Robocop star: Obama is “Bush on steroids”
posted at 11:16 am on February 7, 2014 by Ed Morrissey
I was planning on avoiding the Robocop reboot, but I may end up changing my mind. I didn’t realize that Gary Oldman and Michael Keaton would be in supporting roles, both with serious Batman cred, although in two different incarnations. Keaton plays the head of OCP, while Oldman has a more critical role as the scientist behind the suit, who’s conflicted about his selling out to OCP, it seems.
Oldman talked with Ryan Lambe of Den of Geek about the film, and about its applicability to current events:
Do you feel the themes in the script chime with your own world view? Because it has quite a dystopian view of the present in the way it relates to current events.
Yeah. It’s as if we’ve… with the original, it was a kind of fantasy about a future, that as you watch it as a viewer, it’s sci-fi. This one, I think you watch it and it’s science fact – you watch it and it looks recognisable. I think the debate of security and safety versus liberty, and how, in the name of security, liberty has been encroached upon… drones is a big argument at the moment, and how they’re saying troops on the ground will be robotic troops at some point.
Freedom of choice. The cynicism of the media. He’s sort of touched on all of this. And in many ways, there’s also the question of the soul versus machine – is it morally and ethically right? Just because you can do it, should you do it? All those questions are important. It’s a political film wrapped up in a [sci-fi story].
I mean, if this was a political movie, but Paul Greengrass was doing it, it would hold up, wouldn’t it? So it’s got a lot going for it.
Do you think it holds up against the first one?
I think it dares to be its own thing. It does similar things to the original, because that looked at how the media represented real-world events, and the role of the police, corporations – as a corporate satire, it was really brilliant. The remake explores those themes in a different, modern way.
Yeah. I like the touch of the inside marketing. “Let’s make him look like a Transformer – the kids want him to look like a Transformer. What do you think? Shall we go for the silver suit or the black suit?” Even the candidates!
It’s a PR campaign, essentially, isn’t it? He’s a puppet.
Yeah, yeah. That idea of, “No, I’m going to give them a man inside a machine. That’s what the public wants.” And the more you find out, the more… I live in America at the moment, in California. But you look at American politics at the moment, and it’s one mess after another, one scandal after another. I mean, it’s falling around him. The empire is crumbling.
You mean it’s crumbling around Barack Obama?
Right, yeah. And you’ve got footage of him speaking in 2008 and 2009 talking about Bush, and how against the Executive Order he is, and how everything was going to be transparent, and now he’s doing the same thing but on steroids. It’s Bush on steroids.
I saw the movie – I’ve only seen this version of RoboCop once – but I thought, “My God, this is the world we’re living in.” I could turn on the regular TV and see this.
I may just make room on my scorecard for this, after all.