The new “RoboCop” film is a sterling example of how runaway corporatism flattens and sanitizes satirical art, Ben Walters writes at The Guardian.
Comparing the new adaptation with the first film, Walters laments:
It wasn’t just the satire that made Verhoeven’s movies such gems. They were witty and mischievous, with strong, clear storytelling, quirky production design and a vivid sense of the grotesque. They had giant, quivering grubs, nuclear-war-themed family board-games and Arnie dressed as a middle-aged woman in a fierce raincoat.
So far, their remakes offer little like that. Their scripts are po-faced and messy; they look like every other shimmery, machine-tooled SF action picture out there; and instead of engaging playfully yet seriously with the structural forces determining contemporary life, they offer straight-up sentimental heroism.
In other words, they’re in keeping with a studio blockbuster culture that celebrates turbo-charged techno-militarism and cashes in on audiences’ familiarity with established entertainment brands. Transformers and Avengers, I’m looking at you. By contrast, Verhoeven was an original and a provocateur. He wanted to make audiences squirm – to alienate them from the spectacle of fetishised violence even as he slathered it on. Good luck getting that greenlit today.