Sunday Matinee: Robocop

RobocopThere’s another crappy remake at the box office. This remake is of the classic 1987 action movie RoboCop. It’s the second Paul Verhoeven remake made in the last couple years and while this remake hasn’t been as lambasted as Total Recall was it hasn’t exactly made a huge impression on anyone. And that is the problem with all these remakes. They’re not groundbreaking, they’re just going over material that everyone is already familiar with and recycling it for a quick buck.

I would like to think that most people have seen the original RoboCop but if you haven’t it was an over the top violent extravaganza. Set in the near future where Detroit has become a breeding ground of violence and crime. The police are overworked and an evil corporation, OCP, has plans to build a new city over top of the remains of Old Detroit. But first they need to get crime under control.

When the Senior President Dick Jones (Ronny Cox) introduces a new robot, the Ed-209, as a solution it quickly malfunctions killing an OCP employee. An executive (Miguel Ferrer) jumps in an introduces RoboCop, a cyborg that can do a better job than the ED-209. The poor victim that is selected to be the first RoboCop is Officer Alex Murphy (Peter Weller) who is brutually and I mean brutually killed in the line of duty. Things get nasty when the main crime gang is discovered to have ties Dick Jones. In fact Jones hates RoboCop, it’s screwing up his plans and wants him destroyed.

Paul Verhoeven directed the movie and it was his first Hollywood film. He had previous directed a ton of films in his native Netherlands and an English language film before getting the job. From here Verhoeven would make the equally violent Total Recall, Starship Troopers, Basic Instinct and the trashly bad Showgirls. But his masterpiece is still RoboCop. RoboCop is an entertainingly subversive movie. The violence and gore is so over the top that it’s hilarious and the film has an satirical look at pop culture (the most popular TV show is a really lame comedy). The film produced two bad sequels, a comic book line or two and a bad TV series. The influence of what was an original film in 1987 is still being felt today as the remake hits the screens and tries desperately to start a new franchise, with toys and comics for the kiddies. Well maybe not the comics but still Sony is desperate to make a buck.

A MESSAGE TO OUR READERS The coronavirus pandemic is a moment of reckoning for our community. We’re all hurting. It’s no different at Prairie Dog, where COVID-19 has wiped out advertisements for events, businesses and restaurants as Regina and Saskatchewan hunker down in quarantine. As an ad-supported newspaper already struggling in a destabilized media landscape, this is devastating. We’re hoping you, our loyal readers, can help fill in the gap so Prairie Dog can not only continue to exist but even expand our coverage — both in print and online. Please consider donating, either one-time or, even better, on a monthly basis.

We believe Prairie Dog‘s unique voice is needed, now more than ever. For 27 years, this newspaper has been a critical part of Regina’s social, cultural and democratic infrastructure. Don’t let us fade away. There’s only one Prairie Dog. If it’s destroyed, it’s never coming back.

Author: Shane Hnetka

Shane Hnetka spends most of his life watching movies and reading comic books, using his vast knowledge of genre culture for evil instead of good.