Now that TWO of Paul Verhoeven’s movies are being remade with newer and bigger visual effects – let’s remind ourselves of a quote given by Judge Judy (of all people!):
Beauty fades, dumb is forever
which should be applied to ALL movies and ESPECIALLY remakes (and let’s face it – they’re not doing it just because the screenwriters or directors think they can improve upon the story – they’re doing it because the technology is there to make it all look prettier and fancier than the original).
While the Total Recall remake certainly looks pretty with it’s sets and visual effects:
.. it’s going to look like absolute crap in 25 years time if film technology improves at the current rate.
While people have started commenting on how bad the ED-209 sequences look in the original 1987 Robocop – I actually still like them. I can appreciate the hard work that went into it. That stuff looked great at the time. It looks dated now, yes, but there was more craftmanship in that animation than what you’re going to see now and 25 years into the future. If VFX doesn’t implode or die out thanks to the lack of unionisation and film studio exploitation.
Hopefully by then, filmmakers and VFX folk won’t be trying to copy or emulate each other’s styles (case in point: morphing, bullet time, real/virtual camera performing impossible moves during fight sequences, etc). If people hate the new storyline as well, even that won’t even stand up to scrutiny in a year.
As for Robocop – it’s amassing an impressive line-up: Samuel L. Jackson, Hugh Laurie, Gary Oldman, etc. If the screenplay and direction aren’t up to scratch – no amount of RoboFX is going to save the film. It won’t survive more than few years on services like NetFlix before dying a sad death.
And the thing is this: the original films are more likely to get selected by the AFI/BFI/whatever for preservation in the remaining years than the remakes ever stand to be. It is exceptionally rare that a film retelling will ever better the original.