Now, before you get in a huff about me endorsing Hollywood remaking a sci-fi classic, read my previous post, where I talk about my stance on movie remakes. Basically, I'm open to the idea of remakes. A modern take on a film can reveal deeper themes in the movie's story. I can't count how many times I've re-watched films and come across concepts that the filmmakers, for whatever reason, simply didn't address. And there are some remakes that have been nothing less than Godsends to the original story. This remake of Robocop is a PERFECT example of this.
The original movie came out in 1987, at a point in time when society was worried about how new technologies were going to affect the world. Now, 26 years later, with news like government agencies tapping our email and phones, those themes are MORE relevant than ever! And given all the new technologies that have come about since the original was released, filmmakers can explore those themes more effectively because, frankly, we have a better idea of what technology does to our society. We're watching it happen!
How do we handle "justice" in the 21st century? How do we fight crime in a digital age? How do we support the men & women who are charged with fighting crime? And there are more subtle themes dealing with issues like a wounded person coming to grips with relying on prosthetic limbs to function, the changing definitions of family, what a family goes through when a member of that family has an unswerving dedication to duty. These are the questions and concepts that I saw hints of just in this trailer.
The next question is how do I know that the filmmakers are going to be addressing any of these themes in the film at all? Well for that, we go to the film makers themselves. The director of the film, Jose Padilha is most known for his documentary work. Just having that kind of sensibility behind the camera changes the mentality of the film. Then we look at some of the cast members: Joel Kinnaman, Abbie Cornish, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson, Jackie Earle Haley and Jay Baruchel. None of these actors are slouches. They deliver quality performances in their films and when they have the choice, they pick quality films in which to work.
In the first post in this series, I talked about how the talent behind and in front of the camera can attract me to a film. This is the kind of talent I was talking about. This is the kind of talent that can turn an aging sci-fi classic into a contemporary blockbuster with a solid well thought out story behind it. What do you think, my dear readers? Sound off in the comments below!