Eye For Film >> Movies >> RoboCop: Prime Directives (2000) Film Review
You've not seen much worse than this! The RoboCop franchise once held so much promise, so much potential. It quickly disintegrated into cheap kiddie garbage.
The first RoboCop movie was awesome and is no doubt a cult classic. Almost immediately this was followed by a crudely animated cartoon show in 1988 and then RoboCop 2, the underrated sequel that was totally misunderstood on release. By the time RoboCop 3 came out, Orion Pictures had long gone out of business and it was unceremoniously dumped into cinemas without any kind of ad campaign, or publicity. Quite appropriate, too, as it's a moronic pile of crap aimed at the kids.
And it got worse after that! An uber-cheap, live-action TV series came and went within a single season and yet another animated show in 1998 - selling RoboCop to the kids is like making Bratz dolls based on House Of 1000 Corpses! - and one of the worst video games ever in 2003. If you think this franchise couldn't get any worse wait until you get a load of Prime Directives. This mini-series consisted of four feature length movies: Dark Justice, Meltdown, Resurrection and Crash And Burn. It was only made for legal reasons and was rushed into production. It stomps what's left of Robo right into the maggot-infested mud.
The story is hardly worth mentioning, but if you're that interested, it involves Robo feeling old and obsolete, Delta City politics - now located in Canada, a poor substitute for the real Detroit - and some crazed employee at OCP (the company went out of business in RoboCop 3!) trying to take over with his ultimate doomsday device. Robo's kid is now a fully-grown exec and his ex-partner, a man with a very, very dodgy moustache, has been killed and made into a new RoboCop. They drag this crap out over 375 minutes and you feel every precious second of it.
I could forgive the cheapness if the makers were enthusiastic, or spirited, or if the actors weren't so bored they are about to keel over and die. The Robo suits look terrible and could fall apart at any minute. The nobody playing him makes Robert John Burke's performance in RoboCop 3 look Oscar-worthy. Instead of striding with a heaving titanium chest, he kind of stumbles and bumbles like an old man without a Zimmer frame and has as much trouble ascending stairs as ED-209 did descending them. It's as if he was mimicking C-3PO.
Say what you want about the declining quality of the films. At least they all had great music. Prime Directives has noise that is painful to the ears and lethal to the soul. Goddamn, I want to erase this horrid mini-series from my memory, but I can't. I need a shrink!
This junk should be scrapped and left to rust. Not even the most dedicated and forgiving RoboCop fan should suffer this guff. Wise people such as myself will realise this has as much to do with the TRUE RoboCop as Supergran does with Clark Kent.Reviewed on: 15 Feb 2006