So we always knew that Jose Padilha’s Robocop was going to be different, but with the director’s great action credentials and a cast that would make a Chris Nolan production jealous, you’d be hard pressed to not be feeling some form of excitement for the remake. I mean, Gary Oldman!
But now it looks like HitFix’s Drew McWeeney is not just going to burst your bubble, but also stomp it in its little bubble-nuts. He managed to get his hands on a copy of the script, and it sounds…. well, you may need to sit down before you read this one.
Now Drew doesn’t give a scene by scene accounting of the script, but he does reveal some of the more, shall we say, memorable scenes, so SPOILER WARNINGS are in effect from here on out.
DEAD OR ALIVE, YOU’RE SPOILING WITH ME!
EXCUSE ME, I HAVE TO GO. SOMEWHERE THERE IS A SPOILER HAPPENING
SPOIL THE PUBLIC TRUST, PROTECT THE SPOILERS, UPHOLD THE SPOILERS
Drew’s comments came via his Twitter feed, where he was posting his thoughts of various scenes as he read through them. Here’s his unedited comments, which do not paint a pretty picture:
I tried to read the “Robocop” remake, but 20 pages in my nose started bleeding and I forgot my name. #nobueno #reallynobueno
I will try this again once my blood pressure’s gone down. But, seriously, folks, “Robocop” was already perfect.
I’ll share this one detail. In the film, when Murphy is turned into Robocop 1.0, it’s described “a high-tech version of the ’80s suit.”
Then they show a focus group scene where criminals laugh at the design. “He looks like a toy from the ’80s!”
So they redesign him to look “meaner” as Robocop 2.0, who passes focus group approval.
So they not only make sure to include the original design, they also point out it’s dated and stupid. *facepalm*
Hold onto your sides for more hilarious “Robocop” details. They outsource his construction to China. #seriously
And we meet the ED-209s in the field in Iran, where they’re used to subdue suicide bombers. #ineedallthedrinksnow
Short version: this script makes my stomach hurt very, very badly.
Ahhh… now they just dropped Robocop 3.0 onto an Al Queda training camp to see what he does.
“He should be programmed to incapacitate in all scenarios.” “Agreed. Let’s keep him PG-13, Dr. Norton.” No. No. No. No.
By page 54, they are already onto Robocop 4.0, who looks like a “cop on steroids painted metallic blue.”
Oh, god… oh dear god… Robocop is a Transformer. He goes from “social mode” to “combat mode” and back. Full transformation.
I’m going to go stand in my backyard and scream at the moon for a while. My brain needs a shower.
Write it down. Page 55, the “Robocop” remake beat me. I’m done. I can’t hurt more than this.
Okay… the two “best” lines in the script. First up is at the unveiling ceremony for Robocop in Detroit, from a TV reporter covering it.
“I think it’s safe to say that Alex Murphy is now part man, part machine, ALL COP!” Yes, I too remember the original poster, asshat.
Second, after the traumatic first meeting with his father, Alex’s son retreats to the apartment of Lewis, Murphy’s male partner.
The scene ends with the action line “David sits, catatonic, looks at the TV — MGM REMAKE TBD.”
I feel like one of those little potato people staring directly into The Dark Crystal. And, yet, pages keep turning…
Good god… it just keeps topping itself. It’s like someone wrote a script scientifically fine-tuned to destroy me.
Someone shows Pope, head of the OCP project, some mock-ups for Robocop action figures. “Are you kidding? I wouldn’t buy that for a dollar!”
When this thing hits theaters, people are going to call up Len Wiseman’s “Total Recall” on the phone and apologize for being so mean.
I’ll say this: once the script stops all the winky-winky crap and just starts telling a story, it’s not terrible. But it’s way too late.
If you can get past Robocop The Transformer, there are some interesting action beats. And I’m sure Padilla will direct the hell out of it.
But overall? Ouch. Ouch. Ohpleasedon’t. Ouch. And a big side order of ouch.
Pro-tip: When people are already accusing your film of being unnecessary, it’s never a good idea to literally point at laugh at the original in your remake.
Now I know that we’re reading his comments out of context here and that tone is not being conveyed well, but Drew (or as some may better know him, Moriarty from AICN) has certainly been around a while, this is not the first script he’s got his hands on. Yet, he went out of his way to document his response to reading this script. That means something.
And while some of the things he mentions (like Robocop’s production being outsourced to China) doesn’t bother me that much, there are some real stinkers up there. Robocop transformer? No. A thousand times, no. The original film may have had a real satirical bent to it, but it never became ludicrous. It addressed serious issues in a tongue in cheek way. It feels like this came from some very different cheeks.
From what I can read here, at best this script is actually just a very light hearted quasi-slapstick movie, in which case it could not have been more blind to the point of Robocop, at worst it really is as crap as it sounds. Either way, my excitement just got dumped in a vat of acid.
Last Updated: August 14, 2012