Robocop (2014)

Robocop nc.jpg

January 15, 2019
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(The Channel Awesome logo and the title sequence plays; cut to static and a distorted up-view of the office; in the corner, green text reading "STNDBY>" is displayed. Tamara adjusts the screen with her hand. "AWAITING INPUT..." appears beneath "STNDBY")

Jim Jarosz (off-screen): Sharp!

(Jim, also dressed as a scientist, appears in front of the machine with a wrench an makes some adjustments on it. The text in the corner now displays "LOADING" and "CORRUPT INPUT...RELOADING")

Jim: Gah! Shut!

(RoboCop (2014) turns off for a moment. Once it's turned on again, we see Tamara observing him. After a moment NC enters the scene)

Nostalgia Critic: Wonderful. Bring in the RoboCop script!

(Machine code now displays "AWAITING INPUT..." as Jim brings in the “RoboCop Script” and feeds it to the machine. After a short loading period, NC and Tamara make new adjustments to the script)

NC: Reduce the R to a PG-13!

Tamara: But, wasn’t it being R what sucked people in?

(The code "RATINGS ADJUSTMENT IN PROGRESS" gets executed. The machine loads a database in the upper left corner, which display the US-ratings. The ratings are displayed with their rating symbol and their meaning. Starting with R, G, NC-17, PG and finally PG-13. Once this rating is found, the code displays "COMPLETED")

NC: Well, yeah. But, being PG-13 allows more people to see it, even though more people won’t wanna see it, ‘cause it’s PG-13. It made more sense when the chart guy said it.

Chart Guy (Rob Walker, off-screen): Forshnizzel.

(NC and Tamara are leaving to the right, as Jim comes in again and uses a drill to configure the visual grid of the machine. The grid gets smaller with every attempt, until only one square is left. The machine the shuts down again. When it's turned on again, NC, Tamara and the Chart Guy are discussing further changes of the script, while Jim is walking in the background)

Chart Guy: I thought we said no new ideas.


Tamara: Well, we have to do something different or we might as well be a Disney remake.

Chart Guy: Different scares people.

Tamara: You scare people.

Chart Guy: So the focus groups tell me.

NC: Alright! We’ll start with new ideas and then never go anywhere with them. That way everybody loses.

Tamara: Are you sure that’s how studios make money?


Chart Guy: Well, the chart says...

(The robot turns off again. Once the screen is back, the code displays "ADJUSTING SUIT COLOR TO BLACK" and "REASON: BECAUSE DARK KNIGHT")

Jim: Good news! We have (holds a picture of) Samuel L. Jackson.


NC: Perfect! He’s gonna be an amazing RoboCop!

Jim: Actually, he’s only in for a few minutes.

NC: Oh. Who do we have to play RoboCop?

Tamara: That boring guy from Suicide Squad.

Jim and NC: Which one?

NC: (sighs) Never mind. Just go ahead with it, it’s not like the main character ever matters.

(Jim feeds the picture to the machine)

NC: (to the machine) You’re gonna be a money-making motherfucker.

(As he says that, the code changes to "CURRENT BUDGET: $102,688,965.20", "ESTIMATED US BOX OFFICE RETURN: $254,407,001.37" and "ESTIMATED WORLD WIDE BOX OFFICE RETURN: $750,482,526". NC then runs into the Chart Guy and they fight while the robot turns off again. When he's turned on again, everyone is celebrating the guaranteed success of their project)

Everyone: YEAH!!


NC: (cheering) We did it, we finished the RoboCop remake!

Chart Guy: And the chart says this is gonna be our biggest money maker yet!

(Code shows the lines of the estimated box office again)

Tamara: People are totally gonna forget about that first one.

(The code now displays "DELETE ROBOCOP (1987), followed by "ALERT: UNABLE TO COMPLY, CONFLICT WITH PRIME DIRECTIVE #11")

NC: Ah, yeah, but not you! You're gonna be amazing! People're gonna never forget about you-

(One cut later, Jim and the Chart Guy are gone and NC and Tamara are sitting on the couch looking for their next big project. They seem to realize that their last project, the RoboCop 20014 machine, is still standing in their office)

NC: Oh, I forgot about you. (to Tamara) We really should put him in storage.

(We cut to RoboCop, who looks like a black painted copy of the original RoboCop with the movie poster as his face. Whenever he speaks you can hear mechanical sound effects)

RoboCop: Ehm, hey, when are you guys gonna get to making my sequel?

(NC and Tamara look to him in surprise)

NC: Oh, sorry, RoboCop movie, that's not gonna happen.

Tamara: Yeah, we're working on how to make money with another Pixar sequel.

NC: Good Dinosaur 2?

Tamara: I forgot there was a Good Dinosaur one.

NC: (mumbling) Oh, yeah, yeah, sure.

RoboCop: Hey, come on. There's still potential.

NC: Well, critically, you weren't that big a hit, and domestically, you made only a little over half your money back.

RoboCop: But 49% on Rotten Tomatoes. That's almost half. And I did good on a worldwide release. Just like Alien 3 and Warcraft.

(Both NC and Tamara look unconvinced)

NC: Those are the examples you went with.

RoboCop: Oh, come on, just think of the Ghostbusters reboot.

NC: It tanked.

RoboCop: Total Recall reboot.

Tamara: Tanked.

RoboCop: Fantastic Four, Lone Ranger, that Tom Cruise Mummy movie?

NC: This is embarrassing for you.

RoboCop: Oh, God. How did things go so wrong?

NC: (sighs, to the camera) I guess it was kind of inevitable, when you remake something so unique and beloved.

RoboCop: Wait, how are you reviewing me if you also somehow made me?

NC: You want a segue, that makes sense, or a review?

RoboCop: Whatever doesn't crap on me.

NC: They both do.

RoboCop: Oh.

(The title of the movie is played, before we get scenes from the original 1987 movie)

NC (vo): RoboCop was a gigantic 80s hit. It had big action, bloody gore, in-your-face commentary, and somebody losing their job for this effect. (The scene where the villain, Dick Jones, falls to his death is shown) The movie was so beloved that years later, Detroit decided to make a RoboCop statue. (shows pictures of the nearly finished statue) Holy shit, I buy that for a dollar. It was crazy, awesome, crazy-awesome...

NC: So, naturally, they had to reboot it.

NC (vo): In 2014, the director of Elite Squad...

(Poster from José Padilha's Elite Squad: The Enemy Within is shown. Cut to NC, who shifts his eyes in both directions and shrugs, clearly showing that he has no knowledge of this movie)

NC (vo): ... gave us a slightly different look at the action icon. It failed to grab audiences and critics and was forgotten fairly quickly. But looking back, was this a valiant effort that only had a glitch? Or was it a valiant effort that only had this glitch?

(Cut to the original movie. The ED-209 is presented to the board members of OCP, but malfunctions and blasts a man, who the machine still treats as a thread, despite being unarmed now, to pieces)

The Old Man: You call this a glitch?!

NC: Well, we're here to take a closer look. Let's try our best to give this movie our cooperation...

RoboCop: I said that thing in the movie. That's kind of cool, right?

Tamara: You need to stop.

RoboCop: But I-

Tamara: No. You need to stop.

RoboCop: I said that thing.

NC: This is RoboCop 2014!

RoboCop: I said that thing.

(NC glares to RoboCop, as the movie starts playing)

NC (vo): So, let's see how this dark and gritty reboot gets things going.

(The movie starts with the classic Metro Goldwyn Mayer logo, but the lion's roar was replaced with the sounds of a cooing pigeon done by Samuel L. Jackson. NC already looks deeply disappointed)

NC: What the fuck was that?

(The logo plays again, but this time NC acts as an announcer for a fictional RoboCop spin-off, with a caption for what he announces being shown below. Note: This will occur throughout the review)

NC (vo; as an announcer): RoboCoo: This time, he's a pigeon.

(The title, the movie description, and a picture of a pigeon with RoboCop's head are edited in. We then cut to the movie, where Pat Novak, played by Jackson, is making these sounds to prepare himself for his next show)

NC (vo): It turns out this is Samuel L. Jackson doing vocal warm-ups.

Crew Member: And we're on in four...

NC: Let's be honest, if you want a more fitting Jackson quote to start this movie off, you'd be like...

(MGM logo plays again, but this time the roar was replaced with a quote from Soul Men and Coming to America)

Samuel L. Jackson: You ought to be ashamed of your goddamn self. Fuck you.

(The show "The Novak Element" begins airing)

NC (vo): He plays a commentator named Pat Novak. Which sounds like a Fox News anchor who got fired for groping too much or not enough.

Pat Novak: What if I told you, that even the worst neighborhood in America could made completely safe?

NC (vo): He's behind a big movement to replace cops and soldiers with machines, as demonstrated with this live takedown in Iran.

General: (talking about the ED-209) They're the big boys, they secure the perimeter.

Novak: It is great to see American machines helping to promote peace and freedom.

NC: (as Novak) We could find out what's in your esophagus.

(Someone sees some suicide bombers preparing for an attack)

NC (vo): But it looks like suicide bombers are ready to take them out.

NC: (shakes his head) Starting off light, I see.

(One of the men says something in his native language, which translates to "The goal is to die on television". The subtitle "Like an Oscar host." was edited below the translation. After that the attack starts with a car explosion caused by a rocket launcher)

NC (vo): The bombers attack, and...

(The robots shoot the attackers dead, as one suicide bomber throws one of the robots to the ground and blows himself up)

NC (vo): Yeah...

NC: I'm positive the best way to start this movie off was with...

(The MGM opening is played again)

RoboCop: But the original RoboCop was dark and bloody.

NC: Yeah, but that was...

(Shows Clarence Boddicker and a thug from the original movie)

NC (vo): ... over-the-top criminals and comic book thugs.

NC: This is...

(Back to the reboot, a suicide bomber jumps on top of a ED-209 and detonates himself)

NC (vo): ... frigging suicide bombers in the Middle East!

NC: I mean, I guess, if it ties into the rest of the story, it makes sense, but we never come back to it. This is the only scene in Iran.

(The scene ends with a young civilian being mistaken for a thread, because he carries a knife, and gets gunned down by the ED-209 in front of the camera)

NC (vo): So what's the point in showing this disturbing overseas warfare? It's just uncomfortable.

NC: Imagine if you were watching the cartoon, and they were suddenly like...

(We get a scene from the 1988 cartoon series)

Cartoon RoboCop: I should work alone. I do not wish to see Lewis hurt because of me.

Anne Lewis: So you do have feelings for me.

NC (vo; as Cartoon RoboCop): It gave me flashbacks to the religious Jihadists I had to kill, because they claimed countless American lives. If only political strategists could figure out how to wash the blood from my soul. (beat) Buy my toys.

(NC looks displeased to RoboCop)

RoboCop: I would watch that and buy his toys.

(After the murder of the civilian, Novak tries to downplay the event)

Novak: Kelly?

Kelly (Maura Grierson): We're okay, Pat.

Novak: For security reasons, the Pentagon's going to cut our feed.

Kelly: I continue to stand by.

NC (vo; as Novak): Yeah, she did.

Novak: On the one hand, we have Raymond Sellars...

NC (vo): Wow!

NC: That's amazing!

(The scene continues with an arrow pointing upwards and a 20% on it edited in)

NC (vo): The film's coolness levels went up by 20%, just by simply putting Michael Keaton and Samuel L. Jackson on the same screen.

NC: But what do you expect when they come from this kit?

(A kit with the name "Instant Cool" and the tagline "Just add one of these actors" is edited in. The options on the box are, from the upper left to the bottom right, Vin Diesel, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, George Clooney and Robin Williams. Back to the movie, our protagonist Alex Murphy is introduced during a meeting with his fellow officers)

NC (vo): So we cut to our main character Murphy, played by Joel Kinnaman.

NC: (getting closer to the camera and moves his entire body) At least I think its him. It's hard to tell...

NC (vo): ... with the camera shaking so much.

(This and later scenes have noticeable shaking camera)

Murphy: It's nothing personal. You've gotta be dumb or dirty.

Jack Lewis (Michael K. Williams): (leaving the office with the others) Maybe if you hadn't gone of the reservation, your partner would still be standing.

NC (vo; as the announcer): RoboCam: This time, it's without a tripod.

NC (vo): And I can't really tell. Has he become the emotionless robot yet?

Murphy: Me and Jack, we've been doing some street by ours.../ We have some problems back home in the Chicago PD./ I'm going hard at the living madness./ My father's even been there.

RoboCop: Oh, it's not like the original Murphy was Robert de frigging Niro.

NC: (has to admit it) There's some truth to that.

(Cut to the original movie)

NC (vo): The idea behind Murphy in the first one is, we saw him mostly as the machine and we find out more about his connection to his family as it moved on. It created a little bit of a mystery to his humanity, revealing how soft and sentimental he really was.

RoboCop: Yes. In my version, you see him with the family early on.

NC: And you suck at it.

RoboCop: Only from every conceivable angle.

(We see the scenes of Murphy interacting with his family)

NC (vo): In this version, the scenes with him and his family are boring as sin. There's no playfulness, no energy, no joking around. He's just the same overly serious stick in the mud as in all the other scenes. This was a chance to really add to his personal life, really explore his humanity. But you just keep him stiff and bland.

Murphy: Hey, guys.

David (John Paul Ruttan): (watching ice hockey on a mobile device) Hi, Dad.

Clara (Abbie Cornish): Hey.

(Murphy slowly takes his seat on the table, as Clara is watching him. We cut to a scene of a cameraman having problems staying awake and doing his job, since the scene he has to record is so boring)

RoboCop: Just because he is like an extra in those street movies Mark Wahlberg does in his spare time, doesn't mean he's not deep.

NC: Couldn't you have him smile at least once or, at least, tell a joke?

RoboCop: Okay, how is this for a joke? Why did the chicken cross the road?

NC: I don't know.

RoboCop: To get to the pretentious asshole's house.

(NC looks confused and personally attacked by that)

RoboCop: Knock, knock.

NC: Who's there?

RoboCop: The chicken.

(Tamara laughs out loud, but once NC glares at her, she stops)

Tamara: I'm sorry. I just wanted to remind people I was still here.

(Back to the movie, Raymond Sellars gives an interview to the reporters)

NC (vo): So Keaton plays the head of OmniCorp...

NC: (both fingers crossed) Please no accent, please no accent, please no accent...

(Sellars now sits in a business meeting)

Sellars: (no noticeable accent) Maybe give Americans a product they can love.

NC: (relieved) Oh, thank Christ.

NC (vo): his analyst tries to work out a way to win the government and the public over to expand their machines. Though, with Jay Baruchel in the role, it sounds like they're trying to figure out how to save DreamWorks Animation.

Tom Pipe (Jay Baruchel): My team have come up with a pretty aggressive new campaign.

NC (vo; as Sellars): It's not another How to Train Your Dragon, is it? (as Pipe, while for a split second the movie poster for How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is shown) How to- Of course not.

Sellars: They want a product with a conscience.

NC: (waves his hand in front of himself) I'm sorry, I can't hear a thing over your paintings.

NC (vo): How am I supposed to not focus on that?

(The paintings are blocked by censor bars withe the question "Censored?" written on them)

NC (vo): Can I even show those on YouTube?

Sellars: We need a man inside a machine.

(Cut to Omnicorp's Foundation Rehab Ward, where someone with prosthetic legs is running down the hallway)

NC (vo): They decide to add a human touch - Boy, are you in the wrong film for that. - as they go to a doctor who specializes in robotic limbs for amputees.

(Sellars enters the session room of Dr. Dennett Norton, played by Gary Oldman, who is attending to a guitarist with prosthetic arms)

NC (vo; as Sellars): Commissioner Gordon? (as Norton) Batman?

NC (vo): Keaton fills him in on the plan, and all they're looking for now is the perfect subject to give up all human emotion- (Cut to Murphy) Hellooooo?

(Murphy's car has activated his alarm, and Murphy gets closer to make it stop. Once he stands next to it, the review cuts to the exploding car scene from The Godfather)

Michael Corleone (Al Pacino): No! No, Apolloni--!

(Murphy's car explodes, Murphy gets caught in the blast, and Michael falls back into his garden)

NC: (unimpressed) Wow. That would've been really surprising and effective if we...

(Shows an earlier scene, where the bomb gets placed under Murphy's car)

NC (vo): ... didn't see them plant the bomb there earlier. Takes away a little bit from the shock, doesn't it? (Cut to The Sixth Sense) Why didn't you start off the The Sixth Sense with Haley Joel Osment saying... (as Coel Sear) Hi, deadhead. (as Malcolm Crowe, with big cartoony eyes) What the fuck?!

(We are shown Dr. Norton describing Murphy's near-fatal incident on a screen, before showing him meeting Murphy, who is now fitted in his RoboCop body)

NC (vo): As you can see, Murphy's lost two limbs, has burns all over his body, but somehow, his face actually looks better than before the accident. Damn! I wish my car would blow up so I could clear out my pores.

(Murphy looks at his hands)

Murphy: What kind of suit is this?

Norton: It's you.

NC (vo): They put him in his Robo-body, but he doesn't react well to it.

(Murphy starts panicking as Norton tries to reassure him)

Murphy: I need to get out of this thing. (Snaps) What did you do to me?! (Grabs Norton by the neck) WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO ME?!

NC (vo): Clearly, we've picked the right test subject! To be fair, who'd have thought he'd have a personality to wake?

(Murphy, with his RoboCop mask on, runs out of the room)

Norton: No! No! Let him roam! Let him roam!

NC: (stunned and confused) What scientific theory backs that dumb move?!

Norton: Let him roam! Let him roam!

NC (vo; as Norton): Let him roam through our highly-expensive equipment in an unstoppable killer suit immediately after choking me. I'm sure the little scamp will tucker himself out.

(Murphy walks through a room filled with Japanese workers)

NC: Ah, this is where they make those Japanese RoboCop commercials.

(A brief clip of a Japanese RoboCop commercial is shown. Back to the scene, where RoboCop starts running through the room, as Norton watches from his computer)

NC: Fear not, though. The good doctor has a foolproof way to prevent this from going any further.

Norton: Please stop. Stay where you are, and...and we'll come and pick you up.

NC: (as Norton) Alex, don't make me say "please".

NC (vo; as Norton): Do I have to count to 22,482?

(Murphy runs outside and starts running through the grassy fields)

NC (vo): Oh, if only there's a way to shut him down...

Norton: Shut him down.

NC: What the mountain of dicks?!

(A scientist presses the shut down button, causing Murphy to fall to the ground, unconscious)

NC (vo; as the announcer): RoboCrop: This time, it's really hard to make a joke about this one.

(Murphy is taken to a room, strapped to a moving bed)

NC (vo; as a female singer): Silver Hawks...

(Norton reveals what's left of Murphy's real body by removing his armor and showing nothing but his head, one hand, and his lungs)

NC (vo): To the movie's credit, we do get the only nightmarish moment I could see being in the original, when they show how much of his human body is actually left.

Murphy: (crying) Holy Christ! There's nothing left!

Norton: Your body may have gone...but you're still here.

NC: (as Norton) You're still the same boring dumbass you always were.

Norton: You're in control.

Murphy: Then I wanna die.

Norton: What do I say to your wife? What does she say to your son?

Murphy: I died.

NC: I guess Murphy's kind of a dick in this version.

(A clip of the original RoboCop is shown, before resuming showing the current scene)

NC (vo): I mean, God. So much of the original was him trying to remember and reconnect with his family. But here... (as Murphy) Just tell them I died. No more parent-teacher conferences. Am I right? (Normal) I guess the idea is his family meant so much, he couldn't stand the idea of them seeing him like that, but, A: Because it was so lifeless, we never really got an idea of what his family life was like. B: If you all love each other, you should be happy to see one another no matter what the circumstance. And C: The circumstance is kind of friggin' awesome. You have a bulletproof body, your kid will always have a giant action figure to play with, and if they did their job right, so will your wife.

NC: There seems like more pros than cons.

(Murphy calls Clara via laptop; Clara looks extremely relieved to see Murphy)

Clara: It's so good to finally see you.

NC (vo; as the announcer): RoboCall: This time, there's a family plan.

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