Director: José Padilha
Screenwriter: Joshua Zetumer
Cast: Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson, Abbie Cornish, Jackie Earle Haley, Michael K. Williams, Jay Baruchel
Rated PG-13 | 118 Minutes
Release Date: February 12, 2013
“I’d buy that for a dollar!”
Directed by Dutch filmmaker Paul Verhoeven, 1987’s RoboCop is a sci-fi satire that explores themes of greed, privatization, capitalism, dystopia, and identity. The film spawned two theatrical sequels, two animated series, and two live-action television series – not to mention comic books, video games, toys, and theme park rides.
Because the RoboCop franchise was popular and profitable in the ’80s, it was only a matter of time until Hollywood resurrected it. For an industry that rides a fine line between creativity and commerce, movie studios see remakes as a way to mitigate financial risk. Why take a chance on new ideas and original scripts when they can dust off a recognizable brand and put a “new spin” on it, appealing to the audience’s collective nostalgia for said brand? For studios, remakes operate on the simple principle that, even if it sucks, it will still make money.
And so here we are, in the year 2014, with a RoboCop remake by Brazilian director José Padilha, best known for the 2007 crime film Elite Squad and its sequel, 2010’s Elite Squad: The Enemy Within (the highest-grossing film in Brazilian history). The Elite Squad films are action-packed; filled with intense violence, police corruption, and political commentary, which is probably why MGM and Sony chose Padilha to direct in the first place.
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