The beginning of the year can be a bit of a quiet time for the box office as most studios wait until summer before bringing out the big guns, and it's into this mellow release period that José Padhila's remake of RoboCop is sailing next month, with Joel Kinnaman starring as the eponymous cop-turned-cyborg.
Fans of the original film have been eyeing this new version warily, having been recently burned by flashy-but-hollow modern re-visitations of sci-fi classics like Total Recall and TRON: Legacy. Despite such understandable reservations, however, there's been enough interesting material in the RoboCop trailers to warrant giving it a chance, especially since there's not much competition for it around next month.
For starters, the cast also includes Samuel L. Jackson as a charismatic TV host and mechanized crime control advocate, Michael Keaton as an unscrupulous CEO and Gary Oldman as the brilliant scientist in charge of Alex Murphy's transformation. RoboCop also looks like it will have some strong political and philosophical messages underpinning the action, in particular the matter of Alex only having the illusion of free will as he fights crime.
Check out the three new TV spots for RoboCop (that includes the one above and an extended international TV promo):
It's a shame that these TV spots (and the full length trailers) seem to give away so much of RoboCop's plot, because it makes the whole thing look rather formulaic. It's possible that the marketing team is being deliberately misleading and the film will take some unexpected turns, but it's rather dispiriting to see the entire plot laid out in less than a minute. The extended spot in particular feels more like a "previously on" TV show recap than a trailer for an upcoming movie.
Nonetheless, RoboCop at least looks exciting enough to be a worthwhile popcorn flick and might even have some depth to it as well. We'll keep our fingers crossed that this remake will turn out to be a worthy winter warmer.
RoboCop is out in theaters on February 12, 2014.
Source: Sony Pictures