RoboCop Prime Directives: Crash & Burn
RoboCop Prime Directives: Crash & Burn 2001
I’ve finally come to the end of this four part miniseries and it’s going to be difficult to really say too much that I haven’t said in the previous reviews. There were a few more ultraviolent moments as well as some entertaining bits. The interstitials felt almost nonexistent compared to the previous two episodes though they did have some good moments through the end credits. The budget really showed in this episode with the climax using the most of the extremely limited budget and without a great, compelling story and characters to back it up, it really fell pretty flat. There were some nice callbacks here and there but it was mostly just an uninteresting finale to a dull miniseries.
They have been teasing this SAINT AI from the very beginning and it was honestly a big letdown. They set it up as this weird CGI low polygon framework face and voice that basically controls the building’s thermostat. It also has the ability to make the building go into a Dredd-like lockdown mode that happened to make a window washer fall to his death except no one noticed besides the programmer. There’s this countdown for full Delta City automation and it’s combined with Kaydick’s hybrid computer/human virus implanted inside his own daughter.
One of the more interesting things is how there are elements of this film that show up in much better films years later. Films that almost definitely didn’t get inspiration from this miniseries but they were entertaining comparisons nonetheless. There’s a laser defense system that slices up some of the security and eventually the president of OCP in a major moment of comeuppance in a very similar but much more low budget version of the first Resident Evil movie. There’s also the building lockdown reminiscent of Dredd, and there’s even a moment where the virus starts to go off and takes out Kaydick and the mother Robokiller in a manner that looks like a very low budget version of Thanos’s snap from Infinity War.
Besides the random future movie connections, there’s also plenty of child issues with nearly all of the main characters. There’s the biggest one in the form of the virus carrier girl who’s the daughter of RoboCop’s ally but also the crazed cult leader Kaydick. The programmer of SAINT patterned the AI after his own lost son. There’s plenty of random flashbacks from RoboCop Cable’s past with a grave marker for “Baby Cable”. And of course there’s the big one with the reconciliation between Alex Murphy’s RoboCop and his son who has been working for OCP but turns over a new leaf as he works with his father again. Although it’s still a little frustrating that the overall series arc is in part the exact same character arc for RoboCop in every single previous movie. He transitions from being more robot controlled by OCP to a human controlled by his own memories. They take it a slight step further at the end of this miniseries by having not just RoboCop call himself by his real name, but the news also uses his real name rather than RoboCop.
Once again, the budget was a real issue with this movie. The worst offending moments were the many fist fights between the two RoboCops. Likely due to the fact that the suits were hard to maneuver around in, they probably didn’t look very good when they were filmed in a regular choreographed fight. So their solution was to film the fight in regular speed, but then slow it down in some choppy slo-mo reminiscent of the 70’s Hulk TV series. It made all the fights look completely awful. There were a few interesting moment of gore, one of them was the aforementioned laser death, although they followed up a good leg removal moment with an offscreen implication that he was completely sliced to ribbons by the lasers. But not too long afterwards, we see his body and it looks mostly intact aside from his legs being apart from his body. There again, just wasn’t much happening in this movie of interest. Even the interstitials weren’t able to save things. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.