As always, I kept the best for last... who am I kidding?
Let's dig into the atrocity that almost killed a franchise....
Movie: RoboCop 3
Directed by Fred Dekker
Release date 1993
Genre Science-fiction action
In 1991, Orion Pictures was facing risks of bankruptcy despite a handful of highly successful films such as The Addams Family and the previous RoboCop movies. So what did they decide to do naturally? Rush in some sequels for their most successful titles.
Among those, another RoboCop obviously!
Frank Miller came back. Fresh off a very popular comic book series he originally envisaged to make into a movie but the rights to make it come true weren't that easy to obtain. RoboCop Versus The Terminator. (that's right, we almost got that film, but James Cameron didn't allow it)
The producers thinking it was a good move to let Miller be more free than he was in R2, they let him write the story and co-plot the screenplay. This movie wasn't cut down as he always said of RoboCop 2. This is his work kept intact and put on the big screen.
They got a decent director, Fred Dekker who despite great stuff such as The Monster Squad, Night of the Creeps and his involvement on the awesome Tales from the Crypt series wasn't able to save this picture.
What this movie needed was more time and some actual good ideas. And that's exactly what it didn't get.
The story follows Officer Alex Murphy turned RoboCop back in business to fight some crime and protect the innocent.
This time Omni Consumer Products is facing bankruptcy (haha, really clever, Orion Pictures..). They are brought in by a Japanese mega-corporation.
Long story short, the OCP goes full on "evil corporation". They decide to finally turn Detroit into the utopic Delta City that the old man dreamt in past films. (he's dead now apparently)
The OCP has now a privatized militia that evicts people and seem to have the right to shoot down people in the street for some reason.
RoboCop ends up protecting the rebels fighting back at OCP.
The cops are on strike. Again.
There's robot-ninjas called Otomo tracking RoboCop around the city (and jumping a lot when they find him...).
But all this is not really important, the plot goes out the window once RoboCop gets his hands on a jetpack and use it to... go up the OCP building where he ends up not having to fight these Otomos who end up killing each other.
Oh, and there's lots of explosions. Because it's pretty.
What happened on this film?
A lot of problems from having Orion mess up in the production too much.
The rushed production made Peter Weller quit the role for a better film. Instead RoboCop/Murphy was no played by Robert Burke. They didn't had the time to either build a new Robo suit nor change it too much so instead just recycled it from RoboCop 2 (albeit colored less blue this time thankfully). They had to find someone able to squeeze in there with the same physique as Weller. After some casting process they got Burke to fill in the role. He was a mime so that would come in handy. Early on the film RoboCop gets "burned" on the face so that explains why he suddenly has a much bigger chin and doesn't look the same that much. He did a relatively nice job for what he could. His robotic moves are great... but his acting his just plain horrible, his lines awfully delivered... It's like RoboCop reverted back to a simple mindless drone, goodbye character development from part 1 and 2!
Nancy Allen wasn't staying for much of the film so Officer Lewis gets killed in the most stupid and dumb way in the middle of the film. While she usually stayed behind RoboCop in case of problems to shield her from gunfire and RoboCop was seen several times (even in RoboCop 3!) catching bullets by hand, her dead was made quite stupidly and convenient to move the plot forward.
Also, we got a kid genius in this film, because that's exactly what RoboCop needed. Right?
And the film was made to make as much money as possible for Orion. So most of it is simply there just to sell some toys. From the inclusion of RoboCop toys at the start of the film to Murphy using a jetpack, a hand-mounted gattling gun, etc.
Even poor ED-209 is back at the beginning for a little cameo in which he is shown "as loyal as a puppy" (what a missed opportunity.. they could have used him more then, but with the poor animatronics and puppetry this time around, they just showed him to have kids want to buy his action figure)...
Frank Miller's story is probably not that bad...on paper.
This movie's a great representation of the pop culture from the 1990s. I mean, it's a perfect visualization on screen of the pinnacle of mid-90s comic books. It's overly gritty yet aimed at children, you got robots, ninjas, Japanese culture, jetpacks, kid sidekicks....
Story-wise, it's pure Frank Miller! There's definitely some of what made his Ronin or Daredevil famous in there. Only Orion made it pretty cheap, pretty quickly and with a PG-13 rating.
It would probably have worked better on a comic book.
The over-the-top villain no one cares about, RoboCop doesn't do much in the entire film, an anti-climatic ending...
Just have a look at RoboCop's introduction scene. Which sees our hero run off a parking garage for no reason (oh, yes, because it's "cool"), shoot off the roof of his own car and face some over-the-top street punks out of a Street of Rage videogame.
There's no reason to anything. The corporate satire doesn't try to hid itself too much. RoboCop protect families from the villains with a jetpack and toy accessories to sell some toys.. the series became what its former self used to mock on screen!
The only good to come out of this entire film is the return of Basil Poledouris on the movie's score. It's great to finally have him back. Which means the return of RoboCop's theme as well. Switch this score on RoboCop 2 and it would have made Part 2 perfect!
Overall, it's really bad.
Just plain awful.
Overly campy without playing with it. It is just bad because it wasn't made from any good intentions.
No story to tell, no new idea to show.
It's the weakest entry of the entires series.
It has everything you need to ruin a good franchise, jetpacks, robot ninjas and a PG-13 rating. In fact they had already filmed the pilot for the RoboCop TV series but thanks to this movie bombing at the box office preferred to not air the show for a couple years.
I give it:
1 / 3 UFOs!