Like many of director Paul Verhoeven’s films, the original RoboCop is an incredibly violent film. Going gung-ho after a restricted rating, the movie constantly goes way over the top with its blood and gore, from the torture, dismemberment and “death” of Peter Weller’s Alex Murphy to the comeuppance for villainy that comes in the action-packed third act. In addition to creating a strange, entertainment value to the feature, the violence served to help the audience understand why a future Detroit would employ RoboCop to patrol the streets.
By contrast, however, the new remake from Brazilian director José Padilha is rated PG-13, cutting down on the extremely graphic content that was so crucial to the first film. It was a controversial choice made by the filmmaker, but one that star Joel Kinnaman wholeheartedly defended when I had the chance to speak with him a couple weeks back at a RoboCop press event held in Los Angeles.
Stepping into Weller’s shoes, Kinnaman plays the new Alex Murphy in the remake, a hard-nosed, honest Detroit police officer who finds himself clinging to life after a local crime kingpin puts a bomb in his car and blows him halfway to hell. With no options left to pursue, his wife Clara (Abbie Cornish) gives the company OmniCorp permission to bring Alex back to life as RoboCop, a crime-stopping cyborg who could potentially help save the lives of hundreds if not thousands of cops. Of course, Alex’s adjustment to his new way of life is far from easy, as he not only has to adapt the changes he has undergone, but also deal with the sometimes painful memories of his human past.
In addition to discussing the new RoboCop’s PG-13 rating, we also talked about the most gripping emotional scene in the film – where Alex is forced to come face-to-face with the exact details of the prosthetic procedure – as well as the film’s balance of CGI and practical effects and the process of learning to move like a cyborg. You can watch our entire conversation in the video embed at the top of this article.
RoboCop is in theaters now and worth checking out, but until you get your chance to head to the local cinema enjoy a look back at some of the original’s most memorable R-rated moments.
In case you missed it, you can watch my interview with Gary Oldman HERE.