Armitage III (1994) – By Danny Runion

 Detective Ross Sylibus formerly of the Chicago Police, has come to Mars after a tragedy. At the Martian spaceport, Ross sees Armitage who tries to arrest D’anclaude in the distance. D’Anclaude siccs his bodyguards on her. A gunfight breaks out. Armitage is able to wound the escaping D’Anclaude. The suitcase he was carrying has the body of Kelly McGanon, a famous country singer, in it. D’Anclaude is able to escape even with Armitage in hot pursuit. Armitage reveals to Ross that McGanon was actually a robot.

As Dan’Claude does everything in his power to flame the anti-robot hatred from people who have lost their jobs to androids, he continues to reveal robots that have insulated themselves into the Martian culture and kill them.

Ross and Armitage are assigned to uncover the secret of these highly developed robots. Ross discovers that Armitage is a robot who is tied more deeply into those advanced robots than even she knows. As they continue to encounter Dan’Claude, the two police officers start to realize that the case has implications beyond just a string of murders. The mystery gets even more complex as the fate of Mars, Earth, and humanity are entangled in this conundrum.

This movie is a bit disjointed. It was cut down from a 140 minute OAV to a 90 minute movie. That should give you an idea that characterization was dropped for a few well timed action scenes. The very beginning has Armitage take care of a bank robbery and appear at the spaceport to try to arrest Dan’Claude immediately afterwards which leads to the spaceport shooting. There never was much explanation on how Pluto AKA Julian found Armitage. Several parts throughout make some of the characters seem very unnecessary or hard to keep track of at the very least… I get the impression that the ending was much different than intended.

Elizabeth Berkley tries her best as the voice of Armitage. The Showgirls jokes are easy to make. The Saved By the Bell jokes are old enough to be retired well except the one I used for the caption…Unfortunately, I can believe Armitage as a bad-azz cop as easily as Whoopi Goldberg in Fatal Beauty. Back to Armitage. Well when the character has 3 moods: perky, more depressed than a goth listening to the Cure for 5 hours, or super action heroine. The perky moments are the most believable. The depressed moments with "why did humanity create me only to hate" get old fast enough to break the sound barrier. Super action heroine moments, give me a break…I’ve seen movies with far more annoying one-liners.

You get the feeling that this should be sort of like the typical buddy cop show. Well, most versions of the buddy cop movie have already been done before. He’s a gruff police officer. She’s a sexy robot programmed to be the perfect law enforcement officer. Together they’re Mann and Machine. Wait, NBC did that 15 years ago. He’s a cop who is emotionally dead after a cyborg killed his partner. She’s a cop that somehow makes Christina Aguilera look like a prude and also happens to be a robot. Together they fight crime!!!

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Rogue Reviewers Roundtable Topic: The Robotic Menace

Danny’s Review Site: Side Order of Ninjas