The modern remake or reboot: typically, it’s a film with rather low expectations attached. Most (but not all) modern remakes are of the clunker variety—lifting the basic plot points of the original, but often with little to no translation of the subtext, chemistry, or intelligence that made the original film so popular in the first place. And while no one seems to be expecting the upcoming RoboCop remake to be, say, high art, the film’s crackerjack casting (Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Jackie Earle Haley, Michael K. Williams, Abbie Cornish, Samuel L. Jackson and Hugh Laurie) was enough to give fans hope that this remake would be a little sharper than most.
Well, that hopeful bubble just burst, according to /Film, which picked up on the Twitter rant of a film journalist who got his hands on the RoboCop remake script.
Former Ain’t It Cool News and current HitFix writer Drew McWeeny managed to get come across a copy of the script for the film and, according to him, it’s terrible trainwreck of puns and cheesy references/insults to the 1980s original film. He also notes that the remake complete skips over the social commentary subtext that helped make RoboCop the ‘80s classic that it is. Check out McWeeny’s Twitter rant below as he attempts to make his way through the script:
I tried to read the “Robocop” remake, but 20 pages in my nose started bleeding and I forgot my name. #nobueno #reallynobueno
I’ll share this one detail. In the film, when Murphy is turned into Robocop 1.0, it’s described “a high-tech version of the ’80s suit.” Then they show a focus group scene where criminals laugh at the design. “He looks like a toy from the ’80s!” So they redesign him to look “meaner” as Robocop 2.0, who passes focus group approval. So they not only make sure to include the original design, they also point out it’s dated and stupid. *facepalm*
Hold onto your sides for more hilarious “Robocop” details. They outsource his construction to China. #seriously
And we meet the ED-209s in the field in Iran, where they’re used to subdue suicide bombers. #ineedallthedrinksnow
Short version: this script makes my stomach hurt very, very badly.
Ahhh… now they just dropped Robocop 3.0 onto an Al Queda training camp to see what he does.
“He should be programmed to incapacitate in all scenarios.” “Agreed. Let’s keep him PG-13, Dr. Norton.” No. No. No. No.
By page 54, they are already onto Robocop 4.0, who looks like a “cop on steroids painted metallic blue.”
Oh, god… oh dear god… Robocop is a Transformer. He goes from “social mode” to “combat mode” and back. Full transformation.
I’m going to go stand in my backyard and scream at the moon for a while. My brain needs a shower.
Write it down. Page 55, the “Robocop” remake beat me. I’m done. I can’t hurt more than this.
Okay… the two “best” lines in the script. First up is at the unveiling ceremony for Robocop in Detroit, from a TV reporter covering it. “I think it’s safe to say that Alex Murphy is now part man, part machine, ALL COP!” Yes, I too remember the original poster, asshat. Second, after the traumatic first meeting with his father, Alex’s son retreats to the apartment of Lewis, Murphy’s male partner. The scene ends with the action line “David sits, catatonic, looks at the TV — MGM REMAKE TBD.”
Good god… it just keeps topping itself. It’s like someone wrote a script scientifically fine-tuned to destroy me. Someone shows Pope, head of the OCP project, some mock-ups for Robocop action figures. “Are you kidding? I wouldn’t buy that for a dollar!” Yeah, that just happened. NOT SO FUNNY NOW, IS IT?!
When this thing hits theaters, people are going to call up Len Wiseman’s “Total Recall” on the phone and apologize for being so mean. “I’m sorry, ‘Total Recall.’ I had no idea how bad things could get. You’re starting to look like a masterpiece right about now.”
I’ll say this: once the script stops all the winky-winky crap and just starts telling a story, it’s not terrible. But it’s way too late. If you can get past Robocop The Transformer, there are some interesting action beats. And I’m sure Padilla will direct the hell out of it. But overall? Ouch. Ouch. Ohpleasedon’t. Ouch. And a big side order of ouch.
While no one was expecting a miracle with this reboot of the RoboCop franchise, the sharp casting had at least given us hope that the remake would be grounded in “not suck” territory. Too bad.
RoboCop is set for an August 2013 release.
What do you think of the RoboCop news? Surprised?