Before I went to bed last night, I caught the last half of RoboCop 2 on El Rey. It’s a film of lesser quality compared to the first film, but younger me always thought it was pretty good because it had violence and swearing and Tom Noonan being creepy (which is just Mister Noonan’s default setting).
As I age, as one does thanks to terminal living, I develop as does my brain power. The ability to compute and process complex thoughts and ideas is easier, faster (at times), and more nuanced. Nuanced in a way that RoboCop 2 isn’t.
RoboCop is a witty, dark satirical take on sensationalized media (and the burgeoning 24-hour news cycle of the time), glorification of and desensitization to excessive violence, and how the rich will fuck you in the ass anyway they can. Boy, that sounds oddly relevant. In the end, it really is about Robot Jesus saving Detroit by blowing up drug dealers. RoboCop 2 is all that but replace the satire and nuance with cynicism and excess.
Could the drop in quality can be attributed to a lack of Paul Verhoeven, the practical genius director, and Edward Neumeier, who wrote the first film? In their stead were Irvin Kershner, who directed Empire Strikes Back so he’s no second-rate director, and Frank Miller, noted comic artist/writer. How the hell did this get bungled?
Personally, I don’t think Miller really “got” what Verhoeven and Neumeier had done before. They made a film with a tight story that, sure, ends with enough open-endedness to say “sequel?” but maybe it didn’t. Not without Verhoeven or Neumeier involved. So maybe Miller is the weak link. This is a film that leans more into violence and grotesque characters than the first one. There’s also less corporate warfare and more street warfare. It’s a visually engaging film from the characters to the settings (RoboCop beats up a crooked cop in an arcade full of teens doping and listening to thumping thrash music), but less so to the new version of the RoboCop initiative laid out by OCP (which, I’m sure looked more impressive in comic than live action).
This film had a lot of talent involved, an interesting story, interesting characters, additional pathos to RoboCop’s humanity… it just clunked about until it fell down some stairs and squealed like a stuck pig until it got shot in the head.
So, as the film ended and I turned off the TV, I thought of how I would’ve made this film. What changes I’d make to it so it’s a better, improved film.
So I posit this question to the Avocado: What movie would you remake, why, and what would be different? Be as detailed as you need/want to be.