Straight Shootin’ with The Brain
Today’s topic of discussion… the Robocop remake.
Heading into it, many of myfriends who were fans of the original were immediately turned off when they saw the movie was rated PG-13 and not rated R. In fact, because of that they boycotted the movie. Something I should have considered.
An R rating certainly would have given the movie more freedom to use the gratuitous violence and colorful language like in the original, but there was something much more important than a lack of curse words and blood that caused me to dislike the Robocop remake… it was the lack of quality villains.
A good villain is almost more important than a good hero. Look at the Rocky series for example… nobody can say that Rocky Balboa is not a great protagonist. He may be one of the most beloved characters in movie history. And when he had Apollo Creed, Clubber Lang and Ivan Drago as his antagonists people loved it. When he had the sub par Tommy Gunn against him… people hated it. Movies NEED quality villains!
The original had two of the highest quality villains an action movie could hope for, first there was Dick Jones…
The #2 man at Omni Consumer Products, Dick Jones (Ronny Cox) is drunk with power. He is threatened by anyone who challenges him (Bob Morton comes to mind) and you know he’s just biding his time for The Old Man to either die or retire so OCP can be all his. Even worse he’s in bed with Detroit’s #1 bad guy…
Clarence Boddicker (Kurtwood Smith), leader of a gang of criminals that are into robbery, drugs and even murdering police officers. Boddicker is the worst of the worst. Even his underlings are of a higher quality than any villain in the Robocop remake.
The remake had some crooked cops and Michael Keaton as the CEO of OCP, Raymond Sellars. By the time Sellars truly becomes evil the movie is too far gone. Up until that point Sellars is no more good or evil than any other CEO in America. They are cold, heartless and thinking about the bottom line. That is what CEO’s do. But there’s not one “villain” in this movie that I was emotionally invested in enough to despise.
If more time was spent developing quality villains and less time spent showing me that Robocop has lungs, the movie and anyone who saw it would have been better off.