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Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Retro Review: RoboCop 3 (1993)

Robocop 3
Cast: Robert John Burke, Nancy Allen, Rip Torn, C.C.H Pounder, Jill Hennesey
Genre: Cyberpunk Action
U.S Box Office Gross: over $10 million

Plot: Robocop saves the day once more. This time the half-man/ half-robot takes on ruthless developers who want to evict some people from their land 


RoboCop 3 is not a RoboCop film - it's far from the ultra-violent crime flick I have come used to via Paul Verhoeven's 1987 debut classic and the less said about its foul-tasting sequel in 1990, the better also. This is a PG/G-rated kids affair and an awful one that is on the lines of a Disney movie. Actually, come to think of it, if Disney had created Robocop, I presume it would be somewhere along the lines of this offering. But it's not just a bad RoboCop film - it is a bad Hollywood film that doubles up as a straight-to-DVD movie with a tacky, cheap looking feel, despite the special effects. It doesn't even feel like I was watching a RoboCop film, but an entirely different film with a manly-looking robot shoehorned in. The darker tone is eliminated in favour of a much more lighter one. 

The third film sees Alex Murphy aka Robocop now protecting a group of rebels/squatters, who were evicted from their homes by OCP. Robocop also has to embrace his human side as Murphy, in yet another attempt to decipher whether he is more man or a machine. This has been one of the major stumbling blocks of the RoboCop films, and one which neither of the sequels and the unnecessary 2014 remake have really tried to address. 

After recognising that the fanbase of RoboCop comprised of children, Orion Pictures edited out and scaled down on the graphic violence of the first two movies, much to the film's detriment and retooled the movie in order to cater to the younger audiences. The so-called violence no longer exists in this barren take of a much recognised -yet maligned franchise. Given that Robocop is a character kids can take to, even though this is an R-rated adult sci-fi film, I guess they wanted to squeeze out as much cash as they could. & anyhow, given the second film was terrible personally, after that debacle I guess the creators of Robocop didn't care about quality control. Just as long as they get the Robocop name out, and people eat it up, they didn't care. Even with a new actor in place of Peter Weller as the title character, I knew this movie wouldn't be good. Robert Burke's voice as Robo also doesn't suit the character; likewise, I prefer Peter Weller's voice and to me and many people, he will always be and known as the original RoboCop/Alex Murphy. Robert Burke's voice never seems fitting and it never made me buy into him as that character. 

The only good thing I liked about RoboCop 3 is Lewis's hair, which got better as the trilogy went on, and though this movie is pretty bad, I have to say it was okay until she got killed off. & with her gone, it started to get worse and more silly as it went on. Much like with RoboCop 2, the smart satirical slant is ebbed away and in its place is a feeling akin to a comic book, but in a not so good way. The story is not so good and the idea of Robocop working alongside a ragtag group of rebels that include a little girl is weird. The little girl was obviously added as this was a PG-13 film and the part where she activates the ED-209, was so far-fetched. The thing with Officer Lewis having feelings for Murphy is just so, off and so ridiculous, I don't get why the writers came up with this. The action itself is heavily diluted, not entertaining and it is dumbed down. The fight between Robocop and the Ninja robot is not good and is made to look lame and Robocop looks awkward with that jetpack. 

Final Verdict:

RoboCop 2 had a distasteful and bitter tone, but RoboCop 3 is the franchise killer, although it is sad to see the series is marred by disappointing follow-ups to the first film. Obviously, the first film could never be bettered or toppled, but the other movies ought to have built on what it achieved in RoboCop 1. They never did that. 

Thoroughly and comprehensively inept in every aspect & the weakest out of the four, it is a film that says little about the story and doesn't explore the characters and their significance of their role in the movie, which is none. Although the other supporting characters were not much to brag about themselves. 

With cheap TV movie production values along with the look and feel of a Z-list bargain bin movie, with three strikes, RoboCop 3 is down, and out. 


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