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I'm amazed at how bad this movie has gotten trashed over the years. The
sequel to one of the best sci-fi movies ever, it was killed by critics and
fans alike. I just don't understand why though.
In many ways Robocop 2 is better than its predecessor. For instance, the many subplots. We have the subplot involving Robocop getting put back together, the subplot of Robocop 2 itself, the subplot of whether or not Robocop is human or machine, the subplot of nuke/Cain and his thugs, and the subplot of overall power and corruption.
The mix of dark satire and graphic violence are once again showcased in Robocop 2 and in grander fashion. We get lots of jokes and lots of gore, mixed together flawlessly. All the performances are good. Peter Weller once again does a great job as Murphy, and Tom Noonan makes his Cain character a three-dimensional psychopath.
The score is much different from the score of the original. Instead of the dramatic/sad theme from Robocop, we get a much more heroic/dynamic theme from Robocop 2, and it works quite well with the movie.
Another thing I have got to comment on is the usage of stop motion. Once Cain is transformed into the monstrous Robocop 2 ( the title character ), we get an explosion of stop motion special effects that look fantastic! Stop motion doesn't get any better than this.
All in all, this is one of the best sequels of all time, but got a bad reputation because it was 'too violent'. Don't listen to some of the naysayers. Robocop 2 is a masterfully done film from the director of Empire Strikes Back and shouldn't be missed by any sci-fi buff out there. Check it out now on Widescreen for the DVD.
4 stars out of 4 ( reviewed by Scott Beams )
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
RoboCop 2 is probably the most under-rated and most harshly criticized
sequel in history (tying with Predator 2, which came out the same
year). Because of a few missing elements from the first and a slightly
more cartoonish approach to the violence, the critics and public alike
were not pleased and opinions and feelings toward the franchise
nosedived with the just plain awful RoboCop 3.
Don't con yourself out of a good movie though. RoboCop 2 still has the same savage sense of humor, cynical social commentary and character pathos of the first film. It's a hyper-realistic vision of an America populated by gun-loving psychos, a democracy owned by big business and the poverty-stricken addicted to drugs dealt to them by peddlers believing themselves to be the second coming of Christ.
Far-fetched could be the typical way of describing it. Completely-over-the-top would be more appropriate. Empire Strikes Back director Irvin Kershner chucks in as much sadistic violence, deafening gunfire, endless destruction and loss of human life that the film just begs you not to take it so seriously.
Some of the blame was placed on writer Frank Miller for the film being more cartoonish than the original. I don't think this is very fair. I read Miller's original script when I was in high school and it is rather different and, dare I say, unfilmable. RoboCop 2 himself was not Nuke Lord Caine, the psychotic hippie with delusions of Godhood. He was called Kong, a psychotic cop who pretty much killed everybody he came across. Sgt. Reed and the Old Man died too, and there wasn't much humor. Screenwriter Walon Green was hired to doctor the script and much of what appears on screen is actually his work. Frank Miller's original ideas are pretty much just left as the framework for the whole movie and some of his story was recycled into RoboCop 3 (don't blame him for that one either). Miller was obviously upset with this but was still a good enough sport to appear in the film (keep a lookout for him playing Doctor Frank), though he vowed not to work in Hollywood again for fear of being taken advantage of. Until Robert Rodriguez promised to make good on his Sin City graphic novels.
Verhoven may be gone but Irvin Kershner tries hard to deliver the same mix of mirth and magic and actually does get it right. Basil Poledouris' brooding score is also gone (it returns in RoboCop 3) but new composer Leonard Rosenman creates a wonderfully heroic and upbeat theme that suits the film more than Poledouris' moody, tormented score to the first.
There have also been many complaints that the humanity of RoboCop and his relationship with Lewis was neutered along with too many other ideas fighting for screen time. I get why most would be annoyed by this but you have to remember that films need to be economic when it comes to length. If every single idea was fully explored and fleshed-out RoboCop 2 would have been 4 hours long. In my opinion each thread has just enough for keen viewers and fans to appreciate. Lazy viewers only see what they want to see and I feel that this has led to many of the negative reviews the film has been met with (which usually comment on how "offensive" the character of Hob is-sheesh, gimme a break). And don't give me that the "humanity" of the first film is gone. Murphy has not resigned to being a machine. He lies to pacify OCP. Pay attention to the very last line of dialogue in the film if you want proof.
Filmed once again in Texas, Houston this time, you really have to feel for Peter Weller walking around in that Robosuit. It must have weighed a ton and he'd be sweating bucketloads inside. There is a particular scene in the film where Murphy is tortured into near-death/destruction that is very hard to watch. But it does lead to him getting a brand-new makeover and those crazy new directives put into his head. The bit where he lectures the Little League kids and scolds the youngsters playing by the leaky fire hydrant (after quoting some very suspicious philosophy) is hilarious.
RoboCop 2 is a great movie. Despite harsh critisisms of the script and story and some slightly dated stop-motion effects it's a brilliant sequel that lives up to expectations. Do listen to the nay-sayers. I don't know what kind of film they were expecting.
And thank you for not smoking!
If you believe the video game that was made out of RoboCop, it was set in
the same year that RoboCop 2 was released. RoboCop is simply one of the best
films ever made, and it brought me much relief from a very sorrowful
childhood. Which brings me to the point I am trying to make here: anything
was going to be something of a letdown. Another rebuke I would like to make
of other critics of this film lies with their complaint that the movie was
too mean-spirited and had too much violence. Let me quote Paul Verhoeven's
commentary about the original: "the whole style of the movie is 'too
The real failing of this sequel lies in the story, which is full of threads that are either resolved badly (the attempt to reprogram RoboCop with new directives) or not resolved at all (RoboCop's memories of his wife). Considering that not a single second in the original was wasted when it came to drawing the viewer into the hero's mind or building some emotional connection, the lack of sympathy one feels with even Lewis or the Sergeant is worrying. Then there's the villian. A film with a superhero, like Robocop or the Bond series, is only as effective as its main villian. Cain is not an effective villian, and gets very little development in the bargain, the exact opposite of the situation with Clarence Boddicker in the original.
The mock commercials are something of a hit and miss affair. The OCP Communications commercial was hilarious, but the Sunblock 5000 commercial was just plain tasteless. The use of children in RoboCop 2 also counts against it. There were no children in the original, reflecting the fact that the film just wasn't made with children in mind. The use of children in RoboCop 2 smacks of a cheap attempt to appeal to the children who are allowed by their parents or whomever to see the film. It doesn't work because the writers are trying to transplant adult dialogue into a child's mouth. Similarly, the attempt to transplant the manner in which the Christian Coalition think children talk into Robocop fails.
All in all, RoboCop 2 is a passable sequel, but it pales in comparison to the harsh perfection that is the original. Give it a chance because it does have some entertainment value.
"RoboCop 2" , the sequel to 1987's ultra-violent "RoboCop", is not quite up
to par with its predecessor. The film still manages to entertain on a large
level. I know that a lot of people do not like this movie, but I personally
think it is still pretty good. I'm not writing a review of this movie, I am
just expressing my thoughts on it.
First off, this movie is a lot more violent than the first "RoboCop". You get scenes of bloody shootings, grisly scenes of torture, and a surgery which I'd rather let you see for yourself than describe here. Paul Verhoeven does not return to shock his audience with graphic violence and ultra dark humor, which has since become trademark in his films. The director this time is Irvin Kershner, who made "The Empire Strikes Back" nearly ten years before this movie. Kershner seems to focus a lot more on action, rather than story.
Second, the movie's villain, Cain (Tom Noonan), to me is a direct opposite of Clarence Boddicker (the villain from the first film who was played by Kurtwood Smith). Cain enjoys giving people pleasure (through his highly addictive designer drug called Nuke) while Boddicker was a sadist who took pleasure in the death and suffering of others. (Though after Cain's "transformation", none of this really matters).
Lastly, this movie does not exploit children. The kid in this movie, Hob (played by Garbriel Damon) is Cain's twelve year-old side kick. He is a violent, foul-mouthed little child who runs errands for Cain. The writers for this movie did this intentionally, to show that crime holds no age barrier. Regardless of age, crime is crime.
Like I said, "RoboCop 2" is not trying to be better than its predecessor, it's just trying to be something different.
I don't think anyone is going to argue that the first Robocop film in the
series is, by far, the best! But, I still think this installment is very
good and has a lot of good things to offer. The story is quite interesting
and pretty well thought out. The characters are pretty much the same as the
first film, nothing terribly new there. The special effects are absolutely
superb and the action is done rather well throughout the
Like any film, this film has some flaws. One thing that really bothered me is that they made Robocop more of a Blue-ish color instead of a silver or grey color, it would looked better if they had stuck to the original color. Also, there are a few scenes that are meant to be comedic, but just didn't pull through. Other than that, I thought the film was rather good.
The new cyborg in this film, aptly named "Robocop 2" is astonishing in every way. I thought it was a phenomenal design and beautifully done! The weaponry on this cyborg was quite impressive as well.
The actors in this film did a fine job, I can't think of any that I disliked and the direction of Irvin Kershner (The Empire Strikes Back) was quite good as well.
Even though I liked this film a great deal, I still wouldn't recommend it to everyone. If you saw and liked the original RoboCop, then I think you really ought to see this one, I'm not saying you'll like it, I would hope that you do, but you still may not (as many reviewers on this site have made clear). I would say that if you like a good sci-fi film, then you should check this film out, and I hope you like it. Anyhow, thanks for reading,
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I was a huge fan of the original Robocop.
But to say I was disappointed by this first sequel would be an understatement.
The problems are many.
Glossy though the film may look there are plenty of bloopers on screen for all to see, wires, cameramen etc, something I find wholly unacceptable from someone of Irvin Kreshner's pedigree.
Robocop has become a robot. There is no spark of humanity to be found in the character here. A true disappointment when one considers that his "soul" had returned by the end of the first movie. Here his attitude shows no human side and makes him hard to sympathise with.
Caine is a poor villain. OK I know Boddiker from the first film was better than the average, mainly thanks to Kurtwood Smith's performance, but the usually solid Tom Noonan creates a character who you couldn't care less about one way or the other.
What's happened to the Old Man????. I appreciate that he didn't get to where he is by being "nice" but the change in his character here is nothing short of dumbfounding. In the first movie it's made clear he despises Dick Jone's tactics and attitude and yet here he's no better than Jones. It makes no sense.
Doctor Faxx is a poor replacement for Bob Morton's charismatic, if unpleasant, OCP resident genius.
The action sequences, save the sequence where Murphy is stuck to the side of Caine's truck, are harsh and nasty and repel rather than entertain.
And finally. What is with the musical score?. Don't tell me Poledouris couldn't have done it simply because he was working on Total Recall at the time. A series (TV or Movie) soundtrack is part of its personality. Part of its character. When you remove that it harms the familiarity of the characters we're watching. So it's bad enough but shame on Leonard Rosenman. His score here is lurid, camp and downright cringe worthy.
The story has its moments to be fair. There's a lot of originality in here. But it tries too many new things to take in with one film. Hob is a well realised villain and the only truly dis likable "villian" in the move, Thumbs up to Gabriel Damon there.
The final showdown between Robocop and Robocop 2 is fun as well.
But for the vast majority of its overlong running time this is a serious disappointment.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The first Robocop had a sense of cynical wit and a sick sense of
violence. It was a fine line to walk, but Paul Verhoeven pulled it off
and the film did so well, they made a sequel. How awful. (Possible
Spoilers ahead - though anything that could spoil this is beyond me).
Irvin Kershner is not the director for this type of film. He clearly did not understand the humor of the original and as a result the massive over-the-top senseless violence looks really bad - and worse is very distasteful. Even worse is the musical score. Leonard Rosenman was an old man from another era and the heroic, light music does not match the images on the screen at all! What was he scoring?! The Great American Hero?! Worst of all, he completely eliminated Robocop's theme from the first film, which was so memorable and perfect. Can you imagine a Superman film without John Williams' fanfare, or Indiana Jones, etc.? How could he do that?!!
The plot is just a collection of ideas that don't gel. In beginning we see Robo "stalking" his old wife. Fine, good idea. But, they completely drop it after that. Then, there is this a stupid idea of the company reprogramming Robo to be nice. That's thrown in for 10 minutes and then is immediately dropped. Or, the silly idea that the repulsive 10 year-old drug lord reminds Robo of his son - Once again, a weak motif that is shown briefly twice and dropped. This may work in a comic book, but not on film and Frank Miller was unfortunately too inexperienced at the time and threw every idea in along with the kitchen sink. It doesn't work as a whole.
Some people here seem to be praising the corporate bashing in this film and the privatization of the police. That is the best part of the film that is consistent with the first. However, in the original, the old man was a tough business man out for a profit, but ultimately fair in the end. In this film, he is just pure evil in his lust for money and power. You can't just change characters like that for no reason. And Nancy Allen's character is useless in this film, whereas in the first she was essential to Robo's search for himself. She is as gratuitous as the violence in this film.
And the violence, yes the violence. I enjoy many violent, bloody films when they serve purposes and are meant to tell a story. Irvin Kershner seems to get off on human beings being blown to bits, shot to pieces, children lusting for death and torture and peoples' desire for drugs. He doesn't know when to stop. Do we really need to see every last innocent bystander (even people trying to help others) get shot up???? It is inferred when we see the bad Robocop shooting repeatedly! Instead Mr. Kershner proves he has very little taste for this type of work and creates an abominable mess that is a terrible piece of pop art and worse, a disgusting message of violence for any young person watching this film.
No, this film isn't meant to be message-y and I certainly don't watch Robocop movies or Alien or Predator movies for that reason. However, when you go too far and cross the line, much of what you do must be put into question. And as for this film, in the words of the evil kid drug dealer's last words as he lay dying, "It still sucks".
Robocop 2 is a very amusing movie that is often times unfairly
criticized. It is obviously not as good as the first film, but its
still a darn good sequel. This movie, just like the first, always gets
made fun of and I can't see why. I think these movies are just so
entertaining. Here's my two cents.
I am a huge fan of these Sci-Fi/Action movies, and Robocop is definitely one of the coolest in the genre. The first film is a classic, but most people don't seem too fond of it's sequel. Robocop 2 is dark, cruel, and gruesome, but it never misses it's chance to fit in a joke. The humor in this movie is just as good as the first's, if not better. The acting is a little poor at times, but you can't expect too much out of a film like this. Robocop 2's story is less diverting, but the special effects are superior to the first. This movie has a much better climax than the original, and the final moments of violence at the ending have some of the best special effects I have ever seen(without the use of cgi)in a movie.
My problem is that people always accuse films like this of not being realistic enough. What should you expect from a title like 'Robocop 2"? People need to just sit back and suspend disbelief for a movie like this. The Robocop movies are pure bloody fun, that's all. I recommend this movie to anyone who likes violent 'machine vs. machine' warfare, and being a fan of the first movie couldn't hurt either.
Alright....I want you to forget what those boreing critics have said about this film, the bottom line is that this movie Rocks!. Peter Weller delivers his perfect performance as the Cyborg Robocop in his pursuit to rid Detroit of the addictive drug "Nuke". The film is long and this might be what makes people tare at it, but dont be discouraged , if you are a Robo-Fan chances are you love this movie. Robocop 2 follows all of Paul Verhoven's techniques with gruesome violence and gore that give tribute to the original classic. It also has the funny tv commercials like the original. This film is Directed by Irvin Kershner who is responsible for the great classic "The Empire Strikes Back" so you can expect that the action in Robocop 2 is simply fantastic. Kershner's use of blue color lighting and classic stop motion effects (which still are more interesting for some reason then a digital Keanu Reaves jumping around) are great in this film. Peter Weller was born for the role and delivers what I think is a flawless performance. The movie is well worth it for action fans, the gun fights are hardcore and the final fight with Robocop and the Evil-Cyborg Kane is perhaps the most violent scene in movie history as innocent people get shot in their crossfire and they wreck half the city in the process.Only John Woo's "Hard Boiled" can match up to "Robocop 2"'s carnage. Also Robocop's partner "Lewis"(Nancy Allan) is also back with her well played strong women side kick role from the original. The dissapointing thing about Robocop 2 is that the violence level concerned producers resulting in the Horrible "RoboCop 3" with a PG-13 rating and without Peter Weller's performance, Robo-3 bombed and has nearly killed the franchise. But to all the fans out there, get yourself a copy of RoboCop 2 on DVD, its hard to find.From a Sci-Fi/Action point of view, I give this film 3 out of 4 stars.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"RoboCop" is one of my all-time favorite guilty pleasures, the type of rare action movie that takes no prisoners and never lets up for a single moment until the ride is over, and when the credits start to fill the screen you just let out a big sigh of relief--not because it was a bad film, but because you survived the ride.
"RoboCop 2" is a bit different. Gone is Paul Verhoeven at the helm of the film and filling in for his absence is Irvin Kershner ("The Empire Strikes Back"). The film is violent, perhaps a bit more so than the first in certain areas overall, but it lacks the hard, almost unexplainable solid edge the first film had--the sharpness that pierces you as you watch the film like a knife blade. "RoboCop 2" has a dull blade. The first has a great effect. This does not. There's violence without reason, reason without explanation, and explanation without effect.
Detroit is worse off than it was in the last film--men bash little old ladies with cars and steal their loot; hookers stab men in the eye to steal cash; stores are blown up and rampages by little league players and the captain of the team even occur. Police are on strike because they claim the city is screwing them over--only RoboCop (Peter Weller), Lewis (Nancy Allen), and a few other policemen/women remain.
There's a new drug on the rise called "Nuke," manufactured and sold to the public by Cain (Tom Noonan) and his young apprentice (Gabriel Damon), who looks about 11 or 12 but talks with the language of a Quentin Tarantino character and kills innocent human beings mercilessly. Oh, but when he dies we're supposed to feel sorry for him because then he's a cute little mortally-wounded boy.
RoboCop chases down Cain and, after what seems two hours into the film, finally catches him. But Omni Corp, the corporation we saw in the first film, wants a new RoboCop, so they shut down life support on the dying Cain, take his brain and stuff it into a new RoboCop, referenced to so originally as "RoboCop 2," hence the title of the film. (My suggestion is that in "RoboCop 4," they should create a cyborg called RoboCop XP, and he can have lightning-fast reflexes and a built-in wireless broadband modem so he can check his e-mails and surf the 'Net while he's on the go.)
And putting a homicidal drug dealer's brain inside a giant-sized robot law enforcer with machine gun capabilities and weapons of mass destruction probably isn't a very good idea, but the thought never crosses the minds of Omni Corp. The chairman of Omni Corp (Daniel O'Herlihy) produces RoboCop 2 to the public, but RoboCop already realizes RoboCop 2 is dangerous and so he appears at the unveiling armed with a huge gun.
RoboCop 2 goes haywire and kills everyone. The entire sequence is done in cheesy Godzilla animation but, to be quite honest, it didn't look all that bad. He and RoboCop duke it out on top of buildings and in elevator shafts and on the ground outside Omni Corp, where an uncountable number of police officers (hey, weren't they on strike?) are left firing at this indestructible--and very bulletproof--machine that unfortunately does not have an OFF switch in sight. ("Turn it off!" he says. "I can't!" she says. "You idiots!" I say.)
So many loose threads are left dangling in "RoboCop 2," and so many subject matters that I wanted sorting out after seeing the first film. But there isn't any hope in sight. After a brief moment that hints towards the central idea that RoboCop may still be human after all (wasn't that sorta established in the original?), everything is dropped for the action set pieces to move in, such as a car chase with RoboCop and Cain, or the end finale that goes on too long. But RoboCop is seen spying on his wife in the beginning, and we find out that she has gone through serious trauma over this whole thing. She confronts him at the police station and out of decency he insists her husband is dead. But we see the look of remembrance and remorse in his eyes.
That's the storyline I would like to follow. I'd like to follow RoboCop's journey to find himself again, to recover lost memories floating around in that big brain of his. To confront his wife and tell her that he remembers her, to add a human element to the story that was so clearly demonstrated in the original but completely lost here. Kershner obviously wants to mimic Verhoeven. But Verhoeven knows how to equally balance action and excessive gore with social satire and the ongoing human battles, relevant to the action battles. Remember in the first film when RoboCop went through his house and his eyes started to flood with past images and faded memories? Nothing like that is done here. We simply get some cheesy flashback in the beginning when Alex (pre-RoboCop) is laughing with his wife in a very non-candid and dubious sort of way. As I saw this sequence, I just sat in my seat waiting for the word "Hallmark" to appear in gold font across the screen.
As for all the loose threads left open in this film and supposedly not touched in the third movie...let's all hope that when Paul Verhoeven said he wishes to return to the series he wasn't lying. I'd love to see this franchise closed in a more honorable fashion. "RoboCop 2" is an OK movie for a Friday night crowd, but in comparison with the original, it's about as cold as RoboCop's facial tissue and as cloudy as RoboCop's memory.
- John Ulmer
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