RoboCop 3

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This article is about the film. For the video game, see RoboCop 3 (video game).
RoboCop 3
RoboCop3.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Fred Dekker
Produced by Patrick Crowley
Screenplay by Frank Miller
Fred Dekker
Story by Frank Miller
Based on Characters by
Edward Neumeier
Michael Miner
Starring Robert John Burke
Remy Ryan
Nancy Allen
Rip Torn
John Castle
Jill Hennessy
Mako
C. C. H. Pounder
Music by Basil Poledouris
Cinematography Gary B. Kibbe
Edited by Bert Lovitt
Distributed by Orion Pictures
Release dates
  • April 18, 1993 (1993-04-18) (Japan)
  • November 5, 1993 (1993-11-05) (US)
  • June 24, 1994 (1994-06-24) (UK)
[1]
Running time
104 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $22 million
Box office $10.6 million

RoboCop 3 is a 1993 American cyberpunk action film directed by Fred Dekker and written by Frank Miller and Dekker. Set in the near future in a dystopian metropolitan Detroit, Michigan, RoboCop 3 follows RoboCop (Robert John Burke) as he vows to avenge the death of his partner Anne Lewis (Nancy Allen) and tries to save Detroit from falling into chaos. It was filmed in Atlanta, Georgia. Most of the buildings seen in the film were slated for demolition to make way for facilities for the 1996 Olympics. Nancy Allen, Robert DoQui, Felton Perry, Mario Machado, and Angie Bolling are the only cast members to appear in all three films.

RoboCop 3 is the first film to use digital morphing in more than one scene.[2]

Plot[edit]

In the near future, Omni Consumer Products (OCP) is on the verge of bankruptcy after a series of failed business plans, and are now struggling with their plans to create the new Delta City. To speed up the process, OCP creates an armed force called the Urban Rehabilitators, nick-named "Rehabs," under the command of Paul McDaggett (John Castle). Ostensibly its purpose is to combat rising crime in Old Detroit, augmenting the ranks of the Detroit Police Department in apprehending violent criminals. In reality, it has been set up to forcibly relocate the residents of Cadillac Heights. Nikko, a Japanese-American computer whiz kid loses her parents in the process.

The police force is gradually superseded by the Rehabs, and violent crime begins to spiral out of control. The Delta City dream of the former OCP CEO, "Old Man", lives on with the help of the Japanese zaibatsu Kanemitsu Corporation, which has bought a controlling stake in OCP and is trying to finance the plan. Kanemitsu (Mako), CEO of the Kanemitsu Corporation sees the potential in the citywide redevelopment, and moves forward with the plans to remove the current citizens. The company develops and uses its own ninja androids called "Otomo" to help McDaggett and the new OCP president (Rip Torn) overcome the resistance of anti-OCP militia forces.

RoboCop (Burke) and partner Anne Lewis (Allen) try to defend civilians from the Rehabs one night, but Lewis is mortally wounded by McDaggett and eventually dies. Unable to fight back because of his "Fourth Directive" programming, RoboCop is saved by members of a resistance movement composed of Nikko and residents from Cadillac Heights and eventually joins them. Due to severe damage sustained in the shoot-out, RoboCop's systems efficiency plummets, and he asks the resistance to summon Dr. Lazarus, one of the scientists who created him. Upon arrival she begins to treat him, deleting the Fourth Directive in the process. During an earlier raid on an armory, the resistance picked up a jet-pack prototype, originally intended for RoboCop's use, which Lazarus modifies and upgrades to hold RoboCop.

After recovering from his injuries, RoboCop conducts a one-man campaign against the Rehabs and OCP. He finds McDaggett and attempts to subdue him, but McDaggett is able to escape. McDaggett then obtains information from a disgruntled resistance member (Stephen Root) regarding the location of the resistance fighters' base. The Rehabs attack and most of the resistance members are either killed or taken prisoner. RoboCop returns to the rebel base to find it abandoned. One Otomo unit arrives and attacks him. RoboCop experiences another power drain and his left arm is destroyed, but eventually he is able to overcome his opponent with his arm-mounted gun. Nikko infiltrates the OCP building and assists a captured Lazarus in broadcasting an improvised video, revealing OCP's responsibility for the criminality in the city and implicating them in the removal and killing of the Cadillac Heights residents. The broadcast causes OCP's stock to plunge, driving the company into financial ruin and bankruptcy.

Meanwhile, McDaggett decides to execute an all-out strike against Cadillac Heights with the help of the Detroit police, but the police officers, enraged at the company's sadistic ways, refuse to comply and instead defect to the resistance in order to get revenge for Anne and their salaries and pensions, escalating the rebellion against OCP into a full-scale war. As a result, McDaggett turns to hiring street gangs and hooligans to assist with his plans.

Having heard Lazarus' broadcast, RoboCop provides aerial support for the entrenched resistance forces. He then proceeds to the OCP building and confronts the waiting McDaggett. RoboCop is then attacked, and nearly defeated, by two Otomo robots. Nikko and Lazarus succeed in reprogramming them using a wireless link from a laptop computer, however, forcing them to attack each other. The Otomos' self-destruct system activate, forcing RoboCop to flee with Nikko and Lazarus. The flaming discharge from the jetpack immobilizes McDaggett, leaving him to perish in the blast.

As Old Detroit is being cleaned up, Kanemitsu arrives and finally comes face to face RoboCop along with his group, while his translator (Doug Yasuda) tells the OCP president on Kanemitsu's behalf that he is fired, as the corporation shuts down OCP for good and plans to leave Detroit. Kanemitsu then bows to RoboCop and the group in respect. The now unemployed OCP president turns to RoboCop and, trying to be friendly, says, "Well, I gotta hand it to you. What do they call you? Murphy, is it?" RoboCop replies to the CEO, "My friends call me Murphy. You call me RoboCop."

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Frank Miller (photographed in 1982)

The film was directed by Fred Dekker, a director primarily known for cult horror films (Night of the Creeps, The Monster Squad). Popular graphic novelist Frank Miller returned to write the screenplay for the film. Still optimistic that he could make an impression in Hollywood, Miller accepted the job of writing RoboCop 3, hoping that some of his excised ideas would make it into the second sequel. Major themes of the plot were taken from Miller's original (rejected) draft of RoboCop 2. Disillusioned after finding that his work was even more drastically altered than before, Miller left Hollywood until the 2005 adaptation of his work Sin City. “[Working on RoboCop 2 and 3] I learned the same lesson,” Miller said in 2005.[3] “Don’t be the writer. The director’s got the power. The screenplay is a fire hydrant, and there’s a row of dogs around the block waiting for it.” Miller's original screenplay for RoboCop 2, and source for major ideas in Robocop 3, was later turned into a nine-part comic book series called Frank Miller's RoboCop.

The star of the previous films, Peter Weller, did not reprise the role, as he was starring in Naked Lunch.[4] Robert John Burke was signed to play the cyborg character instead. The RoboCop suit Burke wore in the movie was originally built for RoboCop 2 (1990). Since Burke was taller than Weller, he complained that wearing it was painful after a short time.[5] Other important casting changes had to be made for the third film. The actor who played the OCP CEO from the previous two films, Dan O'Herlihy, was absent from this film. The cast changes meant that Nancy Allen, Robert DoQui, Felton Perry, Mario Machado and Angie Bolling are the only supporting cast actors to appear in all three films.

Recognizing that Robocop's fan base consisted primarily of children, Orion Pictures cut down on the graphic violence that was seen as the defining characteristic of the first two films.[2]

RoboCop 3 went into production soon after RoboCop 2 was complete. Initially scheduled for release in the summer of 1992, RoboCop 3 would languish on the shelf until the following year as Orion Pictures went through bankruptcy[6] and was bought out. RoboCop 3 earned $4.3 million on its opening weekend, ending its run with $10.6 million domestically, far short of recouping its estimated $22 million production budget.

Music[edit]

After RoboCop 2's score which was composed by Leonard Rosenman, the RoboCop original composer Basil Poledouris returned to do the soundtrack score[7] and brought back many of the RoboCop themes that were missing from RoboCop 2.[8]

Critical reception[edit]

RoboCop 3 was panned by critics for its plot and several cinematic glitches. The film was also a box office bomb only earning $10 million on a $22 million budget.[clarification needed] Rotten Tomatoes gives RoboCop 3 a score of 3% based on 30 reviews, with an average score of 3.1 out of 10.[9]

Richard Harrington from the Washington Post says the movie is "hardly riveting and often it's downright silly. The sets and effects betray their downsized budget."[10]

Chicago Sun Times critic Roger Ebert gives the film 1½ stars, disputing the characters' longevity and comparing the series to the Detroit car manufacturing industry. "Why do they persist in making these retreads? Because 'RoboCop' is a brand name, I guess, and this is this year's new model. It's an old tradition in Detroit to take an old design and slap on some fresh chrome."[11]

David Nusair from Reel Film Reviews rates the film as 2½ stars, stating, "The best one could hope for is a movie that's not an ordeal to sit through, and on that level, RoboCop 3 certainly excels. When placed side-by-side with the original, the film doesn't quite hold up. But, at the very least, RoboCop 3 works as a popcorn movie—something part two couldn't even manage."[12]

Other points of criticism in this movie include curtailing the graphic violence of the first two films (deliberately done in order to be more family friendly material), less humor, and the absence of Peter Weller in the title role (replaced by Robert John Burke).[13][14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "UK Cinema Release Dates - 1994 Films". Retrieved March 19, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Robocop 3 Set to Blow-Torch the Competition". Electronic Gaming Monthly (51) (EGM Media, LLC). October 1993. p. 209. 
  3. ^ Icons Interview: Frank Miller. G4tv.com (March 31, 2005). Retrieved on 2011-04-21.
  4. ^ Naked Lunch (1991) – The Criterion Collection. Criterion.com. Retrieved on April 21, 2011.
  5. ^ Robocop 3 | burrp!TV Guide. Tv.burrp.com (November 5, 1993). Retrieved on 2011-04-21.
  6. ^ [1][dead link]
  7. ^ Robocop 3 (1993 Film): Basil Poledouris: Music. Amazon.com. Retrieved on April 21, 2011.
  8. ^ Robocop 3 – Basil Poledouris. Soundtrack-express.com. Retrieved on April 21, 2011.
  9. ^ "Robocop 3". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 4, 2013. 
  10. ^ "RoboCop 3". Washington Post. November 5, 1993. Retrieved December 26, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Robocop 3". Chicago Sun-Times. 
  12. ^ Robocop 3 (1993) – A Review by David Nusair. Reelfilm.com. Retrieved on April 21, 2011.
  13. ^ Thomas, Kevin (November 5, 1993). "Mechanical 'RoboCop 3' in Need of Policing". LA Times. Retrieved March 4, 2010. 
  14. ^ Holden, Stephen (November 5, 1993). "A Cop Stalks Trouble, Right There in Motor City". The New York Times. Retrieved August 9, 2010. [dead link]

External links[edit]