I must be honest folks…that RoboCop trailer has been bugging me. The primary problem?
Murphy and his wife appear to know who he is from the start. But part of what makes the original RoboCop so great (Aside from the scathing satire of corporate culture) is that Alex Murphy is unaware he had a past. He is a machine. He is haunted by memories that he cannot comprehend. And as he learns who he is, he reclaims the identity that was ripped from him.
In one of the second film’s best moments, RoboCop’s wife wants to meet with him, shocked that he is alive. But the corporate heads convince Murphy that he cannot truly return to being a husband. It would be impossible to fulfill the role, due to his condition. It would be better for her to move on in a life without him.
When his wife tearfully tries to reconnect, Alex plays the role of machine…he claims he is merely a monument to the man who died. Weller does a great job with this moment, because the conflict within Murphy is evident.
The new film removes all of that. Murphy has no self discovery…he is not a machine that rediscovers his humanity.