Video: Who’s up for seeing “Robocop” rebooted as a drone allegory?

posted at 8:01 pm on September 6, 2013 by Allahpundit

To cleanse the palate, via Hit & Run, the story of a man transformed by misfortune into a ruthless, emotionless law-enforcer charged with brutally neutralizing a landscape of violent degenerates. Greatest parable about Obama’s foreign policy evah.

No, this is, per the director, actually an allegory about mechanized warfare replete with an opening scene about an invasion of Iran. Which sounds … interesting, but makes me think how much less enjoyable Romero’s zombie movies got as his moralizing became more heavy-handed. “Night of the Living Dead” touched on race relations but was an otherwise straightforward (and phenomenal) scare flick. “Dawn of the Dead” laid it on slightly thicker vis-a-vis consumerism but otherwise stayed focused on comic-book grossouts. Things started to bog down with “Day of the Dead,” which is sort of “Lord of the Flies” with zombies plus a crazed military guy who’s naturally drunk on power and violence, and finally “Land of the Dead” ended up being a snooze about the haves and have-nots. Seems like there’s less risk of that here — even for a reboot, it looks a lot like the original — but when the director says that Samuel L. Jackson’s character is “this kind of like hardcore conservative media guy,” you know the eyeroll quotient is bound to tick upward. Hopefully not much, but it’s a fait accompli.

Anyhow. Is Robocop really the best figure to illustrate the evils of drones? The director notes that what makes RC compelling is that he’s not a typical superhero. Everyone wants to be Spider-Man; no one wants to be Robocop. Which is true, but ignores the fact that Robocop is not only a tremendously sympathetic character but also the only authority figure you trust by the end of the movie. The fully mechanized drone, the ED-209, is monstrous, but so are the sinister OCP execs who manipulate RC and of course so are the various rapists and gangsters Robocop has to take on out in dystopian Detroit. The city really is dangerous; the people really do need something extraordinary out there to help them. Only RC ends up being trustworthy because he combines elements of human judgment with an implacable, technologically precise adherence to law. That ain’t how the U.S. drone program works, needless to say, but if this movie popularizes the idea that the remotely piloted Predators zapping jihadis in Pakistan are our own version of Robocop, Obama can live with that.


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Wow. They made a more dystopian version of Detroit?

They must have some sick minds working on it to pull that off.

Snowblind on September 6, 2013 at 8:08 PM

I will stick with the ultra violent original over this wussified PG 13 version.

Jack_Burton on September 6, 2013 at 8:09 PM

AP – I think you got it wrong.

The director has been on the receiving end from the movie progs because he’s showing how drones desensitized man from violence.

The first time he made the analogy was right after Paul’s filibuster, and he became a despised made with a derided movie very quick.

budfox on September 6, 2013 at 8:10 PM

Detroit saw the first Robocop as a business plan…

JohnGalt23 on September 6, 2013 at 8:11 PM

Allegory is such a tripe writing device that only a few can pull off. It works better with abstract ideas such as when Hawthorne uses it in his stories. Regardless, the line, “I’ll buy that for a dollar” better be in this re-make.

OliverB on September 6, 2013 at 8:14 PM

Samuel Jackson? Meh…I don’t patronize socialist retards and their hijinxs. Besides, all you have to do is shoot robo cop in the mouth, problem solved.

BL@KBIRD on September 6, 2013 at 8:15 PM

Greatest parable about Obama’s foreign policy evah.
==========================================

Hopey’s Cat 0 Strophic Failed Foreign Policy,

lol,veddy nice,AllahP:)

canopfor on September 6, 2013 at 8:19 PM

There’s another analogy of Fahrenheit 451 where the robotic dog gets sent out by the Regime to “handle” (exterminate) government problems, the TV is the opiate of the ignorant masses, the Fire Department burns the banned books and so forth.

Ray Bradbury saw how Stalin continued Lenin’s police state on freedom and Bradbury likely could see how the current regime of O’Barky the Entitled had similar designs.

viking01 on September 6, 2013 at 8:20 PM

The statue of the old one is nearing completion.

Flange on September 6, 2013 at 8:21 PM

… but when the director says that Samuel L. Jackson’s character is “this kind of like hardcore conservative media guy,” you know the eyeroll quotient is bound to tick upward.

Heh.

What, the communist Danny Glover wasn’t available?

ShainS on September 6, 2013 at 8:21 PM

I thought Detroit used Eraserhead as their business plan and the Dimocrats and O’Barky have chosen Blue Velvet as their platform.

viking01 on September 6, 2013 at 8:21 PM

That ain’t how the U.S. drone program works, needless to say, but if this movie popularizes the idea that the remotely piloted Predators zapping jihadis in Pakistan are our own version of Robocop
===========================================================

Reuters Top News ‏@Reuters 20h

Suspected U.S. drone strike kills 7 militants in Pakistan http://reut.rs/1abirWR
Expand
=======

https://twitter.com/Reuters

canopfor on September 6, 2013 at 8:23 PM

Look at the bright side! I’m sure the credits can now say “filmed on location in Detroit” and probably came in under budget since they didn’t have to recreate the hell hole that exists there because its reality.

Flashwing on September 6, 2013 at 8:25 PM

Thing is, the actual Detroit is more dangerous than anything depicted in Robo Cop.

Bishop on September 6, 2013 at 8:26 PM

Detroit saw the first Robocop as a business plan…

JohnGalt23 on September 6, 2013 at 8:11 PM

A catch phrase from the original was “I’d buy that for a dollar.” Which is now more than most people would pay for a home in Detroit.

Flange on September 6, 2013 at 8:30 PM

All you need to see!!!

patman77 on September 6, 2013 at 8:30 PM

Dammitt!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SyisUAbooA4

patman77 on September 6, 2013 at 8:31 PM

A closer analogue would be Blue Thunder. It flies, it’s heavily armed, can see through walls, is nominally under human control (but that’s questionable), and is used by secretive and paranoid government officials in a milieu’ where “incidents” have to be created to justify their actions.

And oh yes, it’s nose-heavier than the Ayatollah and handles like a tub of sh!t, making it a natural-born menace to navigation.

(True, BTW. The base Gazelle helo was underpowered to begin with, and all the fancy “armored” geegaws they hung on the two BT choppers didn’t help any.)

cheers

eon

eon on September 6, 2013 at 8:33 PM

…we need more drones …in Detroit!

KOOLAID2 on September 6, 2013 at 8:34 PM

The original is a cult classic. The fact that this one is rated PG13 makes me wonder….

jawkneemusic on September 6, 2013 at 8:37 PM

…we need more drones …in Detroit!

KOOLAID2 on September 6, 2013 at 8:34 PM

Perhaps we can transfer the excess drones we have in the D.C. Executive, Legislative, and Congressional branches …

;-)

ShainS on September 6, 2013 at 8:39 PM

I am.

rob verdi on September 6, 2013 at 8:40 PM

The original still rocks, I let my youngest boy watch it and he was glued to the set. I was a bit concerned about the scene where Robo gets his various body parts blown off before being almost executed, but other than that, we had a great time watching it.

Bishop on September 6, 2013 at 8:43 PM

Bishop on September 6, 2013 at 8:43 PM

The unveiling of the statue in Detroit is slated for next summer. A good chance for some family bonding and to see the ruins.

Flange on September 6, 2013 at 8:50 PM

Although this remake has the star power, hopefully it’ll be forgotten like all the other remakes that cast dull leads. Peter Weller was an inspired choice for the original.

And this one, seems to have taken out a lot of the more tragic and interesting element of the original. Never thought I’d say they’re making a spoon fed version of Robocop.

Dongemaharu on September 6, 2013 at 8:54 PM

The original still rocks, I let my youngest boy watch it and he was glued to the set. I was a bit concerned about the scene where Robo gets his various body parts blown off before being almost executed, but other than that, we had a great time watching it.

Bishop on September 6, 2013 at 8:43 PM

They’re so cute when they’re 4, aren’t they?

John Deaux on September 6, 2013 at 9:00 PM

Reefer Madness.

viking01 on September 6, 2013 at 9:09 PM

You know, AP, I didn’t get any of that from watching the trailer.
Though I never really liked Robocop in the first place. Too much crass lampooning, gore, and anti-corporate propaganda.
This reboot looks much more serious.

Count to 10 on September 6, 2013 at 9:19 PM

And this one, seems to have taken out a lot of the more tragic and interesting element of the original. Never thought I’d say they’re making a spoon fed version of Robocop.

Dongemaharu on September 6, 2013 at 8:54 PM

“Tragic”? The original Robocop was basically a violent comedy with dark elements thrown in more or less at random.

Count to 10 on September 6, 2013 at 9:21 PM

I think you might have missed an important aspect of this plot–or at least it is if I glean it right from the plot. It looks like it is a tale of lost humanity regained. It appears that the Robocop program fools Murphy into thinking he had human free will but is really controlled by the program but eventually wrests control from the program to regain his own, true free will.

Warner Todd Huston on September 6, 2013 at 9:34 PM

I guess the lead actor will be making a “Demand A Plan” video against the 2nd Amendment any day now.

ThePrez on September 6, 2013 at 9:35 PM

We love technology, give us more please. Thinking is hard, better left to our betters….

/s

Hog Wild on September 6, 2013 at 10:00 PM

The original still rocks, I let my youngest boy watch it and he was glued to the set. I was a bit concerned about the scene where Robo gets his various body parts blown off before being almost executed, but other than that, we had a great time watching it.

Bishop on September 6, 2013 at 8:43 PM

You sat with your child. When I was working in a video store 100 years ago, a woman came up to me and asked if this was appropriate for her son’s slumber party. How old are the kids, I ask. Around 8. She also had “The Terminator” in her hand. Told her that it was quite violent and so was the Arnie flick. She paused, shrugged and said that she’d take them.

Too lazy to look around, didn’t ask for recommendations and I highly doubt anyone sat with the boys. More like the electronic babysitter.

That one scene you mention disturbs me even to this day and I’m almost 50. Can’t imagine what a bunch of 8-year-olds would think.

kim roy on September 6, 2013 at 10:03 PM

I think you might have missed an important aspect of this plot–or at least it is if I glean it right from the plot. It looks like it is a tale of lost humanity regained. It appears that the Robocop program fools Murphy into thinking he had human free will but is really controlled by the program but eventually wrests control from the program to regain his own, true free will.

Warner Todd Huston on September 6, 2013 at 9:34 PM

Good point. IIRC he regains his memories and becomes Murphy again and with his own morality and decision-making abilities instead of the corporation’s morality and decisions built in.

kim roy on September 6, 2013 at 10:05 PM

I fast forwarded through that scene, it’s just too brutal, yes there was subversive satirical elements, of course, it became more absurd,
although the 2000 Miniseries wasn’t too bad,

narciso on September 6, 2013 at 10:06 PM

“Tragic”? The original Robocop was basically a violent comedy with dark elements thrown in more or less at random.
Count to 10 on September 6, 2013 at 9:21 PM

Yes tragic. In the original he can’t remember hardly anything. We know almost nothing about his family. He’s masked most of the time and when he finally takes off the mask, it’s disturbing. So yes, considerably more tragic than this crap of a trailer.

Dongemaharu on September 6, 2013 at 10:40 PM

Also, you DO know that the original Robocop was meant as an anti-American, anti-Christian film, right? The director even said so… http://www.publiusforum.com/2010/04/27/robocop-director-robocop-was-an-american-jesus-because-he-kills-people/

Warner Todd Huston on September 6, 2013 at 10:55 PM

Scene from the bowels of the “What else from the past 20 years can we pillage, repackage or reboot” room at a major movie studio:

“Dudes in armor suits are big now. Iron Man is HOT. How can we cash in on that?”
“We could… remake Robocop? That’s very similar. In a way.”
“Talk to me.”
“Uh, well we reframe it with a sort of modern warfare angle. Oh! Plus with Detroit actually in the sh*tter, the setting still works. We could even shoot it there and not have to pay a production designer.”
“I like this, but what about the cop? We don’t want typical. We want fresh. Marketable. Urban. But not too urban, if you know what I mean.”
“There’s this white actor on that show The Killing who’s sort of like white Snoop Dog cop.”
“I’m so picturing this.”

somewhatconcerned on September 6, 2013 at 11:24 PM

Ok, I’m just going to paste this comment from RedLetterMedia because it’s perfect.

diehounderdoggen • 39 minutes ago −
’80s Robocop: Man dies, is transformed into a machine and struggles to both inflict justice on the men who murdered him and regain some small vestige of his humanity.

2014 Robocop: Man is grievously injured, gets put in a suit and is still definitely human. He fights with his wife and stuff as he fights the machine.

One is a perfect example of elevating material, using the schlock idea of a robot cop to touch on ideas of what it means to be human and rebuilding ones’ personal identity. The other is probably going to be forgotten within a year.

Dongemaharu on September 7, 2013 at 12:02 AM

I won’t buy that for a dollar.

Oil Can on September 7, 2013 at 12:27 AM

I’ll just re-watch Max Headroom, thanks.

It has this eerie quality about it that has me thinking that its future is nearly here.

ajacksonian on September 7, 2013 at 6:33 AM

Warner Todd Huston on September 6, 2013 at 10:55 PM

Paul Verhoeven is a hack among hacks. The really funny thing is that he made two fairly good movies (Robocop and Starship Troopers) completely by accident, and then became incensed when they proved to be popular “for all the wrong reasons” in his totally ass-backwards worldview.

Cylor on September 7, 2013 at 1:05 PM

Yes tragic. In the original he can’t remember hardly anything. We know almost nothing about his family. He’s masked most of the time and when he finally takes off the mask, it’s disturbing. So yes, considerably more tragic than this crap of a trailer.

Dongemaharu on September 6, 2013 at 10:40 PM

That’s a couple of minutes of throw-away in a cludgy film that spends much more time on over-the-top, shock-value violence and communist propaganda. “Tragedy” a side-show, not the core of the film.
This trailer looks much more polished, and at least holds the possibility of something more interesting philosophically (though chances are it will be the same communist propaganda).

Count to 10 on September 8, 2013 at 9:55 AM

One is a perfect example of elevating material, using the schlock idea of a robot cop to touch on ideas of what it means to be human and rebuilding ones’ personal identity. The other is probably going to be forgotten within a year.

Dongemaharu on September 7, 2013 at 12:02 AM

Are you kidding? The only reason anybody remembers Robocop is because of the design of the cyborg/suit itself (and maybe some of the ridiculous fake future commercials). The plot and “pathos” (such as it is) of the movie were irrelevant, and generally ignored by most people.

Count to 10 on September 8, 2013 at 9:59 AM