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by Asa Butcher
Issue 14
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RoboCop 3
Fred Dekker
What was that? RoboCop arrested my attention and RoboCop 2 let me off with a caution, while RoboCop 3 was mere police brutality. It was the film equivalent of Rodney King and his encounter with some of LAPD's finest batons, and now I am left wishing the bail had been paid and 104-minutes of my life had not been stolen.

It is unusual for one of my iKritics to be negative, but my trip down RoboCop memory lane has left the sting of mace in my eyes. Thanos' RoboCop Trilogy box set was on the verge of being borrowed forever but a travesty known as the second sequel left me wondering why one of the Prime Directives was not: Protect the public from pointless movies.

In the same vein as the first two movies, RoboCop 3 launched immediately into the film and then twenty minutes later the main man appeared, except that it wasn't 'the' main man. Peter Weller had refused to reprise his role due to scheduling conflict with Naked Lunch and Robert Burke had been chosen to squeeze into the iconic costume, but the suit left no room for any acting ability.

Burke had probably taken a proper look at the screenplay and realised it was not worth the bother. He had the luxury of being hidden behind a mask for the majority of the film, leaving his fellow actors to take the heat. Felton Perry as Johnson, Robert DoQui as Sergeant Warren Reed and Nancy Allen as Officer Anne Lewis are the only three to appear in all three films and this time Allen demanded her character to be killed in the first half of the movie - lucky girl.

Omni Consumer Products are still going strong and are still after Detroit, but this time they have invested in mercenaries to clear the area chosen for their new project, Delta City. Poor OCP, they had no chance. This company invests millions of dollars into their robotics and then a little girl reprograms the awesome ED-209 robot in a few minutes: "I am now authorized to... be loyal as a puppy." All credibility has evaporated before RoboCop even makes an appearance.

The mercenaries are led by Paul McDaggett, played by John Castle, who made me feel embarrassed to be English, although to be fair he was probably cringing with every piece of dialogue he uttered: "In twenty seconds, everything within 30 metres of where we're standing will be atomised. We're DEAD, ya stupid slag!" Painful, yet he cannot be singled out because the entire cast looked bored.

Back to the plot and, oh no, the mercenary army is fighting against an underground resistance and RoboCop must decide where his loyalties lie - what could ever happen? The tension was unbearable, or was that the unbearable lack of tension? Frank Miller and director Fred Dekker's screenplay just falls flat and has more holes than a villain has after resisting RoboCop.

The film even resorted to flashbacks from the first two films and I swear the same sets were used. The only saving moments came during scenes with Rip Torn, Stephen Root and future West Wing star Bradley Whitford, but they were few and far-between, while the special effects were so funny that this would be the one reason to watch number three - a flying RoboCop was almost worth the preceding 100-minutes. Barely.
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