TRAILER REVIEW: ‘Robocop’ 2014
Due for a USA release date of February 4th 2014 this ‘Robocop’ reboot sets out to stand on its own merits against the nostalgic and cult success that was the original franchise.
From the outset the trailer sets out to show the level of special effects that will be on show in the final movie. The opening shots of the flying drone and the destruction being rained down on the city setup the dystopian nature of the future without relying on a voice over to set the scene.
There’s a similar ambience to the recent ‘Dredd’ movie which has shown a level of cult success that this film will clearly want to match.
We’re introduced to lead character Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) before we’ve even reached the 20 second mark and we use establishing shots of him helping a fallen colleague to show the compassion of the character.
What follows is a quick montage of shots which setup both Michael Keaton and Gary Oldman’s characters (nice to see Batman and Gordon together again… sort of…) and also gives us a brief look at Samuel L Jackson as Pat Novak introducing us to the technology that will eventually become Robocop.
It’s instantly obvious that this film will have a level of gloss to it that the budget of the original franchise could never reach but within that there is a danger that this film could come off as too slick. Part of the charm of the older movies was that they had a level of gore to them that was cheap to produce but effective to the audience. In an era where we’re now handed massive amounts of SFX movies filled with gore and violence that this reboot could become generic.
There’s a slight change to the mythos in seeing Murphy blown up by his car exploding outside his house but it feels organic to the footage we’re seeing in the trailer. Fanboys will be outraged for now but I’ll hold of on passing judgement until the film comes out.
After the MGM logo we jump in to some of the transformation footage as Murphy is brought back from the brink of death to become the titular character. Again the music is eerily reminiscent of ‘Dredd’ but nobody can fault the team working on the trailer for trying to engage a similar audience.
Some major criticism was heaped on this movie after set photos began to leak which showed the Robocop suit to be black rather than the original silver look from previous iterations. The trailer takes great care in showing us that upon first becoming Robocop the suit will be the original silver but with a slightly less bulky 80s look allowed by the use of CGI.
In a very ‘Batman Begins’ moment Michael Keaton quickly says ‘let’s go with black’ and with that we are introduced to the new and improve 2013 Robocop.
A further montage of shots featuring both costumes show off all the character aspects of Robocop that we have come ti know over the years including the gun in his leg, the visor etc… before bringing us to a point where we learn that Murphy is overriding his programming and bringing back his free will.
Aside from showing us that the franchise has been well and truly overhauled for a modern audience we don’t learn a lot about the potential story the film will feature outside of the Robocop origin.
The visuals and the music in the trailer work together well to make sure that the trailer packs the kind of punch that will bring fans of the franchise to theatres for the full movie but I’m not sure that it’s going to be enough to capture the casual viewer.
There’s clearly a strong origin in play in this movie but we need to see more character moments before ‘Robocop’ become more than an average reboot.