This weekend, being the day of romance, sees plenty of movies in theaters. But there’s no romance greater than that between a bullet and a robot, and RoboCop promises to be the best movie in theaters this week. Here’s a look at why.
Jose Padilha is The Best Action Director You Haven’t Heard Of Yet
The name Jose Padilha may sound familiar if you follow foreign filmmaking, but if not, a brief overview: He directed two of the highest grossing and most beloved action movies out of Brazil, the Elite Squad films, about the Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais, essentially the Rio De Janeiro version of SWAT teams. And they’re amazing movies in their own right, both action-packed and not shy to take on the fairly serious social problems Brazil’s cities struggle with. It’s part of the reason Padilha took home the Golden Bear for the first one.
Padilha is a smart, intelligent filmmaker not least because he’s able to look at an event from multiple perspectives: His first film, a documentary called Bus 174 is a fascinating breakdown of how a disastrous hijacking and hostage situation took place, looking at both the process of police forces and the pressure placed on the poorer classes in Brazil.
It’s About Something That’s Already Happening
The underlying plot of RoboCop is about allowing drones to enforce the law over human beings. Of course, we’re still years away from the robots depicted in the film… but we’re already facing some serious questions about using drones to enforce the law.
For example, the FBI has been using drones for nearly a decade. Most of the drone strikes you hear about overseas are not carried out by the military, but rather by the CIA. And more and more local law enforcement agencies are using robots and drones.
But none of these systems will be armed, right? Meet Jerry Baber, the man building a robot wielding two fully automatic shotguns, essentially an ED-209 with wheels.
Most of these robots operate without a warrant, and some of them even operate without human supervision. And it seems unlikely that robots won’t become more common in both military and law enforcement applications. So, while Omni Consumer Products might not be cranking out RoboCops just yet… this might be truer than you think.
It’s Got The Best Cast
You won’t find a more recognizable cast in a movie this week. Joel Kinnaman is best known from The Killing as Stephen Holder, Gary Oldman plays the man who develops RoboCop, Michael Keaton is the CEO of Omni Consumer Products, and the rest of the cast is full of familiar faces from Samuel L. Jackson and Jackie Earle Haley to Abbie Cornish and Jennifer Ehle. Really, can you knock a movie set in a world where Samuel L. Jackson can manipulate the press?
RoboCop is out today.