By 1993, Robocop had turned from a Christ allegory with a vicious blood streak to a bonafide kids’ mascot who was appearing on lunch boxes and Saturday morning cartoons. Thus was the weird period of the eighties and nineties where even folks like Conan, Rambo, Chuck Norris, and heck, even Freddy Krueger became kiddie fodder. The official final go around for Robocop is a tame and pretty dull 1993 film that director Fred Dekker is saddled with, that takes Robocop in to more family friendly territory right down to having a spunky child sidekick. Not much has happened for Robocop and Detroit since the first two films, as the city is still very much under the death grip of crime, while OCP still controls every going on. Dekker has a lot of catching up to do and sadly doesn’t deliver much in the way of a great sequel, as “Robocop 3” essentially repeats a lot of the same beats from the first two films.
There’s a lot of the same look at Robocop’s memories, and his struggle with his past, and there’s not a lot of new areas of the mythology explored. Director Dekker dials down much of the violence, and for some odd reason the producers straddle Robocop with a new sidekick after embarrassingly killing off Nancy Allen’s character about a few minutes in to this installment. After mourning her per the convenience of the film’s length, Robocop is tasked with battling OCP once again and is taken in by an underground rebellion, all of whom repair the titular hero. OCP are now kicking lower class families out of their homes rendering them homeless, and paving the way for a new complex for the rich.
From there, RoboCop must do battle with a gang of thugs, and a pretty goofy robotic ninja who seems included almost the sake of an action figure. Ninjas were big money and in vogue in the early nineties, so the producers squeeze in a robot ninja just for the hell of it, as well as a broadly diverse cast of underdogs, and a sleeker outfit for RoboCop that could likely allow for a TV show. Among some of the more goofy alterations, there’s RoboCop’s technology being easy to configure, and his sudden use of a jet pack, and an interchangeable arm because merchandise. There’s also the silly finale where he’s basically embraced by the local public. The once grotesque Frankenstein experiment becomes a public hero, further sinking the character of Robocop in to utter mediocrity. Peter Weller’s presence is instantly missed, as he bowed out from the role, making way for Robert John Burke. Burke does his best with what he’s given, but fights an uphill battle for what is an unusually saccharine action movie.
“Robocop 3” isn’t an awful movie, but compared to the original and the hyper violent sequel, the character deserved so much better. Hell, a talented director like Fred Dekker deserved so much better. “Robocop 3” is more for completists of the series than anything else. Among some of the features included by Shout Factory is an audio commentary with director Fred Dekker, and the team behind “RoboDoc: The Creation of RoboCop.” There’s “Delta City Shuffle: The Making of RoboCop 3” a thirty eight minute documentary that features director Fred Dekker, actors Nancy Allen, Bruce Locke, producer Patrick Crowley and many more. The documentary is an honest look at such a botched film, with Fred Dekker who had his own ridiculous ideas including a cyborg Nancy Allen and an OCP building that becomes a giant robot.
“Robo-Vision: The FX of RoboCop 3” is a twelve minute look at the film’s effects with Peter Kuran, Phil Tippett, Craig Hayes, Kevin Kutchaver and Paul Gentry. The short segment discusses the film’s stop motion and early CGI. “Climbing the Corporate Ladder” is a ten minute interview with actor Felton Perry who discusses his work with the three films, and his study on the character’s history and psyche. “Training Otomo” is an eight minute interview with Bruce Locke, and martial arts trainer Bill Ryusaki. “War Machine” is a nine minute interview with gun maker James Belohovek, who discusses his duties on the films, his model work for the various guns in the films, and the specific gun attached to RoboCop’s arm in the film. Finally, there’s the HD original trailer, and a seven minute HD Still Gallery.