Robocop Prime Directives: Dark Justice 2001
While the two Robocop sequels aren’t that well known at this point, they did at least get a theatrical release. What’s even lesser known is this Canadian miniseries that takes place ten years after the events of the first movie and moves things away from Detroit to Delta City, and yet continues to have multiple flashbacks from Murphy’s time as a police officer in Detroit. This is the first of those movies and while it’s not quite the TV series or cartoon which made Robocop much more family friendly, this returns to the violent and satiric tone of the first film, although with much less talent behind the writing, acting, and special effects. It’s an interesting concept, but very little was done with it to make things more interesting than a low budget, TV movie.
Robocop 2 1990
It’s true that I don’t always go with the flow the way it was meant to be, though the last time I really remember doing this in terms of this site was way back during the first year when I watched the three Spider-Man films backwards so I could compare the original Spider-Man right against the reboot Amazing Spider-Man. This time is was mostly a case of laziness considering that I already owned Robocop 3 and it was sitting right in front of me even though I hadn’t seen Robocop 2 before. And I was completely right in thinking that it didn’t matter as the three movies have very little to do with each other in terms of continuity, they merely tell three different stories with several of the same characters. The original is important to have seen to set up the characters, but once you’ve got that, you’re gravy. This is also notable to have been directed by Ivan Kirshner who is most well known as the director of the Empire Strikes Back, widely considered to be the best Star Wars movie. The film itself falls somewhere between the ultra-violence and satire of the original and the pandering-to-the-audience comedy and low budget of the third.
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Robocop 3 1993
I’ve been feeling rather indecisive as to what direction I wanted to take next on this site. I still have a small handful of relatively good, or at least mediocre and well known comic book movies that I still need to get around to and a whole lot of dreck. So I decided to make a little Twitter poll with a couple good movies, a bad movie, and an oddity to see what won out. It shouldn’t have come to much surprise that this is the film that won. And despite the fact that I have yet to see Robocop 2, I was certain that it didn’t matter. It also helped that I had the DVD sitting in front of me from a clearance bin I picked up months ago. I am a big fan of the original Robocop, but I’ve never really given much thought to the sequels. I was a little surprised to see that this was rated PG-13, and even more surprised considering it still had a fair amount of blood and swearing, just toned down from the levels seen in the original. It had a scant few impressive moments, and notably more laughably bad moments. It really just lost sight of what made Robocop an interesting property in the first place in return for a failed attempt at marketing towards a younger audience. But one of the more interesting things about this film, especially coming from this site, is that comic book writer Frank Miller co-wrote this film (as well as the second).
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This movie wasn’t on my original list of movies to watch for this year, it’s not a traditional superhero movie, and I personally considered it more of a sci-fi movie. But I recently read what was originally intended as an April Fools joke at Fog’s Movie Reviews as one of his Movies That Everyone Should See. He thought that it wasn’t that great of a movie with too much cheese and too much violence, but he wrote the article very seriously expecting the commenters to balk at the movie’s inclusion alongside classics such as Citizen Kane, Big, and Stand By Me. But instead of balking, the comments heartily agreed with the inclusion except for a few outliers who realized it may have been an April Fools prank. It definitely made me want to see it, and so I did. As I mentioned, I was initially reluctant to include it, but it did spawn a comic book series, and when compared to a superhero like The Punisher, he’s got a better costume, similar firepower, and more of what could be considered super power. So here we are.