Anthony's Film Review
RoboCop 3 (1993)
The third RoboCop movie delivers a fitting finale to the series...
Let me first comment on a few things that many people have said about RoboCop 3. I can understand the major criticisms of this third movie in the RoboCop series compared with the previous two movies: less graphic violence, (garnering a PG-13 rating instead of an R rating in the United States), less humor, and the replacement of actor Peter Weller with Robert Burke in the role of the title character. It is enough for me to rate this movie lower than the other two movies. At the same time, it's not so much inferior that it's terrible and should be ignored. On the contrary, I consider this movie to still fit nicely in the RoboCop series.
First off, a quick refresher. The cyborg police officer RoboCop was built after Officer Alex Murphy was brutally murdered and left for dead, but not before his head and brain were salvaged and hooked up to some high-tech machinery. This is possible because of the corporation Omni Consumer Products, or OCP, but it's more than just the developer of this killing machine. In the first two RoboCop movies, OCP also sought to aid the Detroit police in battling crime. But over time, the company's power grew beyond that of the city's law enforcement, practically rendering the Detroit police irrelevant.
Now, in RoboCop 3, OCP clearly crosses the line. The corporation now wants to build a new utopian city called Delta City. But in order to do so, it has to destroy the already dystopic Detroit. To do that, OCP employs a military force to banish the people of Detroit and terminate any who choose to resist. If that's not bad enough, OCP even resorts to home destruction. In one early scene, a computer whiz girl named Nikko and her parents escape their home as a wrecking ball demolishes it, nearly killing them in the process. But in the midst of the chaos in the streets, Nikko is separated from her parents and ends up with a clan of rebels who resist OCP's oppression.
By the 20-minute mark of the movie, RoboCop enters the scene in his usual glory, gunning down bad guys in the streets. Also returning is Nancy Allen as Officer Anne Lewis, who is RoboCop's closest ally. These two characters eventually spring forward the film's main plot when they get caught between rebels hiding in a church and the OCP militants with their guns ready. Because it's clear that OCP is a malicious corporation, RoboCop finds himself allied with the rebels. But as this is happening, the Japanese corporation that owns OCP (yes, OCP doesn't really have supreme power as one might assume) sends out a cyborg warrior of its own: a robotic samurai named Otomo.
Since I've already pointed out the main criticisms of RoboCop 3, I shall now present to you the things I liked about the movie. Even if the graphic violence and humor are downplayed, there is still enough of those elements here. Also, RoboCop, despite the casting change, continues to be the character we love: tough with taking out society's scum, yet still vulnerable to physical destruction and moral conflicts. And let's not forget that the plot is not an overly simplified, straightforward, and predictable story. It has a few tiny surprises here and there, and things seen briefly in the movie may in fact become important later.
I do not know whether RoboCop 3 was intended to be the last film of the series. Even if there was an intention to make RoboCop 4 but plans for it never materialized, it's not a problem, because RoboCop 3 doesn't leave the audience hanging. The last shot of RoboCop before the credits roll and the RoboCop theme music plays does seem like a fitting way to end the series itself. When one character asks RoboCop how he would like to be addressed, he says, "My friends call me Murphy. You call me... RoboCop." That last line, I must admit, is pretty satisfying to hear.
For more information about RoboCop 3, visit the Internet Movie Database.
In addition, check out my reviews of RoboCop and RoboCop 2, plus the remake film RoboCop.