Listen: How the New RoboCop Compares to the 1987 Version

That angle continues to make RoboCop a piercingly relevant and refreshing antidote to modern superhero spectacles that aggressively peddle both sanitized sex (look, but don’t touch, Scarlett Johansson’s latex-suited Black Widow) and bloodless mass destruction and loss of life (the latest: Man of Steel, Pacific Rim).


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The ultimate failing of Padilha’s update is that, regardless of its feeble attempts at military-industrial complex commentary, it imitates such contemporary films by providing PG-13-sterile sex and murder via a traditionally structured superhero narrative, thereby failing to grasp the entire self-referential thrust of its precursor. Whereas the new remake sells macho-vigilante sadism with a straight face, Verhoeven’s gem peddles carnal carnage with a prankster’s grin—a distinction that, 27 years later, makes the original RoboCop worth far more than a dollar, even one of those buys-more 1987 ones.

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