It’s hard to imagine how Our RoboCop Remake would play for someone who doesn’t only love the original Robocop, but has seen it quite a few times. A lot of the humor in Remake is broad, but enough of the choices are subtle and incisive (while sometimes still maintaining a wink), one has to be familiar with the source material.
The Remake project is the work of approximately fifty filmmakers who each took a different scene of Robocop and adapted it. Some are more straightforward than others; some use the beginning of the scene as a starting point for comedic interpretation, some just adapt through absurdist humor. Robocop has a lot of great lines–pretty much every actor taking over for Kurtwood Smith and Miguel Ferrer does an amazing job–and a lot of violence to comment on. The scene where Robocop stops a rape in progress becomes frantic ultra-violence in a way Paul Verhoeven never got to show.
And Remake is definitely better towards the beginning; later, once Robocop appears, the filmmakers tend to go for the inherent humor having a guy in a bad costume allows. There are exceptions–the last few scenes (before the finish) are fantastic, with a couple musical numbers and a great action figure-based one.
But the early scenes, with puppets, babies playing adults, interpretive dance… those are fantastic.
There are some good animated sequences too.
Remake is, overall, uneven. But it’s still a great time. Though probably mostly for Robocop aficionados.
Directed by Kelsy Abbott, Eric Appel, James Atkinson, Paul Bartunek, Todd Bishop, David Codeglia, Casey Donahue, Fatal Farm, Kate Freund, Matthew Freund, Hank Friedmann, Clint Gage, Ariel Gardner, Paul Isakson, Tom Kauffman, Alex Kavutskiy, Jim Klimek, Jason Makiaris, Timothy Marklevitz, Michael McCafferty, Wendy McColm, Aaron Moles, Nick Mundy, Dan Murrell, John Olsen, Ben Pluimer, Wade Randolph, Kyle Reiter, Ryan Ridley, Dan Riesser, J.D. Ryznar, Joshua Sasson, David Seger, Duncan Skiles, Tyler Spiers, Spencer Strauss, Erni Walker, Jon Watts, Brian Wysol, Scott Yacyshyn, Zach Zdziebko and Mike Manasewitsch; screenplay by Appel, Atkinson, Codeglia, Isakson, Kauffman, McCafferty, Olsen, Ridley, Seger, Spiers, Strauss and Michael Ryan Truly, based on the film written by Edward Neumeier and Michael Miner; directors of photography, Codeglia, Nate Cornett, Matthew Freund, Brian King and Zdziebko; edited by Appel, Codeglia, Robin Comisar, Friedmann, Makiaris, Manasewitsch, McColm, Murrell, Reiter, Ryznar, Sasson, Seger, Watts and Yacyshyn; music by Andrew Kaiser and Zdziebko; production designers, Josh Simpson and Kristi Uribes; produced by Seger, Brian Dillingham, Ricky Lloyd George, Brent Lydic, Philip Marlatt, Karolyn McKenzie, Andrew Meredith, Eddie Ryan and Spiers.