RoboCop Prime Directives: Resurrection
RoboCop Prime Directives: Resurrection 2001
I’m continuing through the four part RoboCop miniseries that originally aired in Canada and I’ve noticed that it really is starting to feel much more like a series rather than four connected movies. In a way the actual story of the movie is getting better as threads are starting to thread deeper and the characters are getting farther along on their arcs. On a different day, I might actually not consider this on my list of movies, but today I’m feeling generous. The third part has a few less interstitial interruptions and the ones they have aren’t as entertaining as the one in Meltdown but I’m definitely ready for this series to be over with the next installment.
We last left off with the two RoboCops walking unsteadily off into the sunset. It doesn’t take too long before they’re separated again and RoboCop Murphy falls back in with the Robohunters who fix him and even give him a slight upgrade. Meanwhile RoboCop Cable gets taken in by a brand new villain and evil genius David Kaydick who gives him a pain chip so that once again he has to fight against RoboCop Murphy. But the real important part of this entry in the series is that this is where all of the threads start coming together. Even though Kaydick was only just introduced in this episode, it turns out that the main Robohunter and mother to the little girl is connected to him because he’s the father of her daughter. He’s also got a bit of a cult leader in him and has implanted a virus in his daughter that will infect and wipe out all human and computer life on Earth. Because of course that’s his plan. And on top of that, RoboCop Murphy’s son is heading a team of OCP military units that are coming to stop both RoboCops and have a big head to head.
In terms of story, this was the best of the three so far. There are a few overly trope-y moments like when the other two women who aren’t mothers get gunned down in the firefight. But there’s also the violent comeuppance moment where the commander of the soldiers who have been going after RoboCop in the past two movies gets his hand blown off before finally getting killed. The firefights unfortunately do get to be a bit repetitive by this point. Especially as this is the second time in a row where Murphy fights Cable where Cable is under duress. The last time it was because of the programming that got rid of his memory. This time he’s under duress because of the pain chip in his head. But other than the hand getting blown off, there’s just a lot of faceless soldiers getting blown away by one or both RoboCops, only the backgrounds are different. There’s a little bit of car porn but even that’s not handled that well. The Robohunters have restored their own little muscle car that RoboCop Murphy uses to bust into Kaydick’s lair just before he released the ultra virus.
Like with the two previous installments, the biggest failing of these movies are the budget and the acting. None of the actors really seem to give any great performances. Both Murphy and Cable are supposed to be robotic, but they are ultimately too stiff. At least Cable has the right physicality and gives a great physical performance with plenty of precise turns and movements during the firefights. Murphy falls much closer to a stiff and awkward Frankenstein-like performance unfortunately. Even during the big emotional scene between Murphy and his son, there’s so little real heartfelt emotion in the delivery. It’s supposed to be this big moment where James gets convinced not to flip the EMP switch and completely fry Murphy’s digital memory banks but it’s so hard to get past his performance and synthesized voice, even after he takes the visor off so we can see his overly wide eyes. The special effects also leave much to be desired, other than the well done gore effect with the hand, there was a poorly done slow motion where Murphy uses his single gun and upgraded AI to anticipate Cable’s aim with his two guns and uses a single bullet to deflect both of Cable’s. The slow motion never feels like actual slow motion, instead it just feels like a reduced frame rate so it’s very choppy and stilted.
Another disappointment was the lack of entertaining interstitials. There were still a few thrown around here and there, but they mostly fell off during the last third of the movie and the jokes seemed to fall short. The biggest laugh was the OCP executives pulling for more of the cute blonde clones who are all named Mindy. There’s Mindy with the news, Mindy with the weather, and Mindy with the sports. They also had to serve a story purpose as they continued furthering the big SAINT plot that has been building throughout the first three episodes but still hasn’t really come to fruition in any sort of satisfying way just yet. This entry in the series really just fell flat despite the ramping up of the story, there just wasn’t enough here to keep things entertaining to push through to the final chapter. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.