Here is the second trailer for the RoboCop remake, which provides us with Cop 2.0’s revamped origin story: Giant police drones roam the streets of every country in the world but America, maintaining an efficient, if terrifying, order. (Feel free to take a deep breath when you realize that young Adib registers as a non-threat, saving us from having to watch what happens when a finger scans as a gun. They definitely saved the “cannons tearing innocent civilians into flesh-confetti” montage for the movie.) And so Corporate Interests decide to put a human face on the lumbering biped sentinels of Remote-Controlled Justice, a Detroit cop is barbecued inside his car, and yada yada yada, the Peacekeeping iPod is born. “Let’s go with black,” decides the Steve Jobs of public security, and the next thing you know, Joel Kinnaman is running around in Batman’s armored pajamas, gunning down bad guys, and thanking his agents for negotiating a helmet that occasionally reveals his entire face. Peter Weller’s jaw really could have used Team Kinnaman. (And Michael Keaton’s armor-tailors. Robo 1.0’s shit was boxy.)
So are we still buying in? Sure, why not. We could argue all day about whether RoboCop — which holds up surprisingly well; ask your local basic cable channel guide for details — needed this rebirth. But here it comes anyway. Wherever we individually land on the existential remake question, we can all probably agree on one thing: When Samuel L. Jackson is giving a speech in front of an undulating American digi-flag, maybe ask a few questions. He’s up to no good.