RoboCop really isn’t that good of a hero, when you think about it. After killing off an evil businessman and a lethal gang in the first film, and stopping the production on a vicious war weapon in the second film, nothing has changed. Detroit is still under control of OCP, and even worse, RoboCop is all alone. With “RoboCop” really just a kids superhero in the nineties what with an animated series, video games, and short lived TV show, the producers try to appeal to his fan base by giving the final “RoboCop” a PG-13 installment and showing little progress story wise.
The characters in the movie emphasize over and over what we learned in the first two movies. Nancy Allen’s character and a technician spend five minutes arguing about Alex Murphy and his ability to remember his past life, and how he’s not just a machine. Haven’t we been over all of this already? Didn’t they make it clear in the first film when Alex broke free from his restraints and began seeking out the men that murdered him? Why is it crucial we know this information again? Fans of the first two films that enjoyed this world filled with crime and hyper violence will be frustrated to see much of the violence dialed down. RoboCop and his world are much more stylish and polished, and writer Dekker seems to think he’s pushing the narrative forward by bringing the premise back two steps. OCP is still in power and are about as vicious as ever, and RoboCop seems in over his head, so what was the point of the first two movies?
And once again, RoboCop and his partner are given a directive, and RoboCop decides that he’s not going to obey his masters. To add insult to injury for the fans, Nancy Allen’s character Officer Lewis is murdered in the first half hour, only for the writers to give RoboCop a new sidekick in the form of a wise beyond her years little girl. Pandering, much? After mourning her for two minutes, RoboCop immediately becomes the fighter for the people, who helps the rebellion against OCP. There, we learn that his machinery isn’t as complex as the first two films insisted. What took constant watching from technicians, and repair from scientists, is now a man machine who can be repaired by three rebels with barely enough tools to build a dog house. Eventually Alex is up and running and begins bonding with his new sidekick, while OCP and the gritty atmosphere is pushed in the background for what feels like an attempt at turning RoboCop in to a family mascot.
Surely, Alex Murphy was murdered, but he also did his fair share of violent activities as RoboCop. He isn’t exactly a cut and dry hero. Except for this last entry, where he merely shoots bad guys a few times and lets them run away or arrests them. As opposed to finishing them off violently. And rather than fighting advanced models of himself like the first two films, RoboCop battles a Ninja. Probably one of the most bland ninjas ever written, to boot. “RoboCop 3” isn’t exactly the note I would have loved to see the trilogy go out on; it’s a tame and brutally boring final installment running on empty with a premise that met its full potential in part two. With boring characters, predictable plot twists, and the lack of unique energy that made the concept of Robocop so interesting, “RoboCop 3” barely stacks up against its predecessors.