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 Post subject: Robocop: Prime Directives
PostPosted: 27 Sep 2018, 13:59 
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I just finished watching the fourth and final episode of this miniseries and I now fully understand why people didn't like this.

On paper it really should've been amazing. The gore is back! Well, sort of. It's not as over the top as the first two movies, but it's also nowhere close to being as watered down as Robocop 3 and the TV series were. There's also a lot of interesting concepts here; Murphy's adult son is now an executive in the OCP, Murphy himself is an aging cyborg who's starting to behave more and more self-destructively as he becomes more and more outdated. There's even a new Robocop who, unlike 2, looks like the original, just with a different coat of paint and a second gun so he can go all John Woo on the crooks.

...unfortunately, it never really comes together. The violence, the little there is, is mostly wasted on the action scenes rather than used to highlight the social satire, which in turn tends to come off as rather weak and toothless. There are a couple of funny moments, but the production values are so bad that the whole thing just ends up coming across as a lot cheaper than it actually is, with the Medianet's news presenters talking in front of a lame CGI background instead of an actual studio. The fake TV commercials in particular only take you out of the viewing experience by being so unbelievably cheap looking; considering they're supposed to be promoting a multi-million dollar corporation, they must be in serious financial trouble. Which they are, but it's pretty obvious that isn't the reason. The limited sets and the use of close-ups make the miniseries look less like an epic and more claustrophobic. And speaking of taking you out of it, the guy playing Robo is probably the worst of the lot. It's not just that he's far too short, but his voice and speech pattern don't resemble Peter Weller's performance at all - and they didn't even give him his signature footstep sound, which only contributes to the sense of disconnect. He just looks uncomfortable in the costume, which also goes for the other guy playing the other Robocop, who looks like his mouth doesn't fit inside it's gap properly.

Probably the weakest aspect of the miniseries is the story; rather than forming some sort of a coherent whole, the first two mini-movies build up some sort of a cabal within the OCP, only for the next two to drop it for some two-bit bad guy with zero foreshadowing and stereotypical evil plot. It feels like there was a change in direction midway through; while most of the obvious stuff does get carried over (since they couldn't just drop them completely), like Murphy's son, the second Robocop and OCP's new supercomputer, the sudden change in gears is really jarring. The cabal sounded far more interesting than the "angry OCP ex-employee" plot, whose computer virus that infects people(!) sounds like something out of the friggin' Weekly World News.

I wish I could give this miniseries some praise, but it really just feels like a slightly more violent episode of the earlier TV series. At least there's no annoying cute kid sidekick this time around, nor does Robo come armed with a stupid amount of gimmicky weaponry, just his classic Auto-9. In fact, the "zero fatality act" in the first episode, having been imposed by the OCP, which prevents the police from utilizing lethal force - which of course Robo tends to gleefully ignore - feels like a jab at that TV series.
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