The marketing for the contentious RoboCop – the latest remake/reboot of a Paul Verhoeven sci-fi property – has been somewhat lackluster to date, when viewed as a whole. So, what better way to get the masses excited than by releasing a preview for the next trailer, much like we’ve seen recently for upcoming superhero blockbusters Captain America: The Winter Soldier, X-Men: Days of Future Past and The Lego Movie (it totally counts).
It’s only between 10-20 seconds long, but the preview for RoboCop trailer #2 manages to cram in footage that wasn’t shown in the previous theatrical preview. Some of the “new” shots included therein ought to be familiar to those who saw the RoboCop sizzle reel at Comic-Con 2013 – like the glimpse at a sequence where Robo motorbikes down a narrow corridor lit with blazing gunfire – but the other material should be brand-new to everyone.
And hey, it would appear that Michael Kenneth Williams – acclaimed TV actor of The Wire and Boardwalk Empire fame – was not the officer who is gunned down in the opening of the previous RoboCop trailer, after all. Rather, he will get to live for another day, in order to… crack bad puns (hint: they involve a word that rhymes with “Hobo Bop”) and, potentially, serve as Robo’s sidekick in the film. Better than nothing… right?
RoboCop – the 21st-century version – changes the details of how regular cop Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) becomes a cyborg police officer, in addition to giving him a black armor “upgrade” (after he dons the classic silver outfit first) and updating the sociopolitical overtones of the story. Unfortunately, in terms of set pieces and visual style, the RoboCop remake doesn’t seem all that innovative; and, unlike Verhoeven’s film, it won’t have R-Rated bloodshed to compensate for underwhelming action scenes.
The other problem is that director José Padilha (Elite Squad) doesn’t appear to have found an interesting way to re-examine the “Man or Machine?” question that’s inherent to the story. Combined with a top-notch cast – one that includes Gary Oldman, Abbie Cornish, Michael Keaton and Samuel L. Jackson – who appear to be saddled with a script full of hammy philosophical dialogue, and the concern is that RoboCop (2014) will end up feeling like a squandered chance to produce a genuinely solid remake/reboot.
Agree/disagree? Let us know in the comments section and be sure to check back in tomorrow, when the full second trailer for RoboCop is slated to drop online.
RoboCop opens in U.S. theaters on February 12th, 2014.