Starring: Nancy Allen, Robert John Burke, Mario Machado, Remy Ryan, Rip Torn, John Castle, CCH Pounder
Directed By: Fred Dekker
Written By: Frank Miller, Fred Dekker
Rating: PG-13 (US) Running Time: 1 hr 43 mins
Did I say RoboCop 2 was the worst Robo film ever made? My bad, I meant to say RoboCop 3! And this isn’t just a bad RoboCop film, it’s arguably one of the worst movies ever made, period. An overly micromanaged studio screw up, and blatant attempt to appeal to a younger audience, while also trying to squeeze any remaining cash out of RoboCop fans that weren’t turned off by the awful second installment.
An important element of the first two films, especially Paul Verhoeven’s original classic, was the over the top violence. Future Detroit was a brutal place to work, especially for the police. Hence the need for a nearly indestructible cyborg cop. Criminals had no qualms about filling their victims with lead, and if say, Clarence J. Boddicker from RoboCop wasn’t happy with one of his guys, that man got thrown out of a movie vehicle!
“Can you fly, Bobby?”
ED209 used to give people ’20 seconds to comply,’ before ending his victims in a hail of bullets and blood. It actually didn’t matter if they complied or not! In this PG-13 RoboCop, he’s ‘loyal as a puppy’, and easily reprogrammed by a 12-year-old girl with her Fisher Price laptop.
Delivering an anti-corporate message was always part of the franchise’s philosophy, but in this installment it’s just farcical. You could also rely on this series for memorable villains too. Even I had to admit watching RoboCop battle Cain at the end of the second film was pretty impressive. What do we get here? A moronic underdeveloped tin-pot dictator in charge of the ‘Urban Rehabilitators’ called Paul (John Castle), and a fragile robot Ninja mannequin!
The action is dull, badly shot and edited. Even the penultimate battle between Robo and mannequin Ninja fails to impress. As it results in a ridiculously one-sided and awkwardly staged fight, that honestly ends unfairly. RoboCop was clearly getting his steel plated backside handed to him.
There is very little in this movie to cheer about. I was happy to see Robo’s ‘iridescent’ armor from the second movie restored to its more convincing gun-metal gray, and it was nice to hear Basil Poledouris’ score again (he wrote the score for the first movie.) But other than that it’s all bad in my opinion, and now that I’ve logged this movie here in my blog, I can be happy in the knowledge that I never need to see this horrible film ever again.
The first two RoboCop films were rated R because they were very violent, especially the first one. This third installment is PG-13, and is more family friendly, so if you’re looking for more satirical uber-violent RoboCop action, get ready to be disappointed. Set expectations to very low, and you might find this movie so bad, that it gets unintentionally funny.
A regular streaming show on any device you like will service this film well enough. Actually, the smaller the screen the better – you might miss how awful the visual effects look when RoboCop puts on his jet pack and starts flying around!
Worst Moment: << mild spoiler >>
At the start of the film, OCP sends a wrecking ball into a child’s bedroom. Later, after that child has escaped near death she’s forcibly separated from her parents, then chased by ‘Urban Rehabilitators’ twice her size as they fire their guns in the air. None of this plays into the dark humor the series is known for, and just seems ridiculously nasty.