Mark RolstonDan O'HerlihyRoboCopPeter Weller
RoboCop 2
Medium: film
Year: 1990
Director: Irvin Kershner
Writer: Edward Neumeier, Michael Miner, Frank Miller, Walon Green
Keywords: SF, RoboCop
Country: USA
Actor: Belinda Bauer, Mario Machado, Leeza Gibbons, John Ingle, Tom Noonan, Roger Aaron Brown, Gabriel Damon, Mark Rolston, Thomas Rosales Jr., Brandon Smith, Peter Weller, Michael Medeiros, Galyn Gorg, Nancy Allen, Clinton Austin Shirley, Angie Bolling, Jeff McCarthy, Ken Lerner, Willard E. Pugh, Phil Rubenstein, Felton Perry, Dan O'Herlihy, John Doolittle, Robert DoQui, Stephen Lee, George Cheung, Wanda De Jesus, Tzi Ma, James McQueen, Jerry Nelson
Format: 82 minutes
Website category: SF
Review date: 30 April 2011
I don't mind it. It's okay. It's not a horrible film, unless by that you mean occasional gratuitous gore. It's just that the original is a rampaging 1980s classic by Paul Verhoeven, while there's nothing about this sequel that you'd even really call good.
1. RoboCop himself is a bit lame. I like the character stuff near the beginning with his wife, but then he has an attack of silly overconfidence and lets himself get shot down by the gangsters and cut into pieces. OCP then turn him into Embarrassing Dork RoboCop for a while. The weird thing though is that both of those ideas could theoretically have been cool, yet this film's drug gang is too half-arsed to take particularly seriously, while I can't work out how they failed to make Chilled-Out RoboCop funny.
2. The baddies are mediocre. The OCP corporate sleazeballs are second-string villains, at best. The film can't even be bothered to kill them at the end. They're not a patch on Ronny Cox and Curtwood Smith from last time. Then we have the drug lords, who are hippies, space cases and a kid. To be fair, the film does successfully establish that these people are nasty and you wouldn't want them as next-door neighbours, but they're as scary as My Little Pony.
3. The script isn't always convincing. OCP send a killer cyborg to murder everyone at a meeting with the mayor, having insisted beforehand that there be "no witnesses", but the mayor survives. They then do nothing at all about this, on the contrary wheeling out that very same cyborg for a public meeting at which he's sitting in the front row. Isn't it a bit stupid to return RoboCop to the police, even dismembered? Could a brain and spinal column in a tank really stay alive like that? OCP's business decisions are dubious, to put it mildly. Finally fifty million sounds like a lot of money for Detroit to be in the red, but is it actually that much? It's just an overspend. The real Detroit right now has a 155 million budget deficit and the mayor's making noises about it being 1.2 billion in a few years if he doesn't get his 200 million of cuts. Even adjusting for inflation only takes fifty million 1990 dollars to the equivalent of 88 million today.
4. That child shooting through the window should have missed. Look at the angle of his gun. He's firing over their heads!
However there's fun stuff here too. None of it could be called original, but it still works. I like the killer cyborg, which has the charm of stop-motion animation, but in addition a better battle with RoboCop than did ED-209. The adverts made me laugh, such as the carcenogenic sunscreen. It's also capable of being gruesome, which isn't a great achievement but at least saves the film from feeling like a PG-13.
Frank Miller famously wrote the script for this... except that he didn't, of course. They bounced his draft as unfilmable.
Overall, a perfectly watchable violent dumb flick with RoboCop in it. The internet is seething with nerd hatred for it, but that's because they're comparing it with the original. It's fine. It's okay with lame bits and an unsatisfying ending, but still I kind of enjoyed it. It's not fit to lick the sputum off the underside of Paul Verhoeven's boots, but you could watch frighteningly worse, e.g. RoboCop 3.