Movie Review: "RoboCop 3" (1993)
To be fair, "RoboCop 2" had its own share of flaws, the biggest of them all being its mysterious departure from the subplot involving Murphy's wife after the first act of the film. But other than that, the film was just as dark and violent as the original. The action was memorable, the villains were great, the music was different (this upset many people, but I thought it was a much-welcomed change).
Then came "RoboCop 3." This sequel was made one year after the previous one was released, but this film didn't hit theaters until two years later in 1993. That should tell you something: The movie must really suck. "RoboCop 3" opens with the emergence of the anticipated Delta City project finally taking place. OCP takes Detroit privately (well, not exactly, if you ask me). And RoboCop is there to save the day.
What's the problem you ask? Too many to list, but PG is a good place to start. Joining RoboCop is a little girl, a bunch of raggedy civilians, and a new sexy female scientist. So, the movie begins in the home of an interracial couple, all is quiet until a wrecking ball suddenly smashes through the window. This is Delta City in the making, folks. Rehab trucks, halogen lights, and rehab officers flood the streets outside. That's funny, being that there was literally no commotion from inside the apartment, but now there's all this activity taking place outside.
Loyal as a Puppy
It is within this opening sequence that we are introduced to one of the film's lead characters -- a little girl named Nikko. She gets separated from her parents as the rehab soldiers take them away. Now, many issues run amuck when you have kids as the lead characters in your movie. It works for movies like "Home Alone", but not "RoboCop".
"RoboCop 2" had a kid as one of the villains, which turned out fine. For some reason, though, I can't picture Nikko ever cursing up a storm like him. However, Nikko's presence here should set alarms off in your brain - PG! PG! PG! This is where it all begins, folks. After the big raid, Nikko is left to wander the ruins until she is rescued by a few of the rebels. Together, they all take a trip to the local OCP weapons depot to go on a shopping spree.
There's a problem though. OCP has an ED-209 unit guarding the entrance. Our little angel, Nikko, just runs right up to it with a little laptop and starts hacking the sucker. Let me be a little more specific... she reprograms him to be 'loyal as a puppy' (no joke, ED-209 says this line). This raises a big question -- How does a little girl have access to the programming blueprints of a top secret project like ED-209? Do you mean to tell me that a little girl can reprogram this thing in a couple minutes whereas the stupid scientists in the first "RoboCop" couldn't do squat?
Central, requesting Dunkin' Donuts
This has to be the most stereotypical and dumbest scene in "RoboCop 3". It begins almost immediately after the ED-209 scene above. A robber walks into a restaurant, scans his surroundings, then sticks up the cashier. Come to find out, the place is filled to the brim with police officers eating donuts and drinking coffee. That's funny, considering he looked both ways prior to drawing his weapon; did he not notice all those cops sitting around?
One of the police inside happen to be Officer Ann Lewis, Robocop's partner in crime. She and a couple other policemen get dispatched to a call yet they end up trapped in a desolate area, surrounded by street thugs. She immediately calls for back-up but the only person who responds is Robocop because all the other idiots are busy eating donuts and drinking coffee.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Robots
In both "RoboCop" and "RoboCop 2", the titular character was given some creative and worthy robot opponents to face off. "RoboCop" gave us ED-209 and "RoboCop 2" gave us RoboCain, both of which gave Robocop a good beating. ED-209 was big and well-armed, but his weakness was that he lacked human intelligence and he couldn't go down stairs. RoboCain was armed with even more goodies, operated on an actual human brain (which belonged to a dangerous drug-lord), and was so flexible that he could scale an elevator shaft to the very top.
After "RoboCop 2", one was left to wonder just how that monster was going to be topped. Apparently, the filmmakers didn't care about topping RoboCain, because all they gave us are a few simplistic ninja cyborgs. Wow, I'm on the edge of my seat now. His name is Otomo and there's three of them in this film. Even worse, we never get to see any cool endoskeleton design, other than a fractured cheek.
Heck, the War Beast robot from "Death Machine" would have made a better opponent than this stupid idea.
Dead as a Moron
Let's talk about the fact that Robocop is seriously lacking emotion in this film. In the first two films, even though he's part machine, Robocop still felt pain when he was hurt or injured, he still felt sorrow and remorse whenever passing by his wife's house or when he remembers the day of his murder.
But not anymore. When Otomo cuts his arm off during their first fight, Robocop acts like it's nothing. When Lewis, his own partner, dies in front of the church, he displays zero emotion. Gee, remember when Lewis was chipped by a bullet near the end of the first movie? Robocop shouted her name as loud as he could, his voice filled with concern.
Random Things That Make No Sense
- In Robocop's first scene in this movie, he exits out of his police vehicle by shooting through the roof of it. Was there something wrong with his driver-side door? In both "RoboCop" and "RoboCop 2", he exited the vehicle via the door. This is an example of the filmmakers trying to make Robocop look 'cool' for the kiddies. Remember, this is the 'Batman Forever' of the 'RoboCop' franchise.
- While in pursuit of van carrying the rebels, Robocop ditches the chase and instead tends to Lewis' call for backup. Sgt. Reed gets on his case over the car's radio, but instead of turning it off, he just smashes it. WTF? Shooting through roofs, smashing radios -- Do cyborgs get lazy after certain amount of time?
- How does a little girl know where Robocop's tracker is?
- After the resistance takes the injured Robocop under their care, they send Nikko to give his scientist friend a message. So here we have a little girl walking into a police station and then into Robocop's lab -- And nobody notices her.
- Moments after the previous scene above, Nikko and Marie the scientist show up at the resistance hideout with a big police van that's carrying tons of computer equipment. So I take it that they stole all this stuff? That's an awful lot of stuff for them to carry.
- Whatever happened to the Old Man? The new CEO of OCP says a few great things about him in "RoboCop 3" but we're never really given any explanation as to what went on with him after "RoboCop 2". One may be led to assume that the repercussions of the whole RoboCain incident could have led to his resigning, but who knows.
- Fleck, one of the OCP corporate scum-bags in this film, orders Robocop's memories to be erased and he even has a specific computer chip that can get the job done. Haven't they learned from the last two films that this is simply not possible? He's cyborg, meaning part human and part machine. Obviously, there's still going to be some humanity left in him.
- When Robocop and Lewis go into the church and find the resistance people hiding inside, they go back out only to be greeted by several rehab units waiting outside -- Whereas there were none when they first entered the church. So how did they get there? How do they even know the rebels are hiding in there? Robocop was the only one who figured it out.
- During the above scene -- Just before her death, Lewis ditches all common sense and stands IN FRONT of Robocop with her gun drawn towards the rehab officers. Mind you, she's not wearing a bullet vest. What kind of logic is this?
- In addition to somehow being very knowledgeable about the programming blueprints of ED-209 and Robocop, Nikko is also capable of reprogramming the two ninja cyborgs during the film's climax -- And she doesn't even touch them. Are you serious? Only in cartoons, folks. This crap is for kids.
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