I lost count after the tenth penis exploded and the rapist thumbed the gaping wound for the camera. Scene 27, a re-imagining of the second introduction we have to the reborn Alex Murphy in Robocop, is over the top and comically violent. It is exactly the "joke" that Paul Verhoeven was making when he unironically refers to his monster as an "American Jesus."
Scene 27 is a second, darkly comic introduction to this machine that deals with problems (here's a rapist) as efficiently as possible (shoot him in the dick). From there, when the second rapist enters with his cock out there's a brief moment of surprise on Robocop's face. The third time? Just another trigger pull. When the full stampede happens, there's no turning back on the weirdness and violence we have to embrace until the last rapist shouts, "Just fucking do it already."
Before that violence is golden and soft. Team Tiger Awesome interprets Murphy's "crucifixion" as dance, ED-209 is controlled by a puppeteer that gets kicked in the crotch and the Detroit Police locker room is a crudely animated joke. Our Robocop Movie is a sweded--a made-up term popularized with Be Kind Rewind's low-fi remakes-within-a-film--homage that doesn't try to change itself and abandon the story like today's Robocop (née Diet Robocop).
Diet Robocop promises the same great taste we remember with Robocop. Disregard the fact most of the younger audience knew Robocop not only through film, but also through cheap Canadian TV, two cartoons and another cheap Canadian TV Movie series. Going as far to say Diet Robocop "feels much more like a meditative character study than an energetic techno-thriller" seems pointless. Even if you're going to change the plot around, why not call it something different and rely on a title that barely belongs to your film?
If you're calling a movie Robocop you immediately play on the meaning of that. It means "I buy that for a dollar," the immediately familiar theme song and not answering who is exactly in charge (is it a program with a human consciousness, is it a human stuck in a machine, is it Johnny Depp as The Lawnmower Man?). What you're left with after finishing a Diet Robocop is "it's kind of like every other stupid PG-13 action movie of our time, except, you know, the Emotional Robotic Killing Machine part is something this potential franchise owns."
Our Robocop Movie relies on the key strength of a reboot: interpretation and adaptation. Target practice becomes a duet, animation arrives to stand in for effects and what does ED-209 see before it dies? It goes beyond minor ideas like reversing the question of Robocop's humanity. One of the strongest segments--Emil bathed in toxic waste--doesn't make a joke but instead drags out the character's death into a psychosis that only Bixby Snyder can help him out. What was a 20-second sequence in the original becomes the last moments of a droopy-fleshed man that goes splat.
Comparing Diet Robocop and Our Robocop Remake are like looking at Diet Coke and Cheerwine. One is a pale imitation of an original product. The other knows it is different from the original, but it shares similar traits (being delicious with Indian rum, being delicious without Indian rum).
Also Diet Robocop eats shit.
Watch Our Robocop Remake.