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Film / RoboCop 3

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The second and last sequel in the original RoboCop film franchise, released in 1993.

OCP is working to finish what they've been trying to do in the first two movies — tear down Detroit, a city they deem as "beyond saving", and rebuild it as Delta City. As usual, it comes down to Murphy vs. OCP. RoboCop (now played by Robert John Burke) finds himself working to keep OCP from forcibly removing citizens to make way for "a better Detroit," and along the way, he gets a Jet Pack and fights robot ninjas.

This film has the examples of:

  • A-Team Firing: Despite the amount of bullets exchanged in the climax, only a few people are shown to get shot.
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Otomo's katana cuts through pretty much anything.
  • Action Insurance Gag: The protagonist says something to this effect when shooting at a hotel McDagget and the Rehabs are staying in.
  • All There in the Manual: The comic adaptation does have few details not seen in the movie, including the CEO being Bob Morton's dad, the Rehabs were setting up base in Metro West during Nikko's visit, and none of Murphy's fellow officers bought that he killed Lewis and realized it was the Rehabs who did it.
  • Arm Cannon: RoboCop can now detach one of his forearms and attach a combination machine gun, flamethrower, and rocket launcher when he knows he's facing a serious firefight. Or when he's just plain pissed off.
  • Army of Thieves and Whores: After the police force calls it quits, McDaggett hires the Splatterpunks to aid the Rehab forces.
  • An Asskicking Christmas: The film takes place during the Chistmas season, as several places are decorated for Christmas, including the rebel base having a Christmas tree and the donut shop is not only decorated, but "Here Comes Santa Claus" is playing over the speakers when the guy attempting to rob it walks in.
  • Asshole Victim: The driver of the sports car at the beginning.
  • Ate His Gun: Flex tells Johnson that suicide by jumping off a building is too showy, saying that he'd eat a bullet instead. He lives up to that promise.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: The Splatterpunks get the idea to shoot RoboCop in the mouth, reasoning he's weak there. One protests ("cyborg eat bullets") but the other adds that they'll set him on fire, too. They manage to set him on fire, but don't get to try the other part. Not that it would have worked, since Robocop's face is only a superficial layer of skin stretched over a metal skeleton. It's doubtful a bullet would have caused any damage even if they had got it straight down his throat.
  • Bestiality Is Depraved:
    Lawyer: This is entrapment! My client was visiting close personal friends in that motel.
    Sgt. Reed: Buddy, your client's "close personal friends" were a non-union video crew and a German shepherd!
  • Big Bad: Paul McDaggett, the man in charge of the Rehab operation.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The citizens' resistance is about to be overwhelmed against the mercenaries, until RoboCop comes screaming out the sky with his jetpack on to provide air support.
  • Blatant Lies: The OCP's TV ad about the Rehabs peacefully relocating the poor doesn't correspond in any way what the Rehabs are doing for real on the streets. In fact, it's far from helpful and very violent.
  • Bullet Catch: RoboCop does this, with a bullet that was inches from hitting Lewis.
  • Bullethole Door:
    • The main character, a cyborg weighing hundreds of kilograms and who has repeatedly proven himself able to smash through walls with no damage, wants to enter the room of a baddie. Instead of smashing right through the flimsy wooden door, he feels it necessary to waste many dozens of bullets (all without reloading) in shooting out his silhouette in the door, through which he then enters the room.
    • Earlier in the movie, RoboCop does the same thing to the roof of his car using his new weapon arm. He apparently felt it more dramatic to punch through the roof rather than open the door. That or the weapon arm blocked the door handle.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: By the climax, McDaggett has clearly forgotten all about killing Anne Lewis. When Robocop tells him he's under arrest, he nonchalantly asks "What's the charge?" (Indeed, what he's currently doing isn't illegal, because he has the authority to do it. Then the hero tells him it's for murder, the event he, having a computer for a brain, is incapable of forgetting.)
  • Call-Back:
    • Lewis is introduced chewing gum and blowing bubbles, much like the original film. Likewise, Reed is introduced dealing with a criminal and his lawyer, and getting annoyed with them.
    • Robo startles Lewis by popping out the dataspike on his hand, much like he did to another officer in the original.
    • The scene where Robo is rebuilt after being injured by a grenade is almost identical to his "birth" scene in the original, right down to the engineers in both films accidentally screwing up and then presenting him with a new part.
    • The scene where Robo interrogates McDaggett's lieutenant is identical to the Boddicker drug lab interrogation scene in the original, right down to the same camera angles.
    • Robo confronts a pair of Rehabs harassing a young girl via a shot where a large shadow is seen on a wall, much like his confrontation of the two thugs attempting to rape a woman in the original. Unlike the original, these guys get to keep their testicles.
    • When Reed answers a phone call, he tells the person on the other end that the cops are not on strike, which they were threatening to do in the first film and went ahead with in the second..
  • Captain Obvious: The cops notice a battered yellow van after they have informed by dispatch to look for one.
    Random Officer: Hey, that's a battered yellow van!
    Lewis: No shit, Sherlock!
  • Chekhov's Gun: RoboCop's jetpack, stolen by the resistance from a warehouse group simply because it looked expensive. Later explained exactly what it was by Dr. Lazarus. As well as the little kid with a portable hacking computer. Directive 4 rears its head again, too... until the rebels delete it.
  • Clean Cut: Otomo quiets an annoyed gas pump owner by cutting the signal to his establishment in this fashion.
  • Clear My Name: OCP publicly blames Murphy for killing Lewis.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The "I'd buy that for a dollar!" television host is seen in a brief cameo, while an OCP officer named Cecil (who attempted to stop the officers from destroying Robo in the OCP parking garage during the first film) returns as an officer who walks out on OCP and helps Sergeant Reed during the Splatterpunk attack in Old Detroit.
    • The guy whose sports car gets demolished in the pile-up with two squad cars bitches about how he'd just traded in his SUX for it, referencing a Running Gag car commercial from the original film.
  • Cop Killer: McDaggett kills Lewis after she tells him she and Murphy aren't budging.
  • Cop Killer Manhunt: Murphy goes after McDaggett for Lewis's death once he's repaired.
  • Corporate Samurai:
    • Omni Consumer Products (and its new shareholders the Kanemitsu Corporation) hire a band of mercenaries to force out the inhabitants of Old Detroit. To combat this, the regular folks form an underground resistance.
    • Otomo is a more literal example.
  • Did I Mention It's Christmas?: The story begins around the time of Christmas, as an armed robber enters into a doughnut shop with some Christmas decorations put up and the song "Here Comes Santa Claus" playing in the background — and the doughnut shop is full of cops. Some small Christmas trees pop up here and there in the underground facility where the evicted homeless people flee to.
  • Donut Mess with a Cop: A man tries to hold up a donut shop, only to have several cops aim their guns at him. The man then drops his gun and the clerk behind the counter quips, "So what's it like being a rocket scientist?"
  • Driven to Suicide: OCP's current state has caused three suicides on its premises, and two more happen during the film.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: The Old Man (played by Dan O'Herlihy) disappears in the interim between films, and no one seems to reflect on the fact that he's been replaced by The CEO. While it's likely that he faced criminal charges after what happened in the previous film, there's no discussion of his fate besides a reference by Johnson that he was "expendable".
  • Dudley Do-Right Stops to Help: Robo stops chasing Bertha and her group to save Lewis and some follow officers from the Splatterpunks.
  • '80s Hair: Lewis is sporting a seriously big bouffant hairstyle in this one, which really contrasts with the relatively shorter hair she had in the previous two movies.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Even the Rehabs are uncomfortable with the careless, undisciplined Splatterpunks they've allied with.
  • Everyone Has Standards: The police's role is to maintain law and order. However, when the OCP order them to forcibly relocate the poor people of Cadillac Heights, they refuse and quit in disgust, joining the resistance.
  • Everyone Is Armed: The doughnut shop scene.
  • Evil Brit: McDaggett definitely qualifies.
  • Fatal Family Photo: Murphy asks if Anne has a family, with her reminding him she has a brother that never calls her. She tragically dies a couple of scenes later.
  • Fingore: Otomo slices off RoboCop's fingers in their first meeting, then the arm.
  • Flashed-Badge Hijack: RoboCop commandeers a gaudy pimpmobile to chase after McDaggett.
  • Follow the Chaos: When RoboCop goes off looking for revenge, the rest of the rebels reason they could just drive around town listening for explosions if they want to find him.
  • Frame-Up: OCP publicly blames McDaggett's murder of Lewis on Murphy to discredit him.
  • Friendly Address Privileges: Robo's friends call him Murphy, but the OCP executive can call him RoboCop.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Nikko.
  • Give Me a Reason: This great line:
    Paul McDaggett: How may I help you, officer?
    RoboCop: By resisting arrest.
    Paul McDaggett: Don't count on it, chum.
  • Go Through Me: McDaggett tries to raid the church filled with civilians. After RoboCop tells them to back off, Lewis pulls out her gun and declares "If you want to get in there, you gonna have to shoot through us." McDaggett "gladly" and promptly blasts her with a burst of machinegun fire, followed by firing a grenade in RoboCop's torso who was standing beside her.
  • Great Offscreen War: The Amazon War mentioned throughout the franchise gets mentioned again as the Rehabs are former soldiers/mercenaries who'd served in the conflict and it's a still active one, going by the headline of USA Today Lewis is reading when she's introduced.
  • Hack the Traffic Lights: Moreno does this to the traffic lights by making them all green to ditch Lewis and two other officers, who're chasing them after the Rebels loot the police armory.
  • Hollywood Hacking: Nikko's specialty.
  • Honor Before Reason: Oddly enough, Otomo the android seems to adhere to this. He could have killed RoboCop effortlessly several times, but the first time waits until Robo turns to face him, and the second time waits until he's on his feet again.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • Anne Lewis has the ball when she chooses to go out with RoboCop after finishing her shift, but turns down another officer's offer of body armor.
    • During the Final Battle, RoboCop gets blindsided and knocked down by two Otomos, and McDaggett threatens to shoot Nikko and Lazarus if he tries to get up. He then sees that Nikko is doing something on her computer, and instead of shooting her, like he had just threatened to do, he just says "what are you doing?" a couple of times, giving her time to hack into the Otomos and make them destroy each other.
  • Infernal Retaliation: Two Splatterpunks freak out when they set RoboCop on fire and he just keeps coming after them.
  • Japan Takes Over the World: The Omni Consumer Products Mega-Corp gets bought out by Japanese Kanemitsu corporation.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: Although the Kanemitsu Corporation walks away unscathed, this film is all about OCP's warranty expiring, with its stocks already in a death spiral before the movie even begins and then hitting rock bottom by the third act when the people find out what OCP is actually doing instead of "relocation" and then a significant chunk of the company headquarters gets atomized by the Otomos' self-destruct. Johnson also gets a lot of egg on his face when the Detroit Police quits when he tries to strong-arm them into helping the Rehabs (although whether or not he remains employed is left up in the air), the Old Man discovered he was not indispensable to OCP between films, and the new CEO is fired by Mr. Kanemitsu.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Otomo carries a katana which is sharp enough to cleanly cleave through steel (a gas station's pole, Murphy's fingers and the two Otomos that appear in the final act decapitate each other with a single stroke after showcasing that they can withstand a full burst of machine gun fire to the face). This, and the fact the katana's user is an android with impressive skill, makes Otomo a significant danger to Robocop.
  • Kill the Poor: The Rehabs are perfectly okay with doing this for the sake of strong-arming the people of Detroit. At first it's implied it's just stuff they can lie about like "being shot while trying to escape Rehab camps" (like they did to Nikko's parents), but by the final act McDaggett no longer gives a shit about keeping it covert and he sends his troops and the Splatterpunks assisting them to Cadillac Heights with orders to Take No Prisoners.
  • Last Stand: The climax of the movie involves the resistance and the Detroit Police going against the Rehabs and the Splatterpunks.
  • La Résistance: The Old Detroit citizens who refuse to let OCP have their way.
  • Lighter and Softer: The extreme violence, profanity, and drug use of the first two films is toned down in order to appeal to children. Also, a lot of the foul language that would have been there in the previous films is replaced by some odd or outright bizarre slang. For example, one of the two thugs who plans to set RoboCop alight insults the other by calling him "hypo head". Hypo head indeed.
  • Loophole Abuse: RoboCop's Directive 4 prevents him from firing on Rehab officers. It doesn't stop him from shooting their vehicles, though. It doesn't amount to much, since McDaggett knows RoboCop can't shoot his men and there simply aren't enough vehicles to blow up.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Otomo means "attendant" or "companion". This makes sense, since one of the reasons Japan wants to develop robots is to care for their growing population of elderly. On the other hand, it could also be a Stealth Pun, "Otomo-tan"... automaton.
    • It's surely no accident that the cybernetics expert who brought Murphy back from near-death is named Dr. Lazarus.
  • Men of Sherwood: The army of cops and rebels resisting the villains at the end take a few losses to a tank before Robocop blows it up, but mostly come out intact.
  • Money to Throw Away: McDaggett diffuses the car chase by throwing money in the air, forcing RoboCop to stop so he doesn't drive over the kids collecting the money.
  • Mutual Kill: Or at least mutual deactivation, for the pair of Otomos in the final fight scene.
  • Off with His Head!: Nikko hacks the two Otomos to decapitate each other.
  • Offscreen Karma: The Old Man doesn't appear in the movie, instead being replaced by the CEO, and it's implied by Johnson that he was forced out.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • The donut shop robber's reaction when cops pull guns on him.
    • The pimp upon realizing he just tried to threaten RoboCop with a switchblade.
    • Seitz gets out a long scream when the tank's alarm beeping warns him that Robocop is targeting him with a smart bomb before he is killed.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Related to what was revealed about the CEO in the comic adaptation under "All There in the Manual", he appears in this film — years after the death of his son, Bob Morton.
  • Pietà Plagiarism: RoboCop carries the dying Anne Lewis into a church in this fashion, and sets her down on the altar.
  • Putting on the Reich:
    • The Rehab forces wear grey uniforms, and their oppressive tactics are reminiscient of Nazis.
    • OCP have been characterized as Nazis for quite a while, actually. OCP's flag/emblem in RoboCop 2 is pretty much the flag of Nazi Germany, but the Swastika's replaced by the OCP emblem.
    • Bertha outright calls OCP Nazis in her very first scene.
  • The Quincy Punk: The Splatterpunks, a gang of dirty and violent sons-of-bitches.
  • Recruit the Muggles: Sgt. Reed deputizes the entire city of Detroit and leads them into battle against the OCP rehabs.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: After the Rehab assault on the resistance safehouse, Seltz asks McDaggett about Coontz, who was killed during the raid, with McDaggett not caring he'd died, ostensibly because he didn't want to pay the latter for being a turncoat.
  • Sassy Black Woman: Bertha, who also serves as both the Rebel Leader of the resistance and Mama Bear for Nikko.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here:
    • The lady newscaster of MediaBreak finally quits when the absurd lies she's told to tell on the air get too absurd, with the breaking point being accusations that RoboCop slaughtered a convent full of nuns.
    • The CEO, Johnson, and even McDaggett's fellow Rehabs book it after the two Otomos show up to fight Murphy.
  • Sean Connery Is About to Shoot You: Used on one of the VHS releases, seen above.
  • Self Destruct: When the two Otomo robots decapitate each other in the climax, McDagget tells everyone that they come with a "thermal failsafe device", and that everything within 20 yards will be "atomized" within seconds. RoboCop rolls into his jet pack, grabs Marie and Nikko, and flies them to safety as the top half of the OCP Building explodes. To put the icing on the cake, the exhaust from the jet pack burns McDagget's shins, preventing him from getting to a console in a futile attempt to stop it.
  • Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: A pair of androids attack Robo in the finale, so Nikko hacks their systems and sics them on each other.
  • Shooting Superman: Two Splatterpunks attempt to avert this with a well placed shot to RoboCop's mouth, but they are too freaked out to go through with it. Rest of the bad guys in the film play it straight.
  • Shout-Out: In addition to the meaning behind Otomo's name (see Meaningful Name above), he's most likely named after Katsuhiro Otomo, the author of AKIRA.
  • State Sec: The Rehabs. Supposedly helping the Detroit Police fight crime, the Rehabs are vicious paramilitary troops.
  • Stupid Crooks: The guy who tried to rob a late night doughnut shop. Even putting aside the stereotype, he missed the half a dozen or so cop cars in the parking lot.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Lewis is killed by McDaggett. However, this is because her actress, Nancy Allen asked the producers to write her character out of the franchise.
  • Take This Job and Shove It: When OCP decides to take Cadillac Heights by force, Johnson tries to enlist RoboCop's precinct to assist. The entire precinct resigns, and instead join the resistance to defend Cadillac Heights.
    Johnson: Now, Sergeant... fifteen years on the force is quite an investment. Your job, your pension... Maybe instead of worrying about these squatter people, you might think about your OWN family.
    Sgt. Reed: I am. (removes his badge, drops it on the floor at Johnson's feet) I'm thinking I have to go home and face them.
  • Tank Goodness: Things start to look bleak for the civilian resistance in the climax as the Rehab forces employ a tank in the fight. Luckily, RoboCop arrives soon after.
  • They Call Me MISTER Tibbs!: The film ends with RoboCop getting this way with what's left of OCP.
    RoboCop: My friends call me Murphy. You call me RoboCop.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: When RoboCop and Lewis are surrounded by Rehab troopers, Murphy weighs up his four prime directives, which are two for two in favour of both the Rehabs and the innocent civilians hiding in the church. He decides to side with the civilians, but his fourth directive prevents him from shooting McDaggett, so he's forced to shoot one of the Rehab troopers' vehicles to cover the civilians' escape.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: This time it's Johnson's turn. He was more neutral in the first two films, but this time he's a bit more villainous. Though his pressure on RoboCop's precinct prompts them to resign in protest.
  • Turn in Your Badge: The entire Detroit police force turn in their badges in refusal of OCP's practices.
  • Turncoat: Coontz, who decides to betray the resistance so that he can aid the Rehab forces for cash. It doesn't end well for him.
  • Verbal Backspace: The pimp who suffers the Flashed-Badge Hijack, after seeing who is doing the hijacking.
  • Video Phone: They appear in use by the citizens of old Detroit in the movie's near-future setting.
  • Villainous Gentrification: While it was a looming threat for the citizens of Detroit in the first two films, OCP's desire to create Delta City at any cost finally takes center stage in this movie and the Rehabs have no problem kicking people out of their homes and killing them, first in secret ("shot while trying to escape relocation camp") and then in open battle at the film's climax, to clear the way.
  • Villain Respect: At the end of the movie, when the Japanese executive meets RoboCop in person, he bows in traditional Japanese style as a mark of acknowledgement of Robo's ability to defeat the Japanese android he'd fought earlier.
  • War for Fun and Profit: OCP and the Kinematsu Corporation bring in the Rhabs fresh from off their contract in the Amazon War to enforce the mass evictions that Detroit Police Department refuses to perform in order to begin construction on Delta City. Eventually Sgt. Reves leads the mass exodus from the Detroit P.D. to support Cadillac Heights, and the Rehabs hire the Splatter Punks to wipe out the last of resistance, including former cops.
  • Weaponized Exhaust: RoboCop dooms McDaggett to his fate by burning his legs with the exhaust of his Jet Pack, leaving him helpless in the soon to explode building.
  • We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties: This happens to MediaBreak when the female anchor gets fed up with the blatant falsehoods she's being forced to peddle and abruptly quits. Her co-anchor shrugs before the camera cuts away.
  • Zeerust: A special case, as many of the TV's are widescreen CRT's.

OCP CEO: Well, I gotta hand it to ya... What do they call you? Murphy, is it?
RoboCop: My friends call me Murphy. You call me... RoboCop.