No matter how hard you look, the brutal truth of the Robocop Trilogy
is that there’s only one film in there that’s consistently worthy of your attention. Yet this keenly priced boxset does offer a chance to look at the two subsequent sequels with the benefit of a high-definition upgrade. And while both have major problems, they still make for intriguing viewing.
The original first, though. Robocop is a bone-fide science fiction masterpiece, an hour and a half of satire, violence, humour and the future of law enforcement. There’s a fairly conventional good vs evil story at the heart of it, yet this is nonetheless an ambitious film, gloriously realised on a low budget.
The sequel, Robocop 2, tries its damnedest to mirror the original, but it stumbles several times, not least for failing to carve out an identity of its own. So keen is it to be reverent to what went before, that the film suffers. But there are ideas here, and moments that make the movie well worth sitting through.
The third? Well, Robocop 3 is car crash cinema, sadly. Shoddy effects, and a decision to tame down the violent edge for a more child-friendly rating costs the film dear. It’s entertaining, albeit not for the right reasons.
Yet this remains a fascinating trilogy, boasting one excellent movie, one intriguing failure, and one film that’s as far removed from what made Robocop so interesting in the first place that it’s almost hard to resist. --Jon Foster
Part man. Part machine. All cop. The future of law enforcement.
Robocop (Dir. Paul Verhoeven, 1987): He's RoboCop. And in the near future, he's law enforcement's only hope. A sadistic crime wave is sweeping across America. In Old Detroit, the situation is so bad a private corporation, Security Concepts, Inc., has assumed control of the police force. The executives at the company think they have the answer - until the enforcement droid they create kills one of their own. Then an ambitious young executive seizes the opportunity. He and his research team create a law enforcement cyborg from the body of a slain officer. All goes well at first. Robocop stops every sleazeball he encounters with deadly, piercing, and sometimes gruesome accuracy. But there are forces on the street, and within Security Concepts itself, that will stop at nothing to see this super cyborg violently eliminated. Prepare yourself for non-stop action and adventure in one of the most explosive sci-fi stories you'll ever witness: Robocop.
Robocop 2 (Dir. Irvin Kerschner, 1990): The sizzling sequel to 1987's sci-fi blockbuster brings back "The Future of Law Enforcement," RoboCop, to face his greatest challenge ever! Peter Weller returns as the half man/half machine police officer, this time to rid the lawless streets of Detroit of the deadly new designer drug "Nuke." Unknown to RoboCop, the evil corporate empire which created him wants to take the city "private," and develop RoboCop 2, a newer, bigger and more powerful version to replace the original. The script was - in part - written by comic-book genius, Frank Miller (Ronin, The Dark Knight Returns).
Robocop 3 (Dir. Fred Dekker, 1993): Omni Consumer Products (OCP), the conglomerate that designed RoboCop now owns Detroit. The company plans to demolish one of the city's largest neighborhoods to build a gleaming