Comic-Con 2013: ‘RoboCop’ Isn’t Shy With The Social Commentary

Senior Contributor
07.20.13 13 Comments

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Let’s see here: Samuel L. Jackson as a Bill O’Reilly-type news pundit? United States “law enforcement” drones? Carefully controlled military coverage? Yep, this is a RoboCop movie all right. A minor spoiler or two under the jump.

It’s easy to forget, but the original movie was actually one of Paul Verhoeven’s most smart-assed films. Verhoeven fried everything from crappy TV shows and idiotic advertising to the military industrial complex. And apparently, studio executives realized that makes for a better movie.

The Comic-Con panel opens with footage revealing two things: One, that the United States is perfectly happy to put heavily armed robots in other countries to “protect and serve”, and two, these robots don’t work really well. RoboCop, in this movie, is a propaganda device in order to convince Americans that they should be letting robots walk the streets, demanding their IDs, and occasionally going on a killing spree.

That’s why, among other things, RoboCop apparently gets to keep the arm in this movie; it’s so he has a “human” handshake, and for no other purpose. In fact, the human inside RoboCop is, at first, just along for the ride. Needless to say, that won’t be the status quo for long.

We’re torn here, because, if it’s handled properly and satirically enough, this could be a movie that spins the concept into its own thing. On the other hand, they’re also putting it out in February, so we’ll see what happens.

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