RoboCop 3 (1993) Directed by Fred Dekker. With Nancy Allen, Robert John Burke and Mario Machado.
After the disappointment of RoboCop 2, and with Peter Weller opting out of the lead role, this third offering in an increasingly flagging franchise serves as little more than a series of homages and overly-staged action set pieces. In an attempt to bridge a wider audience, the signature violence and gritty nature of the previous Robo-flicks is diluted down, however it’s hard to imagine anyone post Terminator 2 feeling the faintest of thrills from what is a clumsy, badly written exercise in endurance against tedium.
Surprisingly, a few supporting players from previous ‘Robo’s’ clock back in for another shift, although one presumes purely for the pay-packet, as their collective presence does little much other than to remind of how far the apple has fallen from the tree. To its minor credit, RoboCop 3 tries not to take itself too seriously and while there are a few gags that raise a smile – these moments are thinly spread and mostly serve as distant echoes of Paul Verhoeven’s vastly superior original.
As the end draws near and your brain has had enough, Robo turns Superman as we witness him donning a jet-pack while dishing out justice from the skies. What should be the jaw-dropping final spectacle looks sadly outdated and is emblematic of how passe the series has become. Unsurprisingly, this was the last time director Fred Dekker sat in the big chair. 1.5/5