. it was his character that made the first one a masterpiece, his character that carried the sequel and made it worth watching and indeed the complete lack of effort made in regards of him that turned RoboCop 3 into an impossible to watch waste of effort.
casting a relatively unknown actor to play Alex Murphy is probably wise - no one knew all that much of Peter Weller back in 87, after all - but i am not so sure fiddling with the RoboCop look is the brightest ever idea in the history of making films.
oh. that's RoboCop? really? rather than looking the the ultimate law enforcer constructed from the remains of a dedicated police officer that looks like a man in a suit. this is in particular due to have clearly at least one human hand still - "lose the arm or lose your job" from the original film will presumably not be heard in this film, then.
not helping the fact that this looks more like a man in a suit than it does RoboCop is the comment from the producers of the film. they are quick to state that is "merely RoboCop in SWAT mode" and that he "wears the more familiar outfit later in the film".
erm, what? RoboCop has costume changes?
the above makes it sounds like we are going to get a kid friendly PG-13 variant of RoboCop, with quite frankly both eyes on the merchandise. why on earth would you have Robo change outfits except for having a range of expensive accessories for the kids to buy for the toys from the film?
if remaking RoboCop is intself a brave move, then changing how the character looks is a bold, borderline stupid way to go. changing an iconic figure is unwise - one need only look at Christopher Nolan's Batman interpretation, and indeed the imminent Man Of Steel Superman film to know that no matter how much "reimagining" or "updating" is going on with the story, best you leave people looking like they should if you want people to give it a chance.
with all the information available on the remake, the only conclusion i can reach in regards of the chances of it being a success is that it will make the excellent original movie seem even better in comparison.
there has been no word yet if the new version will feature the excellence of ED-209 either. if that character has dropped, chances of audiences complying with the wish to accept this remake for what it is will take something of a dent to say the least.
fingers crossed that these first impressions are misleading. let us not forget, after all, just how odd and unwise the casting of Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight seemed at first. as that turned out to be more than all right, you never know, they could pull this one off........
be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!