RoboCop 3 Review

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In this final installment of the RoboCop franchise, the literally super-human policeman must stop a crazed villain and his army from killing the innocent homeless in downtown Detroit. To add excitement to the last part we are introduced to RoboCop's sexy new secretary and computer aide.


This is one of those films that suggests there ought to be a law against sequels. Taken by themselves, this and its immediate predecessor are no worse than many ambitious but vague science fiction action movies, but they have the misfortune to follow up Paul Verhoeven's original, a crackerjack mix of politics, humour, violence and action. In a cartoonish devolution of the surprisingly sophisticated comic book politics of the first film, the Evil American Corporation has been taken over by an Evil Japanese Corporation, and mercenaries led by yet another well-spoken Brit (John Castle) are massacring the homeless in downtown Detroit for nefarious purposes.

The script busily introduces a host of new characters, from feisty terrorists to creepy corporate types, then, as an afterthought, squeezes in RoboCop himself, killing off his usual partner (Allen) early on in favour of bimbo scientist Jill Hennessy and "cute" computer whizz Remy Ryan. Director Dekker, who did good work on Night Of The Creeps and the underrated Monster Squad, doesn't quite get the Robo idea: he holds back on the violence to get a 15 rating and misinterprets Verhoeven's satire by having all the supporting cast overact like geeks in a sitcom.

Held up due to Orion's financial problems, this effects spectacular has aged badly in the years since its production, and a few CGI moments hardly compensate for a silly and not-very-well-executed finale in which RoboCop sprouts a flying pack and zooms through the air. With Weller gone, Burke, of Hal Hartley and Dust Devil fame, steps into the suit, and while he's as skilled as Weller in acting with only his mouth, he's clearly a lot less comfortable with the hardware.

Unsurprisingly this is the worst in the RoboCop trilogy, with the plot proving ridiculous, excelling itself particularly in the climax. For what was a promising debut, it's reputation was quickly tarnished with the drivvel such as this that followed. Watch the first episode but stop after that.