Why, Oh Why, Couldn't Aronofsky Write and Direct 'RoboCop'?
RoboCop appears to have failed to deliver, but is there still time for it to find favor?
José Padilha's remake of RoboCop has severely divided critics ahead of its release on Friday (February 7, 2014) and sits around the 50% fresh mark on reviews aggregating website Rotten Tomatoes. The remake of the cult 1987 action movie treads similar ground: the year is 2028, conglomerate OnmiCorp take advantage of a critically injured police officer to develop a part-man, part robot officer to stem the tide of crime and corruption in Detroit.
Joel Kinnaman as RoboCop
It's a great idea for a movie. The original movie was great, and there were high hopes that the inevitable remake could add something to the genre when Darren Aronofsky and David Self were assigned to write and direct in 2005. The movie was delayed numerous times and the acclaimed filmmaker moved onto other projects, handing Padilha (Elite Squad) the reins.
In the completed movie, The Killing's Joel Kinnaman plays RoboCop, with an all-star supporting cast including Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson and Abbie Cornish.
"This remake of the 1987 dystopian classic has a better cast, more meticulous script and, naturally, flashier effects, but it lacks the original's wit and subversive slipperiness," said the Hollywood Reporter.
RoboCop Has Divided Critics
"A futuristic action thriller with more heart and character interest than the 1987 original but not the excitement, surprise or powerful satiric edge," said the Daily Express.
"It's a less playful enterprise than the original, but meets the era's darker demands for action reboots with machine-tooled efficiency and a hint of soul," wrote Variety.
"Throughout, one character refers to the new RoboCop as 'Tin Man' and to the film's credit, it desperately wants to have a heart. Oh, if it only had a brain," said Empire magazine.
"If there had to be a RoboCop remake, it might as well have been this one," said the Playlist.
Check back on Friday when we'll have a full RoboCop review.