"Why is America so robophobic?"
You're gonna cringe within the first few seconds of this new Robocop trailer, which proves at the very least that there are some lines that even Samuel L. Jackson can't sell. In the near future, America is producing peacekeeping robots that are protecting people all over the world… except in their home country. And in a nation dependent on Siri and Roombas, the only way to achieve robot acceptance is, of course, to kill a cop and put him inside a robo-suit and make him into a machine. Michael Keaton really does come up with the best ideas.
The fact that our hero Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman, of The Killing and Safe House) is killed by a car bomb and not in the line of duty is a major twist on the original Robocop, but not necessarily a worthy one. Sure, after the original film we all know that OmniCorp, the giant corporation that creates Robocop, is evil, so having them straight-up kill Murphy isn't a surprise. But it also makes the villains that much more transparent, and even when you've got the head of OmniCorp played by the infinitely likable Michael Keaton, it's less fun to have a room full of mustache-twirling bad guys as your foes.
From there the trailer goes on to look like any other futuristic action movie, with shades of Dredd and In Time and dozens of other mid-budget programmers meant to keep us entertained before blockbuster season starts in earnest. The new Robocop comes to theaters February 12, a release window that has brought us the likes of A Good Day To Die Hard and Unknown in the recent past. So even if you're not immediately remake-phobic (better that than robo-phobic, am I right SLJ?) the release date could give you pause. Or you can just look to the rumors of director Jose Padilha's unhappiness on set for a reason to brush it off. Or even last year's thoroughly unnecessary Total Recall remake. I prefer to give movies a shot until I actually see them, but there's really not much working in Robocop's favor.
Feel free to jump in the comments and call me a Robophobe, and we'll see who's right when this latest spin through the 80s nostalgia cycle arrives on February 12.