RoboCop 3 (1993)

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*. Well, here’s the franchise killer. The first RoboCop can make some claim to being a minor genre classic. RoboCop 2 was very much cut from the same cloth, and while I thought it had some really big problems, I know people who actually prefer it to the original. But RoboCop 3 is just a piece of garbage.
*. You could say it wasn’t a franchise killer, as it was a lead-in to a TV series so the character did keep going. But that series didn’t go anywhere, and they had to really water this film down to get a PG-13 rating to help with the transition.

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*. Now RoboCop really is an action toy (it’s how we first see him), and the real hero of the movie is the spunky little girl Nikko. In fact, we’re over fifteen minutes into the movie before Murphy makes an appearance.
*. That jump from the punk kids in RoboCop 2 to Nikko in this film is probably the biggest indicator of how far things have gone. Not that I liked the kids in the previous movie very much, but compared to what we get here . . .
*. Poor Lewis. I guess Nancy Allen had had enough, and only agreed to appear in the film if she were killed off quickly. At least she gets to finally let her hair down, and dies in church.
*. Poor Rip Torn. Had it come to this? I guess it had. Well, The Larry Sanders Show was only a year away. (In case you’re wondering at my dates, while The Larry Sanders Show premiered in 1992 and Robocop 3 was released in 1993, it was actually filmed in 1991 and was held up because Orion went bankrupt.)
*. I wonder what’s going to happen to the people evicted from Cadillac Heights. Are they being sent to concentration camps? Gulags? At one point OCP says they’re going to be taken someplace where there are better jobs, but I don’t think we’re meant to believe this. The rebels simply complain that they’re being thrown “out of their homes and into the streets,” but they’re obviously being bused somewhere.
*. There was a little bit of potential with the ninja warrior(s) sent to deal with RoboCop, but aside from spinning some somersaults in the air they really don’t do much.

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*. It’s probably not worth thinking about this one too much. It’s a very bad movie. Some indication of just how bad is given by RoboCop’s first appearance. To set the scene: he comes to the rescue of Lewis and her fellow cops, who are surrounded by a punch of punks armed with knives and clubs. I guess the cops are out of ammunition, or something, because they are totally helpless. But then RoboCop arrives and shoots his way out of the roof of his car.
*. Yes, he shoots his way out of his car! He does not open the door and walk out, he shoots a hole in the roof and then pops out like a jack-in-the-box. It’s even stupider than it sounds, if you can believe it.
*. In the face of such a WTF? moment further criticism seems pointless. It’s a cheap, stupid movie that everyone seems to be embarrassed by. The satire and cynicism of the first two films has been inverted into a family-friendly entertainment that just rehashes the same old story about corporate power gone mad. It had me wondering for a moment if Delta City ever got built. But then I realized that I didn’t really care.

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