It’s safe to say a lot of lives were forever changed in 1987 with the release of ROBOCOP, led by Peter Weller in the titular role and directed by auteur Paul Verhoeven. The deliciously violent film was praised as a weirdly humorous work of outsider art rooted in deeper meaning. Seriously, can you imagine a major studio releasing this now? It’s nearly impossible to fit the movie into a box: it’s a sci-fi action picture, a horror movie, a satire, a philosophical drama about what it means to be human. It’s a hard R even by today’s standards, and yet it also targeted kids with video games and action figure tie-ins. This movie had a TOY LINE from Kenner! The 80s were a helluva time.
It took a while before the inevitable happened: a remake saw the light of day in 2014 from Brazilian director Jose Padilha, although at one time, Darren Aronofsky was supposed to take the helm — which would have been a trip. Packing a PG-13 rating, loaded with a kick-ass cast (including Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael K. Williams to name a few), and a sensibility that’s worlds away from the original, the remake sought to update the same basic story of a horrifically wounded cop who is turned into a machine with modern-day visual effects while keeping some of the cleverness and social commentary of its predecessor, to varying degrees of success. We know Robocop is able to make mincemeat out of just about any adversary, human or machine, but what happens when he’s squaring off against… himself? Only one way to find out: FACE OFF!
This episode of Face Off is written by Eric Walkuski, narrated by Dave Davis, and edited by Lance Vlcek. Check out previous episodes below! Let us know in the comments which Robocop you prefer – the original or its remake!