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Over The Edge

Robocop: Old or New?

Robocop: Old or New?

By Nahid Taheri

As we’re being introduced to a future where unmanned robots are intelligent enough to be deployed for law enforcement abroad, on the American homeland they’re still illegal. The scheming private corporation that builds these robots then creates something that can woo the American citizens as well – man plus machine. They call it RoboCop.

Largely, the plot of the remake is quite like the earlier film, but the tweaks to the plot actually make more sense than the original. Also, the gritty, hand-held feel adopted this time round is more in sync with the kind of films we’re used to today. What really lets this film down is its screenplay. Predictable to the core, the film pretends to have twists and turns, but they are ones that can be spotted from a mile away. Like the original, it attempts to be a commentary on American capitalism and political hypocrisy as well. For example, it seems quite typical that American-built robots are being used outside the country for law enforcement, but aren’t used on American soil. These attempts come across as too blatant, instead of the pulpy satire that the original managed to pull off. There is also an attempt to highlight how, no matter what, a beating human heart trumps cold machine intelligence. This, however, is so half-baked that it comes across as looking juvenile. We grew up watching a lot of the films and television series that Hollywood studio executives have recently green-lit to remake. We all know, and I think for the most part have accepted, that studios will continuously remake horror films, but when it comes to cult classics like RoboCop that is when people start questioning things.

The old version was mixed action, science fiction, and dark comedy. The film also had so much to say about society that still rings true to this day. This new retelling does a decent job at telling a similar story while bringing it up to date for a modern day audience. The diehard fans of the original will surely find lots to complain about with this film.