Saturday, April 22, 2017

Defending Robocop 3

Have you ever found something you enjoy, but everyone else hates it? I feel for you and am here with a new segment to give entertainment pariahs a second chance, starting with the disregarded third entry in the Robocop franchise.

On paper, it sounds like a bad idea. Replace series star Peter Weller, tone down the mature content to a PG-13 rating, and make the film the campiest one yet. For most people, it seems their enjoyment of this movie ends here.

However, I want to convince you to give it another chance. For one, I don't feel new lead Robert John Burke was a bad choice. He might sound a little different, but he looks exactly like Robocop and plays the part well. 

And two--the movie isn't as toned-down as you might think. It still has blood, violence and plenty of swearing (just no F-bombs).

And three--a casual fan might roll their eyes at the film's goofiness, but the series has always had a healthy sense of humor. It just isn't quite as edgy this time around. And if you thought 2 wasn't goofy, go watch the scenes where Robocop spits out proverbs at random and tries to Mirandize a corpse.

Also working in 3's favor is the return of numerous people from previous entries. Lewis, Sergeant Reed and OCP's Johnson haven't gone anywhere and are still as lovable as you remember. Hell, they even brought back the "I'd buy that for a dollar" guy. Also returning are original composer Basil Poledouris (which results in a killer soundtrack) and Robocop 2 writer Frank Miller.

Also, you might not like new antagonist Otomo, but seriously--how do you top Cain? And it only makes sense that technology would eventually advance to the point scientists could build an android that passes for human. He might not provide nearly as big a challenge as Cain, ED-209 or even Clarence Boddiker, but I still think he's a cool villain because he's calm, silent and carries a katana. Plus, being Japanese just makes everything better.

Now let's talk about Robocop's arsenal. His new weapons are pretty cool (there's a funny scene where he puts his new flamethrower to work in the police station), and he HAS A FREAKING JET PACK! Sorry, let me call down a moment. OK. So yeah. He has a jet pack and he knows how to use it.

And, finally, the movie has heart. The plight of people being forced out of their homes by big business is one many can relate to. Robocop fights against his own programming to come to their rescue, and his bond with Nikko is one of the movie's highlights. 

Bottom line: It's still better than the reboot.