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Robocop 3 (1993)

Action & Adventure and Science Fiction & Fantasy movie directed by Fred Dekker

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"This new kid-friendly Robocop will please everyone!"

  • Sep 9, 2013
Except when it doesn't.

The original Robocop movie was a brilliant satire of big business corruption, marketing and sci fi action blended together with impressive special effects and grizzly violence.  The sequel not so much but still catered to that audience.  By the time the third movie was to come out, in what could have been a brilliant point in the movies to make, the violent Robocop was toned down to appeal to kids since kids thought Robocop was "cool" and sure Robocop is cool, but in all reality getting kids into a franchise whose origins are full of jokes the kids won't understand and violence that even adults squirm at, it's not a great idea.

So in that, we have a toned down Robocop-one who shoots at the badguys feet often and a lot of bloodless carnage which is very out of step from the previous films and from one of the opening shots of the movie, you know the movie is made for kids.  A kid is main character and even has a Robocop toy.  Robocop himself can even fly in this movie and has cool interchangeable gun accessories for his hand and icing on the cake, the movie has ninjas to cash in on the Ninja Turtle craze of the early nineties.

So much feels the same in this Robocop movie that you know it's in continuity with the others and then it feels so detached, with no thanks to it's lighter and softer touch.  OCP is still making a play for control of Detroit and now has money issues with a Japanese conglomerate to co-own the plan for Delta City.  The only way out is forced relocation of citizens in the poorest part of town and a private army is employed.  Robocop manages to overcome his programming and help the rebels do the right thing but not before more of Robocop's tortured memories of his past life complete with corporate weasels and lawyers assuring us that the man who makes Robocop is dead when all else leads to the contrary.

The major names who don't make the return are Peter Weller as Robocop and Daniel O'Herlihy as the old man in charge of OCP.  I don't miss Peter Welller much, short of his voice as Robert John Burke moves, acts and shoots just as good in fact, his face is almost identical when Robo's top is unscrewed.  The old man being gone gets a replacement in Rip Torn.  Not a terrible choice and being flustered in the crumbling remains of OCP is probably for the best.  Nancy Allen, Robert Du'Qui and Felton Perry are all back and present in familiar roles and aren't any worse then they were before.  Co stars CCH Pounder, Stephen Root and Jill Hennesey do fine in their roles.

The biggest detracters are the lack of good solid action which the other films had, and the sharp satire of television products and news stories (kids wouldn't get them) and a lack of Robocop.  Robo doesn't get out into the city to stomp around as much.  He's still sitting in his chair all the time, or lying on his back getting fixed.  This is almost like a Batman movie from the 90s where our hero is absent for much of the film.

Robocop 3 isn't terrible, but compared to the other films, it's easily the weakest.  It's kid friendly touch and lack of good action hurt but enough familiar faces and talented costars keep it from failing completely.  Robocop needed a reboot after this cause a campy live action show didn't help the franchise and later mini series didn't generate the buzz it should have.  A new reboot movie is on the way next year.  Will it re-ignite the flame the original had?  That has yet to be seen but it surely will win more hearts then this movie did.

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September 10, 2013
Loved your opening paragraph. When I first saw this one, I ddi not hate it, but I did not like it either. I guess I alo had issues with it as you have, and Weller left the franchise after # 2. I do want to see the remake though, they can do a lot of new things to this premise.
September 09, 2013
Good and detailed review!
More Robocop 3 (1993) reviews
Quick Tip by . June 12, 2013
Robocop is back online and ready to serve the public and in this case it's the poor being thrown from their homes for OCP's last big push and demolishing the old neighborhoods for they're Delta City plan and have invested in a private army to do they're bidding. A lot less of Robocop in this one and while it has some interesting ideas no new ground is broken to really invest in and the satire the other two films had is practically gone.
review by . May 11, 2002
posted in Movie Hype
The first ROBOCOP was great. It has become one of the classic action films from the 1980s. ROBOCOP 2 was much darker, but suffered from a severe lack of originality. ROBOBCOP 3 is the last movie in the series and in it everything comes full circle. ROBOCOP has become a legendary agent of justice that the people of Detroit love, compared to the way the populace looked at him in the first film. The old man in charge of OCP has been removed and the company is taken over by a much larger Japaneese firm. …
About the reviewer
John Nelson ()
Ranked #8
Born in Wausau Wisconsin. Move at an early age to Ventura California and lived for 8 years. Growing up in a big city landscape didn't prepare me for my next move: Archbold Ohio with a population of … more
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Early on inRobocop 3, an action figure of our metal hero on the nightstand in a little girl's room informs us that he's now become a children's toy. The image is right on the money; despite following up two of the most violent, hilarious sci-fi/action films ever made,Robocop 3is strictly for the kiddies. It's not just that the gore has been toned down considerably to make for a PG-13 rating; also excised is the straight-faced portrait of a world run by corporate fascism. When evil corporation OCP, and its even more evil Japanese parent company, plan to raze a Detroit neighborhood to put up the shining new Delta City, the residents (including the aforementioned adolescent, who conveniently happens to be a computer expert) gang up to fight back, just like the angry neighbors inDeath Wish V. Robocop (played this time out by Robert John Burke, Peter Weller having wisely passed) could be a hindrance to the companies' plans, so a ninja android is sent in to deal with him. Even all this could have been enjoyable, in a campy sort of way, but nothing pays off as either comedy or action--tellingly, the two big showdowns with the ninja start exhilaratingly (Robocop's clunky movements hilariously counterpoised by the android's acrobatic leaps), only to end just when they're getting good. Director Fred Dekker has some nice stylistic touches scattered about, but not nearly enough to save the film. One high note, though: The animated "Johnny Rehab" spot may be the funniest ad in ...
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Director: Fred Dekker
Runtime: 104 minutes
Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
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