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Is It The Worst Sequel Ever Made?

Is It The Worst Sequel Ever Made?

INTRO: There’s a scene, roughly half approach by the a lot maligned Robocop 3, by which the eponymous legislation enforcer is malfunctioning, battered and bruised, which is sort of the right metaphor for the franchise at this level. As outlined in our earlier video on this sequence, Robocop 2 could have had its justifiable share of points, however alongside the annoying characters and a frustratingly dumbed down hero, it’s truly a reasonably respectable film. It was simply nowhere close to the sequel it might so simply have been. Which leads us to half three, which is, nicely…The place will we begin? Traditionally, within the great world of films by which all of us typically reside, half three’s, and later sequels to standard franchises, have that nagging tendency to LOOK like they need to, however for essentially the most half, this familiarity results in one thing so very, very…Fallacious! Beverley Hills Cop 3 misplaced all the edge and humour from components one and two, Jaws 3: The Revenge impaled the franchise’s status for good, whereas the likes of Halloween: The Revenge of Michael Myers deviated from half 4 an excessive amount of for some followers. So, get able to strap that jetpack on and face-off in opposition to ninja robots in what is mostly thought to be one of many worst sequels in film historical past. Is it REALLY that dangerous? Let’s discover out on this episode of REVISITED! 

SET-UP: Robocop could have been a kind of uncommon movies the place all the components in making a basic movie got here collectively completely, with the ensuing incendiary film blowing individuals’s minds, and OCP junior execs, aside. Nonetheless, its sequel suffered due to the writing course of and half three didn’t fare a lot better on this regard. Legendary comedian creator Frank Miller, who co-wrote Robocop 2, returned to write down the screenplay. Miller was eager to make an impression in Hollywood nonetheless, and hoped that a few of his concepts that didn’t make the minimize in Robocop 2 can be utilized in half three. Nonetheless, after discovering that his work on the screenplay had been drastically altered, a disillusioned Miller left tinseltown, earlier than finally returning for the 2005 adaptation of his graphic novel sequence, Sin Metropolis. Following his expertise on the Robocop franchise, Miller is quoted as saying that, “Engaged on RoboCop 2 and 3, I discovered the identical lesson, don’t be the author. The director’s acquired the ability. The screenplay is a fire-hydrant, and there’s a row of canine across the block ready for it.” All was not misplaced for Miller’s concepts, nonetheless, with each his nine-part comedian e-book sequence, Frank Miller’s Robocop and Growth Studios’ eight-part sequence Robocop: The Final Stand each incorporating his beforehand discarded concepts.

Edward Neiumier and Michael Miner, who co-wrote the primary two films, are credited on Robocop 3 for the characters solely, for which I’m positive they’re nonetheless dropping sleep…The script this time was a collaboration between Frank Miller and the man who had the daunting job of following earlier Robocop administrators Paul Verhoeven and Irvin Kershner, Fred Dekker. Dekker’s earlier credit included 1986’s Evening of the Creeps and 1987’s The Monster Squad, as each author and director, so the manufacturing had a really succesful particular person on board and actually had some very gifted people all through the complete challenge.

One particular person, who was integral to the primary two installments within the Robocop franchise would, nonetheless, not be returning; Peter Weller. He had introduced such gravitas, humour and pathos to the position within the first film, and likewise within the second, regardless of the script’s barmy route it took the character in locations, that his departure was devastating. The actor had already made a dedication to starring in David Cronenberg’s Bare Lunch and whereas he dodged a bullet by not reprising his position as Robocop, the movie suffered in consequence. His alternative, Robert John Burke is a superb actor, greatest recognized for his roles in Hal Hartley films in addition to Tombstone and Thinner, each put up Robocop 3. Nonetheless, the swimsuit he was requested to put on was initially created for Robocop 2 and the actor complained that sporting it, only for a short while, was uncomfortable and painful. This definitely reveals within the film as he doesn’t have that just about gracefully robotic stature and presence that Weller delivered to the position within the first film. The script additionally lets the actor down badly with the character of Robocop going from capturing rapists within the dick, to babysitting an eleven 12 months outdated lady who one way or the other is aware of easy methods to reprogramme the as soon as terrifying ED-209 into what she calls “loyal as a pet”.

Considering again to what should have been some fairly fraught and frenzied manufacturing conferences between the execs at Orion Footage and the manufacturing group, it makes you surprise if they’d no choice, of their minds no less than, aside from to considerably water down the Robo threequel. Orion wasn’t in the very best of economic states, having needed to promote the home rights of The Addams Household film with a view to keep afloat, and wanted to build up some a lot wanted money…And quick! Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 Robocop had already been pressured to launch a minimize model in each the US and UK territories, and the violent and drug-centered sequel was destined to have the next certificates. Sweary ten 12 months outdated, gun-toting villains and hardcore violence meant its future was sealed on this regard. So, in opposition to the backdrop of two ultra-violent films, nicely, one if you wish to be pedantic as there’s nothing as brutal as an harmless cop being blown to items or a poisonous waste engulfed villain having his head splattered in opposition to a automobile windshield in Robocop 2; Orion needed to broaden the enchantment of its upcoming sequel. The purpose is, in doing so, they utterly torpedoed any credibility the franchise had constructed. It wasn’t simply this shift in tone that put the manufacturing in jeopardy, there was additionally the small matter of constructing it look plausible, and in no way ridiculous, {that a} hulking robotic legislation enforcer might fly utilizing a jet-pack. The film had bold visible results to create, and with Orion’s monetary troubles they have been below strain to NOT make Robocop appear to be silly. And, for those who’ve seen the film, they failed…Miserably.

Not solely did Robocop 3 endure drastically from Orion’s determination to neuter the franchise by making it child pleasant, nevertheless it was additionally maybe forward of its time so far as the studios have been involved. Within the early 2010s twentieth Century Fox, earlier than Mickey Mouse acquired his claws into it, made the choice to chop a number of of its key franchise films with a view to attain a youthful, and broader demographic. Movies corresponding to A Good Day to Die Exhausting plus Taken 2 and 3 have been minimize within the UK in order that the BBFC (the British Board of Movie Classification) awarded them a 12A certificates, whereas they have been left uncut in different territories. This truly labored within the UK with the films pulling in respectable opening weekend and lifelong numbers whereas they principally underperformed in different territories. It’s in all probability secure to say that these movies weren’t precisely franchise highlights so the studios maybe didn’t see it as a lot of a bet. Nonetheless, it appeared to work. Sadly for Robocop 3, the choice to water down a as soon as beloved and hardcore franchise was about as good as pitting a jet-pack toting hero in opposition to robotic ninjas.

REVIEW: In his 2021 e-book, critic Nathan Rabin sums up the primary situation with Robocop 3 with this on-the-money commentary, “Who wants Peter Weller once you’ve acquired a jet-pack?”. Certainly, for those who’re searching for a direct to TV type film when it comes to high quality and manufacturing values, with no different purpose than to be mildly entertained for a few hours then, yeah, Robocop 3 may simply make your time spent on it worthwhile. Nonetheless, for those who’re anticipating a worthy sequel to a as soon as nice franchise with an immeasurably good first half and serviceable second then you definately’ll be left bitterly disillusioned at what occurred with Robocop 3. The plot initially rehashed concepts from Frank Miller’s Robocop 2 script and the final word narrative we get sees Robocop avenging the, spoiler alert, dying of his companion Anne Lewis, whereas making an attempt to avoid wasting the town of Detroit from breaking into chaos. You see, evil conglomerate OCP are going full steam forward, all weapons blazing on their Delta Metropolis challenge with the assistance of the Japanese Kanemitsu Company, who’re financing the plan by demolishing the properties of Delta Metropolis residents. OCP recruits a closely armed safety job power, known as ‘rehabs’, led by evil Englishman Paul McDaggett, to forcibly relocate native residents to make approach for the brand new metropolis.

Alongside the way in which, Robocop groups up with a younger lady known as Nikko, an inexplicably genius degree hacker who appears to know precisely easy methods to reprogram just about something, together with the as soon as superior “loyal as a pet” ED-209! Whereas defending civilians from the rehabs, Lewis is mortally wounded in what’s a reasonably lame, and unusually early dying scene for such an iconic character. Robocop is badly wounded and is rescued by a gaggle of resistance fighters, together with plucky younger genius Nikko who joins them after dropping her mother and father within the relocation assaults. What follows is, nicely, to be trustworthy, greater than only a tad embarrassing for all concerned. Robocop doesn’t even present up for the primary twenty minutes of the film and when he does it’s through a reasonably nonsensical and ridiculously excessive stunt . He drives his automobile to the highest of a parking zone solely to drive off it, crash land then shoot his approach out of the roof as a result of, nicely, I assume the writers thought their new prepubescent demographic would discover it cool. It wasn’t. One other situation with the film is the antagonists. Clarence Boddicker was a villain for the ages within the first film; creepy, menacing and extremely unhinged whereas Cane from Robocop 2 was a reasonably efficient if not precisely a memorable dangerous purchase. Nonetheless, all we get in Robocop 3 is a disappointingly tame Rip Torn as OCP’s new CEO, plus the underwritten head of the Kanemitsu company, performed by Conan the Barbarian’s Mako. We’re additionally handled to the aforementioned Paul McDagget, performed by Man of La Mancha’s Paul Fortress, who comes throughout as discount bin Bond Villain and sure, these great ninja robots.

That is the place the film actually falters. Positive, all of us love ninjas, particularly youngsters, proper? Nonetheless, though actor Bruce Locke appeared the half, together with his spectacular physique trying suitably intimidating. Sadly, nonetheless, the android enforcer known as Otomo, named after Akira creator Katsuhiro Otomo, is generic and disposable. The concept to pit a statuesque, motionless robotic in opposition to nimble ninjas could have been nice enjoyable if dealt with correctly, however the struggle scenes look uncoordinated and messy. Otomo might be principally remembered for his crooked jaw and laughably disfigured face. Robo can’t even dispatch the dangerous guys with out the assistance from, yep, you’ve guessed it – baby genius Nikko. The franchise by no means actually recovered from half three and even returning forged members from the franchise, or Jill Hennesey’s Dr Lazarus, and her one witty line might reserve it. On the finish of the day, Robocop 3 is a multitude. It does have some deserves, the rating is helped by the returning Basil Poledouris and a number of the cinematography is respectable, however Orion, of their determined monetary state, gambled too closely on this film, and the ensuing kid-friendly product, is a catastrophe. That stated, the Canadian-made TV sequence that adopted it was a lot worse.


RoboCop 3 opened at primary in Japan, grossing 147,695,744 yen (which was roughly $1.3 million on the time) in its opening week from 17 screens. It additionally opened at primary in France with a gross of 9.6 million French franc roughly ($1.7 million) from 317 screens. Within the US, it grossed $4.3 million in its opening weekend from 1,796 theaters, inserting third, and ended its run with $10.6 million in the US and Canada. Internationally, the film grossed $36.3 million for a worldwide gross of $47 million, in opposition to an estimated $22 million manufacturing finances.

From a vital perspective, the movie was, unsurprisingly, met with a largely detrimental response. Rotten Tomatoes has a rating of 6% for the film with a mean rating of three.20 out of 10 and the biting vital evaluation from the web site reads as follows, “This asinine sequel ought to be positioned below arrest.” Chicago Solar Occasions critic Roger Ebert gave the movie one and a half stars with the longevity of the characters a bone of rivalry for the late critic; “Why do they persist in making these retreads? As a result of RoboCop is a model title, I assume, and that is this 12 months’s new mannequin. It’s an outdated custom in Detroit to take an outdated design and slap on some contemporary chrome.” Others have been barely extra constructive in regards to the ill-fated sequel with Reel Movie Critiques saying of their two and a half star assessment that; “The perfect one might hope for is a film that’s not an ordeal to sit down by, and on that degree, RoboCop 3 definitely excels. When positioned side-by-side with the unique, the movie doesn’t fairly maintain up. However, on the very least, RoboCop 3 works as a popcorn film—one thing half two couldn’t even handle.”

Robocop 3, identical to its predecessors, additionally spawned a side-scrolling online game shoot-em-up for DOS programs in addition to the Amiga and Atari ST platforms, created by Digital Picture Design. After some time there have been additionally side-scrolling platform video games launched for the film on the Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, NES, Tremendous NES, Recreation Gear, Grasp System, and Sega Genesis. The film could have been a catastrophe however no less than some mildly enjoyable shoot-em-ups stored youngsters entertained for some time again within the early 90s.

So, regardless of every part this video has thrown at Robocop 3, what’s YOUR view of the film? Did they preserve it in any approach watchable, did they efficiently handle to take care of a cohesive narrative for the ultimate chapter, or was the introduction of Nikko and her pet ED-209 an excessive amount of to bear? As standard, please tell us within the feedback under. Additionally, we’re sticking across the dystopian world of Robocop for some time longer as with all standard franchises, you understand precisely what’s simply across the nook don’t you. That’s proper – a reboot! Nicely, that’s a narrative for subsequent time right here on REVISITED, however don’t go pondering they discovered from their errors.

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