Thursday, December 2, 2010

RoboCop 3 flaws - Scene by Scene

Ed Neumeier: The third movie was a tepid attempt to make a PG-13, more family oriented version, which needless to say defeats the entire purpose of Robocop (Vice Magazine, 2009)


RoboCop 3 started the mythology's descent into oblivion and along with the TV series, it forever cemented the image of Robocop as a kiddie boy thing in audiences' minds, overshadowing what RoboCop originally was. It has many faults. Many plotholes. Many things that should not be in a RoboCop movie. And many signature elements for a cartoon, and when you have a script for a cartoon with an elementary school humor (picking nose) and you're presenting it through a live action movie, it comes out as a silly movie for adults and an "uncool" movie for young boys. It lost the edge and the essence of the RoboCop mythology, which was a satirical look at today's crime, corporate power and capitalism, filled with cruelty of the real world, religious themes and plenty of black humor.

Here's a scene by scene look at the movie and its flaws. Let's start with the first DVD chapter which, ironically, is probably the least flawed from them all. 


CHAPTER 1: EVICTION

* The opening is probably the best thing about the movie. I like the fact that the Delta City is becoming a reality. Mediabreak was cool too, although I missed Jess.

* And here's where it goes downhill and ridiculousness starts. Right away we're presented with the first  shameless and corny stereotype in the movie, one of many.  
-We have a computer genius kid who is Asian...(cliche and stereotype in one)
-We have a good family represented as multiracial with Caucasian male and Asian female, a typical set for family movies

Im Asian, therefore Im a computer genius. My dad is American, therefore, he watches TV. My mother is a woman, therefore shes in the kitchen. Im sorry, what is that thing you mentioned, a stereotype?

* And here's when we say goodbye to logic for the first time: The wrecking ball hits the house very suddenly when there was nothing around but peace and quiet. Well, what happened to the crowds on the streets? What happened to all the halogen lights, Rehab trucks and commotion on the streets? What happened to the Rehab officers with megaphones? I mean, I can easily forgive not hearing the giant crane outside cause that's a pretty minor thing which worked for the scene, but not to hear Rehabs and all the commotion, crane engine and lights (!) and then suddenly having a riot outside? The way it was presented just doesn't work at all, it falls flat on its behind

* Rehab reloading the gun in front of gramma was just silly and completely unnecessary. It's a silly element borrowed from cartoons where kids are reminded of the danger, like growling dog for example, even if the angry dog is onscreen nonetheless. But kids don't focus as much as adults, that's why they have to be reminded in a very unsubtle way of what they're seeing. So the gun wasn't enough, it had to be reloaded by a big angry guy to make it visible. That's NOT the same thing as uncocking the gun in the movie - the gun HAS to be uncocked and serves a different purpose: showing that the person is serious about and ready to shoot. But suddenly reloading? To scare gramma? What about pointing the gun at her?

* Now, why would rehabs pull Nikko from her parents and then just release her? I was wondering why are they separated in the first place and thought that maybe kids have a separate bus, but then I go"what the hell?" when they manage to pull her away, they just leave her. Duh...what the..?

* "You broken cow":...ah, the PG 13 rating. The thing is PG 13 allows to say "bitch" at least. I think the movie should've been rated PG. If I would use an insult like this against someone, I'm pretty sure that person would be pretty confused. It's in the same vein as "you silly goose"....

* Dekker doesnt present old Detroit as the worst crime ridden nightmare, but instead shows it as being just a hole for good citizens fighting for their homes. Gone are drug dealers and murderers on the streets, replaced with poor innocent neighbors

* So everyone's gone but not Niko, and she's screaming on top of her lungs, yet nobody noticed her and everyone just left. Oooh-kay?

* What was the rehab doing there standing still like a statue with the lights off not moving? Okaaaay?
And who turned on the lights in the van? There was no one inside and he didn't move. And why did he fire a shot? That would only scare her away! And he didn't even see what or who it was
And why didn't he react earlier when she was screaming there for a long time walking around. He was quietly standing there watching the very same spot anyway? He only noticed her in that silence and emptiness when she walked up few feet away to him?

 Maybe this guy is a robot too who is activated via close range motion sensor and can remotely operate the nearby vehicles?

* We see another cartoon element which will became a big pattern in this movie - things being OVERLY conveniently handed or placed just when and where they needed. Nikko falls just in front of the van's door

CHAPTER 2: ARMING UP

* Factual error: after Bertha and her team blow up the gates to the armory we see some pieces burning around. Well, its iron, it wouldn't catch on fire..... Still, its something I can easily forget since it serves the story by showing a cooler amount of destruction

* No one's watching the surveillance cameras that are planted all over the place?

* Bertha and the gang enter the Police Ordnance depot, they find an ED-209 waiting for them. It threatens to shoot them, but instead of running, they just stand there. They didn't know the girl was some kind of computer nerd that could reprogram ED-209, but for nearly 20 seconds, they just stand there.

* Just because Niko is a fan of RoboCop doesn't mean she can hack an ED-209. Where would she get the model diagrams of an ED-209 to be able to find where he can be controlled from? Where would she get something that would surely be top secret - the blueprints for a military weapon? Even during this scene, ED lifts the leg that Niko is working on and ignores her

The last time we saw ED in action was blasting a guy to pieces. He was presented as a serious and dangerous weapon that cannot be fully controlled, and a metaphor for an occasional blindness of the police force and justice system. Here, its downgraded to a toy that a 9 year old can tame. It's interesting that a team of scientists who most likely designed it couldn't regain control over him in RoboCop, yet this 9 year old girl does it without breaking a sweat. Are blueprints for military weapons and hardware sold as toys as well?

"Hey look, I just mocked and ruined the image of ED 209 forever'"

* Even when ED is counting down, they still just stand there in the line of fire even tho they're right by the gate where they can duck. Plus, the little kid reprogrammed Ed 209 in about 10 seconds. Some piece of equipment...Maybe Jones shouldve hired Asian kids

* "All we have to do is figure out how to get this door open"...mm, okay, so they used detonators to open the gate. Well, that's a clue. Not to mention it would've been easier to just jump through the gate and use the charges for the door just in case. We then get Disney music in the background followed by some cute moves from Niko and ED blasting the door

CHAPTER 3: POLICE ACTIVITY

* Here we see the first example of how Dekker confused SATIRE with COMEDY. We have a scene that could as well be in National Lampoon with Chevy Chase or even better - Police Academy. The guy walks in to a donut shop/night diner (what kind of choice is that?), visibly looks around (and he sure would anyway) and doesn't see any cops. Pulls out a shotgun and the place is revealed as being packed with cops. Only in cartoon baby. We then see a typical Police Academy moments like the cops shown to be lazy morons not following procedures and acting like high school boys. Where's Mahoney?  "Yo Donnelly, ish yo turn", "Lewis!Lewis!Lewis!" And need I add what an old and juvenile stereotype and cliche this is? Cops in a donut place?

The guy walks in, looks around, specifically to his right...

And didn;t see the cops who were sitting there???

* More cartoon dialogue and comedy lines :"he's not big on donuts", and then you actually hear the two guys talking about how cyborgs don't eat...

* One of many shameless attempts to copy the original: Lewis chewing gum and the suspects in a van. Typical Hollywood move - screw story and art, just follow a formula this time. Do a movie that's more similar to the one that made more $. Paint by numbers. A kind of "sucking up to the original" situation. "It feels like something being made because someone sees a successful format, rather than something they want to say" - avrev.com

* Lewis in pursuit calling the central. Yet all other units are busy...eating donuts...WTF?!!!

* More cartoony lines between the two cops in the car with "watch it" talk

* More sucking up to the original: SUX returns. And you can see clearly that Lewis' car is empty when it skids upside down, but that's a technical error, so I don't care for that really. The cops had an accident yet no backup arrives even tho they didn't really drive that far from the donut stop. But again, they're all too busy eating donuts, right? I mean what the hell?! In the first movie, the backup was unavailable because there was so much crime going on, in here, Dekker shows us that backup is unavailable cause Mahoney and the other cops are all eating donuts few blocks away. And judging by the turnout in the Donut Shop, they don;t have much to do

* First signs of heavy censorship of violence, the exact opposite of what Verhoeven likes - we see a small red dot and no actual damage when the civilian gets shot with an..uh..arrow?

* Who gave that cop a badge? Why is one of the cops using a shotgun in such situation? First of all, none of the splatter punks are visible yet so there's no target, secondly, it's impossible to accurately aim a shotgun from such distance or more importantly, hit anything! Yet he's pumping shot after shot! Duh...And why wont they just leave the place and start backing up in a defensive formation? (covering up each other, walking backwards). Or why not simply walk away? They werent surrounded yet, they could walk on foot if they felt the danger is aorund and get out of here instead of arming up and sitting in one place waiting for the danger!

* When did Reed became an asshole? When did orders become more important to him than his deputy's safety?? It's even more confusing by the actions that he'll take later in the very same movie

* Why Robo didn't just shut the radio off? Why he had to make a hole and smash his device altogether?

* The moron cops wasted all their ammo shooting at the empty space and the genius shotgun cop didn't even realize he was out of ammo. Well, no surprise here since he didn't even know the range and possibilities of a shotgun

* Why are Splatterpunks considered such danger? They're no different than any other punks - wearing knives and other stabbing weapons and using Molotov cocktails. What makes them so exceptionally dangerous? Not to mention they all look like friends of Bebop and Rocksteady from Ninja Turtles. The cops almost crapped their pants when they saw the splatterpunks logo on the pole. Yet we get the regular slums punk gang, nothing more. Almost all of them seem to be unarmed (with firearms) as evidenced by the first and latter scenes, except for the two pirates (???) who shot at Robo.

Oh my go, it's...a punk gang!

* We see the first signs of a toy commercial - Robo, with detachable arms! Exactly like Kenner and Mattel action figures, with all those exchangeable arms and accessories.

* Taurus cannot go through concrete...not to mention the Taurus seems completely unaffected by that stunt. Not even a dent in the bumper!!! Not even a cracked headlight

* One of the most ridiculous scenes in the movie: Robo shoots the roof and makes a hole to get through it and asks the punks to stop. I mean, does it need a commentary? Why not just open the door???? Not only would it be quicker and would be better for the surprise effect, but it would also save ammo and wouldn't destroy the car! Only in cartoon. Of course kids don't question that, they see something that looks "kool" and don't think logically. But for an adult this is simply ridiculous and things like that make it impossible for an adult to get into that movie and suspend the disbelief

 Well that looks more comfortable than going through the door all right

Also, the gunarm makes no sense and theres no reason why, since he has to carry it separate anyway, doesnt he just carry it with a trigger as a separate weapon but needs to detach his arm which gives him disadvantages. Not only that but the calico gun is a semiautomatic weapon which Auto 9 is as well. It just smells too much like an action figure and a completely pointless weapon. He never really needs a flamethrower (he just burns maps with it!) and the only time he needs the rocket launcher is when he blasts the tank. Besides, whats the point of bringing/using it on regular street punks? In RoboCop he brought a cobra assault canon for the ED 209, in RoboCop 2 he brought Cobra for RoboCain. And now be brings an semiautomatic weapon (which he already has) moutnted with flamethrower and rocket launcher which requires him to take off his hand for..street punks???

We also get to hear Robo's mega low Arnold-like voice in this scene for the first time. Not only is the voice super thick, but with a very strong echo effect. We also get introduced to the Robot-Robo. No "leave them alone scum" comments, just the official GPS talk.
"In some scenes he sounds like a dumb jock or a surfer dude" - combustiblecelluloid.com about Burke's performance.

See, I don't blame Burke. I blame the script and the directions given by the director. Although I'm sure if Weller was around he would say that this is not how Robo talks and acts like and would correct the script - that's exactly what he did on R2

* More GPS talk with Lewis and then another cartoony scene with catching a bullet. That will create some serious inconsistencies later on, but that's later. Oh and still no backup. Those cops must be really busy with those donuts few streets away.   

CHAPTER 4: SPLATTER PUNKS

* We see the two splatterpunks, Bebop and Rocksteady, run as fast as they can. Yet Robo, with his slow motion walk, catches up to them almost instantly. They would successfully loose him by just walking away

* So they toss bottles with flammable liquid into Robo and he's just standing there...Robo from the first two movies would just simply take them down and send bullets to their foreheads or blast their chests open, but the robot-Robo here is just standing there watching, even when they aim the flare at him. And even when he gets ignited, he still doesn't shoot!!! He just continues to slowly walk towards them...what the? I understand its a PG 13 movie, but then a good writing requires to create situations that would work for the rating, not sacrifice logic

 He's such a good Christian. He's turning the other cheek. he wont even aim a gun at them , instead , politely waits for them to set him on fire

* Why the splatterpunk has to be completely focused to pull the trigger? He doesn't. It's another cartoony scene. Only in cartoon.

* Another robot-Robo GPS line - "I'm fine Anne. Thank you for asking". Sounds like the reprogrammed screwed up Robo from the previous movie. And has as much tone in his speech as ATM machine

* Something I noticed: where the hell is Lewis' armor???

* Robo and Lewis see families being separated by force, yet surprisingly they do nothing about it this time around

- One of few good scenes in the movie: When Robo looks at the crucifix its a nice little moment

CHAPTER 5:  JUDGMENT CALLS

* More stereotypes: Big Japanese corporation and fat and dumb American CEO

 "You crammed enough stereotypes and cliches in this movie already!"

* More comedy instead of satire in the conference room. Feels like watching a Mel Brooks movie

* No explanation about what happened to OCP and Old Man.When I first saw R3 I just assumed that the RoboCain incident led to Old Man's prosecution and that he couldn't get away with it after all. I also thought that this and the payments to the families of the victims and all the legal repercussions led to the demise of OCP and the state it was in R3 (greatly falling and partially owned by Kanemitsu).

But when I rewatched R3 for the first time in ages I realized that it doesn't add up to what I always thought. The CEO spokes highly about the Old Man. He wouldn't if they would be talking about a corrupted prosecuted criminal, and there's no mention of the attack from the previous movie. I quickly realized that there's really no explanation - they dropped the ball. Well, kids wouldn't care because they weren't suppose to see the first two movies anyway, right?

* More shameless and forced ties to the original movie in the form of Delta City and Johnson sucking up like Bob did in RoboCop. While it's not necessarily a crime in itself, compounded with all the other throwback scenes it just creates something that wants to suck up and forcingly tie itself to the original masterpiece. And if I'm not mistaken, Delta City already started to rise in the first movie. We see Robo entering Delta City with quite a few skyscrapers already risen when he's on his way to Jones' office. With all fairness, its an inconsistency in itself in RoboCop, so I wont bag on R3 for it

* We get introduced to Otomo, a ninja android (another stereotype btw - Japan=Ninja), a villain that was called the worst villain ever by IGN. Before seeing R3 I was wondering how the Robocop II Monster can be topped? It couldn't and it wasn't. Japanese guy in black is such a step down that its laughable. Still, in-universe he may be faster, stronger etc, but is there any possibility that a simple Asian guy dressed in black can be more fascinating and breath taking than ED 209 or RoboCain? Japanese Ninja androids Otomo proved to be a weak idea coming after such extravaganza. We already had life-like cyborgs and terminator and any other movie did a much better job. Also, there was no skeleton visible, no cool technical design, nothing. About the only thing we got was fractured face - pretty lame in the era of greatly designed cyborg skeletons (*cough* Terminator)

 The fans of robotics and cybernetics must've been very happy about this new villain...

* We see one of the worst scenes in the movie - a Police Academy version of the scene from the first movie with the suspect and his attorney in Reed's face. While the scene in RoboCop presented flaws in our laws and the bureaucracy, here it's just a straight out, simple parody with a big black guy dressed as a girl with a lollipop...nuff said. Its basically a spoof of the scene from the original. We also see another tie to the original in the form of Cecil

"Where the hell is Mahoney!?"

* More GPS-Robo - "You look like you've been friends with a mac truck" , "I don't have many-friends"...uh, Robo, this is something called joke. I'm sure robots don't understand that but humans sometimes joke around and aren't always literal in their statement. Seriously, you want to tell me this device was a human being one time? No way! Marie was right in that this robot utilizes human tissue, but she was completely wrong about Murphy being there somewhere. There's no Murphy there, that's for sure. Not a single trace of him or any humanity or personality. He is even more alien to human emotions and behavior than he ever was, even in the first part of RoboCop when he was just a cyborg with wiped out memory

* Fleck is actually a good character (to a point) because he has that classic OCP asshole personality to him. I just don't understand why the GPS-Robo doesn't even pay attention to the conversation Marie has with Fleck about wiping his memory
 Robo's extremely taken and afraid for his humanity with all the talk about wiping out his memories...oh, wait, he's not.

* THE WINNER: the absolute king of ridiculousness here - Fleck orders to wipe out Robo's memory and - get ready for it - it so happened that the Doc JUST had the microneurobarrier for wiping out Robocop memories in his pocket!! How convenient! But you know, never leave home without it 
Also, here's a couple logical problems with that idiotic device:
- Everything that had something to do with Murphy's brain was done when they were constructing him, because - well, the changes to the brain have to be done surgically, that's why they wiped out his memory right off the bat, right in the first stages when they were dealing with brain, because...
-...if it could be done in any other way, they would wipe out his memory again when he gained it back in RoboCop or in R2 when Murphy's persona was resisting the new directives. The idea of just planting a chip somewhere without taking Robo apart or complicated surgery is just laughable. And how funny that after all these years someone from OCP, who's not even a scientist would think of an idea of erasing Murphy from Robocop. If it could've been done, it would've been done a long time ago

 Do you have a rabbit there too Doc?

* When Marie and Lewis look at the monitors and reflex over Murphy's memories, GPS-Robo is completely absent and unresponsive, like a piece of equipment that he is in this movie

* We then see Marie watching Murphy's memories so she can feel sorry for him. If you ask me, its pretty obvious she wouldn't erase his memory even without seeing the videos again, but like in every kids movie, everything has to be spelled out and shown in a painfully obvious way. In this case the young audience may not assume that Marie feels erasing those memories is wrong, so they have to be shown a scene where the video memories are supposedly making her decision harder

CHAPTER 6: SERVE THE PUBLIC

* Why is Robo asking questions he already knows the answers for? I really don't understand what was the purpose of that line about Lewis' brother. I know it was suppose to add some tension and uncertainty about Robo's memory, but like this? Otherwise this line just doesn't make sense logically.(sarcasm on) And why is that robot asking to call him Murphy? (sarcasm off)

* Why the hell is Robo aiming a gun at the people in the church? Not only they weren't armed but they also didn't pose any threat and didn't even move. And he doesn't stop aiming at them until the rehabs arrive and take his attention with the lights

* Do rehabs really have a teleportation device? Its the second time they suddenly appear out of a thin air. Lewis came in from the outside, she would surely see some approaching cars or just about anything. It was a quiet and empty and late night. Exactly 4 seconds after she enters the church from the outside we hear rehabs and the lights go on. Robo and Lewis take a peek outside and..surprise! Suddenly the whole place is surrounded by rehabs who are already formed in tactical formation, packed all of their cars and vans around, prepared their weapons and the entire equipment including the search lights. All in 4 seconds with no sound. They just materialized out of thin air, they surely have some teleportation device, right? ONLY in cartoon

 From empty streets to this in little less than 4 seconds with no sound. Ok, Who's got the teleporting device?

* What the hell is Directive 4 doing back after so many years? I thought it was obvious that it was taken down after the events in RoboCop when it presented its flaws and contradiction to law. A man was taken hostage and the attacker and murder suspect couldn't be handled by Police Officer because of that directive.
Logically, it was absent in R2. 
So what is that doing back here now? 
Not to mention in RoboCop he just couldn't arrest a high rank OCP guy, it never said anything about obeying them.
Jones said: "It's a little insurance policy called Directive 4. My little contribution to your psychological profile. Any attempt to arrest a senior officer of OCP results in shutdown"
In R3 we have "Never oppose an OCP officer". Well, I think writers themselves instantly forgot what directive they gave Robo because he simply breaks that rule with ease - he doesn't listen to McDagget, he doesn't step away from the door. He just cannot shoot him, which would indicate that Directive 4 is the same one as in RoboCop - that he cannot arrest or kill high rank OCP guys. But the inconsistent writing and a bad plothole says that that's not what the directive says, and he breaks it like that yet his program doesn't allow him to do something that's not even listed in his directives. Duh..

* What happened with Lewis' IQ? First of all, why on Earth is she challenging the entire squadron of armed and armored rehabs with one handgun, NO ARMOR and NO COVER? In R2, even when shes armored like a soldier with body armor and helmet, she still uses Robo for cover. Here she stands there like a duck, IN FRONT OF ROBO, with nothing to hide behind, and no body armor..I mean, it's so completely devoid of any logic that it's mind blowing.

* It's also amazing how now Robo and Lewis are taking a stand for the evicted people when rehabs want them out of the building, yet they did completely nothing when they witnessed parents being separated from children with force

* Well ok, Robo doesn't shoot a high rank OCP officer for some reason (and of course, we know that because of the bad writing the writers confused or incorrectly wrote the Directive 4), why isn't he just shooting the other rehabs then? Is he suppose to listen to the regular recruits too? Wow, that's pretty bad then

* One of the worst GPS-Robocop moments in the entire movie. Lewis gets shot, she's dying. Yet he STILL doesnt show ANY kind of emotion. Nothing. Instead he talks like a factory robot or GPS by just coldly stating the facts in a monotone voice. When Lewis got shot in RoboCop, Robo shouted "Lewis!!" on the top of his lungs, with both fear and concern in his scream. Can you imagine the same Robo doing what the GPS-Robo is doing here?

 You sick bastard! She's scared and she's dying! Why you're smiling!?

- Robo gets shot with a grenade. Of course not surprisingly this GPS robot doesnt make any expression and doesnt express pain or anything. It creates even more inconsistencies - Robo was hit with the same power flying back, and had the same dent/damage in RoboCop 2 and carried on with no problems. In R3 he has a huge power drain that almost leads to his death/shutdown

CHAPTER 7: UNDERGROUND

* "Im fine". The girl should learn that she won't get anything out of this GPS-Robo and that its really hard to communicate with it.

* "Tracking" - more of the deep dialogue from GPS-robo

*  Next question: how on earth did Niko ever got technical data and project blueprints for Robocop? Wasn't it a top secret project? How would she get into OCP and access the technical files on Robocop to know every piece of his body and even where the tracker is found!!!?? Data that even Robo doesn't know himself? Why won't she fix him then?

 "It's right here dummies. How could you not know?"

*  How did the Rehabs want to engage a large number of armed people along with Robocop from the top? Wouldn't it be better to just enter any manhole and follow the tunnels rather than have such a huge disadvantage of entering from the top right above the enemy through a manhole?

* "Set an extra place" - umm, so they're only setting one extra place? What about all the people they gathered from the streets? The people from the church? They don't deserve any space?

CHAPTER 8: REPARATIONS

* More comedy instead of satire in representing OCP's fall

* Android smoking cigarettes doesn't really look cool...

* Fleck ultimately proves to be yet another caricature straight out of a comedy. The way he acts, the whole dialogue and the execution of that scene - pure comedy

* Uber siliness - little girl walks into Police Department and no one notices her. And that's not all, she even walks into Robocop's lab - unnoticed! How come some crooks never walked into his lab before then to mess something up if a little girl without anybody around her could just parade all over Police Department and enter such secure area. What happened with all the security? In the previous movies, not even cops were allowed to access Robo's lab and the whole place was caged

CHAPTER 9: GOOD AS NEW

* What was the point of leaving the three men to guard the abandoned base? They would have stood no chance against any search patrol and would have simply given the Rehabs the map to the real base (on one of the three men). And why did the man even have that transparency with the red path, when he had no map to use it with? It was useless to him without a map, and only would have been a liability if he had been killed.

* The opaque red lined map that Otomo retrieves from his first fight is ridiculous. Why would people who know where the hidden base is be carrying around a map on them (which shows a route so basic that they'd have to be brain-dead not to be able to remember it anyway) just so that conveniently one of their enemies can get it? Not to mention he didn't even had it hidden, he had it STICKING OUT from the chest pocket!

 "I hope he won't find that map sticking out of my pocket!"

* Another example of the cartoonishly conveniently placed objects - the lone metal pipe was lying there just by the resistance guy's feet. He whacks Otomo with a metal pole on the right hand side of his face, yet when he stands up, his mouth is dislocated to the right, instead of the left

* "A vehicle is approaching" - more of the deep dialogue from the GPS-Robo. Seriously, you cannot possible tell me this automat was ever human. Refrigerator has more personality

* Marie and Nikko show up with a huge police van, and lots of computer equipment. Are we to believe that they stole these items from a busy police station and no-one noticed? How did they get all those heavy computers and machines loaded into the van by themselves? Did the police not notice one of their SWAT vans missing either?

* More ripping off from the original - we see Robo repaired from his POV, completed with accidental turn on and even accidental screw up

* Inconsistency: in R2 its been said that a great equipment is needed to erase the directives, something that can't be done even in Robo lab. Yet in R3 Marie erases directive 4 with just few things taken from the Robo lab

* Nothing better to force the connection to the original more than actual scenes from the first movie in a flashback

* "How are you feeling"? "My efficiency rate is 93%" - more GPS talk from the automat sitting on the chair like a statue. His robotic behavior not only cancels out any possibility that he has ever been a human being, but also shows his stupidity. It's a common sense to know that it's a 9 year old girl asking how are you feeling. Simple "Im fine thank you, you should try to get some sleep" would have been much better and more like Murphy - you know, the guy from the first movie that they built Robocop from? The Robocop from the first two movies?

 Doesn't it look like a warm,  friendly conversation? It's almost like watching daughter and father talk

Also, in RoboCop we see Robo sleeping with his head down and even with his mouth open. A very human-like behavior. He never just stood there like a statue. Again, Robocop in this movie is 100% machine with absolutely no traces of a human being. And to further ad to the commentary for that scene, he again presents his complete inability to communicate with human beings and have a conversation. Not only he's unresponsive and can't form a humane sentence, but he then goes back to his "freeze" mode just like that. It looks like Niko talks to a wall

* What's silly is that they even put the same music in similar moments as in RoboCop - there are the same music cues when Robo identifies Niko's parents as they were in R1 when Robo was identifying his killers

CHAPTER 10: UNFINISHED BUSINESS

* Robo storms out of the underground base taking with him his hand attachment, but when he arrives at the police station he has the hand attachment on. A few scenes later he arrives at McDaggetts hotel, and now does not have the hand attachment on, and is back to using his normal gun. Then, when he returns to the underground base, he still is using his normal hand and drops the hand attachment on the ground. So in between all these scenes, where was he keeping his hand and the attachment? He was on foot all the time, and he obviously wasn't carrying them both...

* Robo enters the police station and we hear more of his GPS talk.

* The rehab guy asking for a cigarette continues the search for his lighter by touching his body armor. I mean, do they have pockets in those??

 How many glances and touches does it take to realize that body armors do not have front packets?

* Here we have R3 shootout. Oh boy. In RoboCop (drug factory) and R2 (Cain's mill) we've seen some great shootout scenes and Robo's moves were choreographed so the way he was shooting the bad guys looked interesting and fancy. In R3, Robo just walks straight and that's it. No turning around, no fancy moves, just walking straight like Frankenstein (well, he acts like him too) and burning...walls...

Take that! I'm burning your maps!

We also see more ripping off from the original. There are moments when he approaches and grabs the rehab guy that resemble the scene with Clarence in the drug factory. They even used the same camera angles

* How come Mcdagget didn't hear the shooting in the hall? HOW?? Robo used his entire clip to shoot that gun in the air and it was in the same corridor where Mcdagget was. Don't forget that Robo's automatic gun is so loud that it was louder than 10 police handguns shooting at the same time in RoboCop. And what's the point in this "don't" trick anyway? He just shot two rehab guys downstairs for pulling their guns on him, yet instead of taking this guy out too he does the trick with the gun, wasting both time and risking losing his surprise element for Mcdagget.

* Why the hell Robo doesn't use doors??? He shot a hole in the door that wasn't even locked to enter  When the elevator door sticks, he pushes the thick metal doors outward as though they were made of tinfoil. But when he reaches the room, he shoots out a silhouette in a flimsy wooden door to get in. How stupid. Total waste of ammunition and spoils the surprise factor.
And why wasn't Mcdagget doing anything when he saw his door being shot at?

* Pimp car...its a full blown comedy now,. Theres no satire in the movie, just comedy, and its obvious the writers thought both are the same thing. Robo in a pink car with the plush dices and all that is simply a parody element

 Robocop in a pimp car! Hilarious...not

* Why are there bullet holes all over McDaggett's van when RoboCop is shooting at him? RoboCop has an advanced tracking system, so he never misses. All of his shots should have hit McDaggett, and only 1 or 2 appear to hit him on his bullet proof helmet.

CHAPTER 11: INVASION

* Why Kuntz went back to the base? Why didn't the rehabs just storm the place right away, why wouldn't he wait to arrive with rehabs, why would he want to go back into the base and tell everyone that it's gonna be stormed in few moments?

* While rappelling down into the rebels hideout earlier the Rehabs start firing immediately and not downwards, but rather upwards TOWARDS EACH OTHER.


* Why would Reed or any other cop pay for damages Robo had done? By which law? Robo is a machine constructed by OCP, so if something, they are reliable IF someone other than Robo has to be. He's a product and when product does damage, the manufacturer is responsible. And besides, even if Robo is considered a part of the department and a cop, why would anyone pay for other cops' damages?

CHAPTER 12: GOOD VS EVIL

* The commercials in RoboCop and R2 were satires for American consumption and other issues. For example, Nukem commercial showed the inappropriate family play in war, the sunblock commercial showed that most of the drugs and cosmetics do more damage than good etc. But in R3 we just get an action figure commercial in a cartoon. No double meaning, no innuendos

* When Robo goes back to the underground base, there is a wide shot of him looking around him, and there is nothing on the floor. Robo takes 4 steps in front of him and we are then shown a map right at his feet. It wasn't there a second ago.

*Ok, so where the hell was Robo all this time? The attack on the base took place last night. Even after the chase, McDagget got time to pull himself together, organize the attack, gather the forces and attack the base and arrest everyone he could. Yet Robo, with nothing on his hands, comes back the following day. Where the hell have he been?

* What is Otomo even doing there? How did he know that Robo wasn't destroyed or didn't know about the attack and that he will be back? And what took so very long to get there?

* When Robo gets his arm chopped off by Otomo, he stands up and in Robovision, you see that he needs power, but you cannot see Otomo who is supposedly right in front of him.

* Some of the most cringe worthy lines from Robo. I mean cheese-us, what happened to Murphy, seriously. "Detroit Police, Identify yourself" and when he gets his fingers cut out he is saying that Otomo is arrested for destroying a police property? Man! Where is Murphy???

* Inconsistency: So not only Robo lost his human personality and mind, but also his nerves too? Whenever he was hurt in RoboCop and R2 he showed great pain. When his arm got blasted in R2 we've seen him in pain. Yet here in R3 - completely nothing. Unmoved, just like by everything else.
Robo DOES feel pain. Why? simple as that - he has a brain. And its brain that's responsible for pain and has the pain sensors. Now, we know from R2 that he also has nerves as stated by his technicians (and they also clearly say he feels pain). Nerves are responsible for touch and pain. Brain can't be by itself, there has to be a spine there and spine contains all the nerve and spinal chords. And since the brain isn't there just cause it's cool this way but it's actually connected to the body and controls it, it feels pain just like any human being would. The spine and brain are connected to the mechanisms of the body responsible for movement and commands, so if those mechanisms are touched or hit, he feels pain like if we do when our body is hurt because the nerves and brain are connected to it like they are to our muscles and organism. Simple logic and biology.

Also note when Clarence move the spike around it hurts Robo even more

Since the brain HAS TO be connected to the CPU and basic mechanisms in order to at least partially control them, if those are hit or damaged, he feels pain

To support that: note that he doesn't feel pain when his external parts are damaged, like when his armor gets shot. Yet he does react when internal systems are touched - like in RoboCop when Clarence "nails" him or in R2 when the saw starts to cut through him or when hes getting hit with thousands of volts that run through his entire body, or when ED 209 rips his armor apart with its bullets or when Hob blasts his hand off - and in RoboCop too when his body was electrically shocked when Directive 4 kicked in. He was obviously in pain too, twisting, moaning and screaming in agony.

Another thing is that it's a storytelling device. Robocop (at least in the first two movies) is a man/consciousness of a man trapped in a machine. He looks like a machine, but his mind and personality and HUMANITY is still there. Its easier to connect with and feel for the character if he seems like us, feels pain, anger etc.

And now of course R3 comes in and confuses the hell out of everything cause Robo doesn't feel pain or any human emotions at all in that movie. When his arm gets cut off and even when he gets hit by a grenade he just acts like plain robot with blank expression and zero emotions (even when Lewis dies he remains calm!!)
Blank robotic expression when hurt in RoboCop 3. No pain. No emotions. Nothing

Look at that stream of emotions


This is the worst thing about this movie - Dekker taking out all the humanity out of the character. I mean all traces of human being and Murphy., not leaving any kind of emotions or personality in him. That isn't the RoboCop I knew and I couldn't identify with the piece of hardware that he was turned into by Dekker. I mean, can you imagine the Robo from the first two movies after getting hurt by Clarence or Cain's gang saying "you are under arrest for destroying Police property"?...

To read more about Robocop's portrayal in the trilogy click this link - http://robocopmovies.blogspot.com/2010/12/robocops-personality-throughout-movies.html 

* Inconsistency: In R2, Robo gets his hand shot off and he carries on fine. In this film, he gets his hand cut off and suffers a major power drain. What a weakling he has become...

* Another painfully conveniently placed element: Robo gets hit and falls and it so happened that the gunarm was lying right next to him

* When Otomo cuts off RoboCop's hand, RoboCop easily places his attachment in place of it and continues fighting. But his arm needed to be screwed off, and Otomo made a clean cut, so surely there would be bits of metal, plastic and wires that would have needed moving before RoboCop could put his attachment on?

 Damn, good that Otomo didn't cut his hand but detached it instead, otherwise the gunarm wouldn't fit..oh, wait...

* We see Casey picking his nose. Its very funny...if you're 8

* You can hear Marie talking about the battle for Cadillac Heights when Robo is crawling towards the TV. There's just no possible way she or Nikko would know about it.

* The Rehabs gave splatterpunks all kinds of guns from shotguns, handguns, and automatic weapons. The cops and deputized citizens have similar weapons. But for all the shooting, not one gang member is hit and only one citizen appears to be shot (aside from the three blown off the building roof by the Rehab tank.) I don't think anyone has any bullets.

CHAPTER 13: AIRBORNE

* Old gramma shooting Uzi. Maybe, just maybe, a person can successfully use small handguns if he didn't have a training. But machine guns require training in both targeting and handling because they can easily misplace your shoulder or even break your arm. How come the gramma is so strong to keep Uzi in the proper position like Spec-Ops do, and firing like Rambo?

 After a few years of drinking tea and cough syrup you'll be able to do that too

* Cops using shotguns...from the roof

* It's interesting that Rehabs didn't take all the weapons they found in Resistance's base and left the jetpack lying next to the self-turning-on TV so Robo can find it when he's gonna be crawling towards the TV

* It seems like Dekker did everything Verhoeven tried hard not to. It seems like all the cheese Verhoeven struggled to avoid (and to everyone's surprise, very successfully did) Dekker brought in in this movie. From Lewis' long hairdo to Robo's robotic behavior and silly Inspector Gadget gadgets, now completed with...flying Robocop!

 "I'm coming for you Wendy!"


CHAPTER 14: REVERSE CIRCUITRY

* "Dead or Alive Youre Coming with me" - signature Robo line, but why said so late in the game? Why would by that point he still want to take McDagget in? It's personal, and once Robo realized who Clarence was and what he did he wasnt interested in arresting him anymore, it was personal. So was McDagget since he killed Lewis, who asked Robo to get them for her. So why would he still be willing to arrest him and not just take the sonofabitch down? He wasnt willing to arrest him when he busted into his hotel room aiming a gun at him and saying "I got a message from officer Anne Lewis", whats the sudden change of hearts?

* How come Niko and Marie know Robo's in trouble? First of all, how do they know that he's in the building? And how the hell do they know in which room he is and where the room is located? 

* So Niko can reprogram super advanced Japanese androids in 20 seconds without even touching them, remotely? Whaaa?

* What's the point of the self-destructive device? Wait, so if the two robots will get destroyed, a huge bomb explodes? Why? I mean, what's the purpose of this?

* Why is McDagget crawling towards the bomb? It seems like he's trying to turn it off, but why didn't he do so in the first place? Didn't he just said there's no turning it off and that they're all dead? And if he wanted to throw it out the window, same question - why not do so immediately?

* Niko would easily have been burned by RoboCop's flight pack when she was hanging off it at the end. It isn't that big and Niko's legs would easily have gone down and past the flame holes.

* It seems strange that RoboCop carries Marie out of the building in his arms, and lets Niko, a little girl, hang onto the back of him. When he is flying, it would have took an awful amount of strength to hang onto him, when he is traveling so fast and high in the air.

Follow the Northern Star!

CHAPTER 15: RESPECT AND HONOR

* Its interesting that Robo managed to fix his visor for the final scene of the movie

* Ending is just a dumb and shameless attempt to mirror the original ending. Pointless, contrived and forced. Robo is right though - call him Robocop, cause it sure ain't Murphy.

R3 is an extremely flawed movie storywise, but its excuse is that it's basically a cartoon but shot as live action movie. Cartoons don't make sense, everything is conveniently placed where its needed, plot movies without any basis on logic or reasoning and things happen just because. But the kiddie structure is not all. All the motifs and themes of the first two movies, the dark side of reality, the race for power in big corporations and a man trapped inside a machine are all gone. And so is the Murphy character and all the seriousness when we get flying Robocop and ninjas.

To sum it up, here are some quotes about R3

"It feels like something being made because someone sees a successful format, rather than something they want to say" - avrev.com

DVDVERDICT.COM

"Robocop 3 finally lets the series down. It's more than just bad in terms of the franchise (like, say, Alien: Resurrection—not a bad movie, just a disappointing Alien movie)—it's a bad film all around.

The fundamental problem with Robocop 3 is that, even beyond its PG-13 rating, it has been made specifically for young boys—it's Robocop for kids. Everything has been dialed down to the lowest common denominator, which would help explain the repeated moments of melodrama (every time a "good" character dies, he or she gets an impassioned closing line set to sad/swelling music), overblown sentiment (a Curly Sue-esque young orphan girl plays far too large a role in the proceedings), and cheap humor—who knew Robocop had been programmed to rattle off so many awful one-liners?

The film feels terribly flat—on screen is non-stop spectacle, and yet there's no connection to any of it. That may be because Robocop 3 has no real story to tell, just a series of action beats, once again designed to elicit gasps of "Cooooool!" from 13-year old boys. It's a major departure from the slyness and sophistication of the first two films."

DVD.NET describes it in a pill

"A slap in the face to anybody who enjoyed the intelligent, multi-layered nuances of its predecessors, the three-quel was an abominable dumbing-down of the series. It strived to make the tragic Frankenstein-like hero into a kiddie-friendly merchandise mover. It failed, both on this and every other level."

CINEMABLAND.COM was less subtle in its description

"Robocop 3 is about as enjoyable as having a living, leprosy infected rat sown into your body and then feeling it as it slowly eats its way out of you, gradually bursting through your spine.

Unlike Verhonven and Kershner who had precision instincts with action, Fred Decker has nothing, and I do mean nothing."

DVDTown.com described R3's score as "not just forgettable but downright annoying"

AgonyBooth site: "Anything RoboCop that doesn't involve Peter Weller is crap"

DVDActive.com

This is, without a doubt, the weakest of the three movies. Gone is the black humour and tongue in cheek ultra-violence of the first two films, only to be replaced by a sanitised version of our favourite crime fighting cyborg. It’s also fairly obvious that there is a different guy in the Robo suit, and he’s not up to the standard that Peter Weller set. The problem with this instalment is that it tries to pander to a younger audience, which isn’t what RoboCop is about.

RoboCop is also too easily defeated in this film. The RoboCop of the first two movies would have made short work of the various villains in this instalment, but our Robo gets his butt kicked with alarming regularity. The dialogue is also poorly written, and some of the actors deliver inadequate performances. Overall this is a severe letdown, but one that you should at watch at least once, if only so as to appreciate the other two films more.

whatdvd.net

It’s shot like a TV show, written like a TV show and has Robocop befriending refugees, fighting a Japanese ninja robot and flying. The less said about this the better.
DVDfile.com

Gone is the pathos of the RoboCop character. Gone is the satirical edge that examined some of the extreme idiosyncrasies of American society. We're left with a rather toothless action adventure yarn that occupies RoboCop without having to give a thought to further character development. This is the weakest of the films and the last.

IGN

The plot is awful and takes all focus away from Murphy and his identity struggle, instead stringing together action sequence after action sequence.

moviefreak.com

Robocop 3 just never worked. In an attempt to be more of a comic book movie, the film ends up just being silly. By this point, the OCP Corporation has become a boring villain and the fascism that was introduced in the first sequel is far too over the top. Toning down the violence to make the film accessible to a wider audience may have been the film’s undoing. Also, the inclusion of the “add a kid” character Nikko is unnecessary. Nikko is in no way adorable or clever, despite an okay performance by Remy Ryan. Robert John Burke is okay as Robocop, but the script is so bad that he never has a chance to make anything of his role.

19 comments:

  1. Pretty good writeup. R3 killed this franchise. One thing Ive never noticed before was that Dekker's Robocop is a lifeless robot. So obvious yet I missed it. I knew something was off about him but couldnt figure out what

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  2. Good write-up Ade. I expect more from you and DN!

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  3. Terrific analysis. It's sad that this movie was even made. They should have stopped after R2.

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  4. I don't know about stopping after the second one. Old Man was still free. But they should get someone who understands the character and the nature of the Robocop movies. Its not a toy with detachable arms and the story isnt about explosions and fighting ninjas

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  5. Unfortunately the TV series went along with Dekker's robotic portrayal

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  6. Dekker had a huge and lasting impact on the franchise, yes. Its his stiff portrayal of Robocop and his movie that the general audience remembers and which the series followed. The TV stuff (which I completely dont care for and dislike) was basically extension of R3 - little girl as a friend, Johnny Rehab=Commander Cash, GPS Robocop, no violence and targeting for kiddie audience.

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  7. You forgot to add that Robocop had his ass kicked constantly in R3

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  8. Very very true. :(
    R3 killed the cult classic.
    I liked RoboCop for 1 and 2.
    But I found R3 very light and not to mention weird.

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  9. I agree with the above, I always hated the non-Weller versions of Robo, but could never quite articulate why...because there was no Murphy. Great Blog.

    I'd love to hear your thoughts on that shoddy miniseries from the early 00's, RoboCop: Prime Directive.

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  10. PD was the worst thing that happened to the franchise imo

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  11. Spot-on analysis, I agree with everything.

    Another thing that deserves to be mentioned is the fact that Robocop didn't do his trademark cowboy trick with his pistol throughout the entire movie... I mean, that defined both Murphy and Robocop...

    Did the director even watch the original?

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  12. It's not a bad nit pick of the movie, but this author forgot to mention some really obvious blunders.

    For instance, why the heck does Otomo just stand around swinging his sword, waiting for Robocop to make his move, and not just cut off Robocop's head, which he could very easily do? It's even more ridiculous in the last fight scene when there are two of them and they're both just swinging their swords around and circling him. Even as a kid this bothered me. Robocop is clearly out-matched here, but all the film makers could come up with to make him survive was to have the ninja robots do absolutely nothing.

    Also, why do the two Otomos at the end self-destruct, but the first Otomo Robocop fought didn't?

    You didn't point out the stupid and unsubtle comparison that the film makers tried to make between the rehabs and nazis. You didn't point out how pretentious this was. In Robocop 2, they showed an OCP banner with nazi colors as a subtle hint that corporations are evil as part of the satire, but in this movie, they almost literally turn them into nazis with nazi-ish uniforms, and moving people into what are essentially death camps. In previous movies, OCP was covertly evil in the same way corporations are in real life, but here they're so overtly, cartoonishly evil that anyone watching this would not be able to buy that the U.S. government would allow a company to set up death camps. And of course, who are the Rehabs in the first place? It's never clearly explained who they are, if they're mercenaries, or much at all. It's simply mentioned that they came from the Amazon war.

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  13. "Why would Reed or any other cop pay for damages Robo had done? By which law? Robo is a machine constructed by OCP". Yes, and OCP also owns the police department. That's why the cops are paying.

    Overall, nice critics, this movie is just horrible.

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  14. Nice read, thank you!

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  15. That little girl is not and does not look remotely ASIAN. I can't understand what made you think that. She's of mixed Irish, Spanish and Native American descent.

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    1. Because in-universe she is half Asian, regardless of who the actress really was. In the movie her mother is Asian and her father is white caucasian, therefore shes a mix of both, but with her eyes she looks predominantly Asian

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  16. Umm... Just to let you know, the detachable arm weapon is NOT a semiautomatic weapon, and neither is the Auto 9. That's why they call it an AUTO 9. Because it is an automatic weapon that fires in bursts of 3. The arm weapon is a FULLY automatic machine gun. Get your terminology straight. Seems to me that you're one of those that has fallen for the media's misinformation, making everyone think semiautomatic is like a machine gun. Semiautomatic means you have to pull the trigger after every shot. After every shot, the weapon automatically loads another round in the chamber, but you have to pull the trigger to fire each round. That mistake just irks me because it's what anti-gun idiots say.

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  17. I apologize for the mistake. The entire article is a team effort made by Robocop fans, and to my defense, the whole paragraph about the gun was someone else's qute, however I did publish it, read it and I take the blame as well. I do not know much about weapons therefore I trusted the person who added all the stuff about the gunarm was right. My apologies. It has been pointed out to me before couple of times, I kept forgetting to change it. No need for offensive language

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