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!
Action / Crime / Sci-Fi / Thriller
Action / Crime / Sci-Fi / Thriller
After a successful deployment of the Robocop Law Enforcement unit, OCP sees its goal of urban pacification come closer and closer, but as this develops, a new narcotic known as "Nuke" invades the streets led by God-delirious leader Cane. As this menace grows, it may prove to be too much for Murphy to handle. OCP tries to replicate the success of the first unit, but ends up with failed prototypes with suicidal issues... until Dr. Faxx, a scientist straying away from OCP's path, uses Cane as the new subject for the Robocop 2 project, a living God.
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September 30, 2011 at 01:00 AM