“He’s Back… To Lay Down the Law!
It’s Megacop vs. Megacorp when Detroit’s cyborg crime-fighter hits the streets to protect the innocent – this time from corporate greed!
When the ruthless corporation that runs Motor City begins kicking families out of their homes to clear space for a profitable new real estate project, RoboCop (Robert John Burke, 2 Guns, Limitless) joins with a renegade band of freedom fighters to save them. But RoboCop must face some deadly foes, including a lethally efficient android and a dangerous gang of thugs. RoboCop’s latest arsenal of high-tech weaponry only somewhat evens the battlefield, as this lone superhero takes on the entire army of corporate militia in an all-out war to control Detroit! This last film in the trilogy is directed by cult filmmaker Fred Dekker (The Monster Squad, Night of the Creeps).”
When they say third time’s a charm, they clearly weren’t talking about RoboCop 3. Everything that made RoboCop such a unique series has been stripped away. Paul Verhoeven’s original was brutal, both in its commentary about the direction society is taking, and the violence. In fact, the correlation between the two are directly related. Take one away and the other has no meaning. That is what happened to RoboCop 3.
Understandably, the target demographic from the film shifted drastically from the first, thanks largely in part to a vigorous marketing campaign which included toys and video games. It does make sense that taking a kid to see Paul Verhoeven’s RoboCop is out of the question, with people being blown apart, and heads being ripped off. The second film toned it down quite a bit, but the third took it to an entirely new level, PG-13. Unfortunately, humans can be quite ugly without resorting to violence, and that is what RoboCop 3 strives to achieve, forcibly removing people from their homes to pave the way for corporate glory.
One thing that the film suffers from is lack of focus. There are story lines everywhere. We don’t even see RoboCop until 16 minutes into the film. The antagonist shifts several times, whether it is the new CEO of OCP (Rip Torn), the Japanese CEO (Mako), McDaggett (John Castle), or a Samurai (Bruce Locke) sent to take down RoboCop, we don’t know. The one thing that is clear, however, is the film has lost the thing that has made it special: the humanity.
The video is presented in 1080p High-Definition Widescreen 1.85:1. This release doesn’t get the honor of the new 2k scan, but thankfully the transfer looks pretty good. There are a few minor defects in the source print noticed, but nothing that consistently stands out. Grain levels are at a good constant throughout.
The audio is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. Audio levels are good, with a lot of the action coming through the surrounds. The score, as in the second film, sounds great, which unfortunately is the one thing that remains constant from the second film.
Scream Factory has come through yet again with a great set of extras to keep you busy which may increase your appreciation for the film. On this set you’re going to see:
- NEW Audio Commentary With Director Fred Dekker
- NEW Audio Commentary With The Makers Of “RoboDoc: The Creation Of RoboCop” Documentary – Gary Smart, Chris Griffiths And Eastwood Allen
- NEW Delta City Shuffle: The Making Of ROBOCOP 3 – Featuring Director Fred Dekker, Actors Nancy Allen, Bruce Locke, Producer Patrick Crowley, Cinematographer Gary Kibbe And Production Designer Hilda Stark
- NEW Robo-Vision: The FX Of ROBOCOP 3 – Featuring Peter Kuran, Phil Tippett, Craig Hayes, Kevin Kutchaver And Paul Gentry
- NEW The Corporate Ladder – An Interview With Actor Felton Perry
- NEW Training Otomo – An Interview With Actor Bruce Locke And Martial Arts Trainer Bill Ryusaki
- NEW War Machine – An Interview With RoboCop Gun Fabricator James Belohovek
- Theatrical Trailer
- Still Gallery
RoboCop 3 turned Murphy from a machine who is more human than the rest of us into a cartoon character for kids used to sell toys. It does its best to keep the theme throughout the series, but nothing new is brought to the table. Although it isn’t as terrible as many seem to think it is, it is a poor bookend to a great character that had more potential than he ever achieved. Regardless, fans of the series who are completists, as I am, will want to pick this up, as it is treated with more respect than some may say it deserves. As long as you can pause your thinking for a couple hours, try your best to see through the eyes of your inner child, you may enjoy the fun of the third film.