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Short Circuit 2 (1988)

PG | | Comedy, Drama, Family | 6 July 1988 (USA)
0:31 | Trailer

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Robot Johnny Five comes to the city and gets manipulated by criminals who want him for their own purposes.


Kenneth Johnson
2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tim Blaney ... Johnny 5 (voice)
Fisher Stevens ... Ben Jahveri
Michael McKean ... Fred Ritter
Cynthia Gibb ... Sandy Banatoni
Jack Weston ... Oscar Baldwin
Dee McCafferty ... Saunders
David Hemblen ... Jones
Don Lake ... Manic Mike
Damon D'Oliveira ... Bones
Tito Núñez Tito Núñez ... Zorro (as Tito Nuñez)
Jason Kuriloff Jason Kuriloff ... Lil Man
Robert LaSardo ... Spooky
Lili Francks Lili Francks ... Officer Mendez
Wayne Best ... Officer O'Malley
Gerard Parkes ... Priest (as Gerry Parkes)


When Number Five is sent from Newton and Stephanie's ranch to the big city to help Ben with his electronics business, he finds that his robotic talents are wanted by city low-life who want to turn Number Five into profits. Written by Michael Silva <silvamd@cleo.bc.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The adventures of America's most electric leading man continue. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Family | Sci-Fi


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

6 July 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Short Circuit 2: More Input See more »

Filming Locations:

Ontario, Canada See more »


Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


In 2013, a remake of the original film was announced as being in development. Fisher Stevens stated his interest in returning to the franchise. The proposed remake was said to be darker in tone than the original movies. See more »


When Number 5 is holding Oscar from the tree and one of the thugs smashes him with the crowbar from behind, we see the robot's head flop forward as he drops from the tree like it had been cut off. When we see him next, the head is still attached. See more »


Jones: Okay, Jerk-off. You're gonna get recycled.
Johnny Five: [imitating a Jewish man] Oh, yeah? Well, recycle this, you meshuggana schmuck!
[Brooklyn accent]
Johnny Five: Get outta my face, you ugly motha!
[Spanish accent]
Johnny Five: Tu mama hace el amor con mi perro!
[imitating Sylvester Stallone]
Johnny Five: Yo, come on, you bug-eyed geek.
[imitating Clint Eastwood]
Johnny Five: Do you feel lucky, punk?
See more »

Alternate Versions

Early UK versions were cut by 5 secs by the BBFC to remove a shot of man holding nunchakus, and to edit 2 uses of the word "fucking" for a PG certificate (though some debate remains as to whether the swearing may have been misheard by mistake). The nunchaku shot was restored for the 2002 DVD release though the swearing remained cut. See more »


Referenced in The Goldbergs: Sixteen Candles (2018) See more »


Bye Bye Love
Written by Felice Bryant and Boudleaux Bryant
Performed by The Everly Brothers
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A basic film that is good for kids even if some parts show a richer vein of material to be plumbed
7 November 2006 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Since Number 5 vanished into hiding with Newton and Stephanie in Montana, Ben Jahrvi has gone to New York to continue his career in robotic engineering. His options however, are limited and his new job sees him building toy Number 5's in the back of his van (which is also his home and office) and selling them on the street. A chance encounter with toy buyer Sandy Banatoni nets him an order for 1000 in only a month or two. Street hustler Fred helps him get premises for a factory (albeit a condemned one) in Midtown Manhattan. However unbeknownst to any of them the factory is already populated by bank thieves looking to tunnel into the bank across the road and steal a stock of diamonds. Their plans are greatly helped by the real Number 5 arriving on the scene but how will he react when he learns that outside the factory doors is a city full of input.

Following on from the guilty pleasure of the original film, Short Circuit 2 brings Johnny 5 to a city that looks like New York in the same way as a goldfish looks like a shark. The narrative itself is a mixed bag as it runs together plots about toy manufacture, jewel heists, a romance and 5's ongoing struggle to fit in and be accepted as a living being rather than a machine. The majority of it is very basic stuff and just produces noisy stuff that kids will enjoy but will do little for many others. The romance aspect is forced and unconvincing and is the one part of the film that should have been totally dropped. The strength of the film is 5's attempts to fit in and his internal struggle with the desire to be accepted by others. The few scenes that have this theme at its heart are the stronger parts of the film and it is a shame that they are few and far between.

Johnny 5 is perhaps a bit too wacky and comic to endear himself to adults but children (and people my age who were children back in the 80's) will love him. Blaney's voice work is a bit grating at times and is not helped by some of his dialogue but he is assured in the more touching moments while the robot itself has a surprising good use of body language to convey emotion considering it is just a big special effect. The irony of having white Stevens playing an Indian cliché in a film that has themes of acceptance and being yourself may have been lost on the writers but it did amuse me – which is more than I can say for Stevens himself. He tries hard to make the material work for him but his performance seems more and more in bad taste as time goes on. McKean is amusing in a fairly obvious character while Gibb can do little with the side of the script she is handed.

Overall then a solid children's film that could have done more but too often settles for simple comic antics. Children of the 80's will probably enjoy it since it is part of cultural knowledge and experience but just don't expect it to be as good as your rose tinted reminiscing would have you remember it.

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