In The Not Too Distant Future: RoboCop 2 by Jamie

Well, yesterday we looked at the ground breaking 1987 sci-fi film, RoboCop. Turns out that it was quite popular and what happens in Hollywood when something is uber-popular? It get’s a sequel of course! It happened with Jurassic Park, it happened with Jaws and for some reason it’s happening with Ghost Rider. And yes, it happened with RoboCop as well.

RoboCop 2 was released in 1990 and was directed by Irvin Kershner who directed many peoples favourite part of the saga set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, ‘The Empire Strikes Back‘.As for the cast, well, as far as I can tell everyone who wasn’t killed in the first film seemed to return. Peter Weller dons the heavy-ass costume once more and is still awesome as RoboCop. What the hell else has he done anyway? Hmm, ‘The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai Across The 8th Dimension’ and a bunch of other things I’ve heard of but never seen. I really should check them out.

(Spoilers Ahead) Anyway, this film is set two years after the undisclosed year of the last film and RoboCop is a hit with all the folks who live in Old Detroit. People like him so much, in fact, that OCP have decided to create a new model called, well, RoboCop 2. Massive points for originality there. Anyway, the problem is that every time they integrate RoboCop 2 with a human brain, it goes crazy and immediately commits suicide, unable to take what’s happened to it. It seems that the reason that Murphy was such a success was his strong dedication to holding up the law and the fact that being a strong Roman-Catholic prevented him from committing suicide. Of course, I thought it was just because they’d wiped Murphy’s memory and his humanity slowly came to the forefront. But hey, whatever.

Whilst all this is happening there is turmoil in the streets. The rest of the police force is on strike after OCP has cut their wages and their pensions, Murphy is essentially stalking his wife, the mayor’s office is in debt to OCP essentially giving the corporation the option to buy out the city and a cult has grown up around a drug called Nuke and a dealer with a messiah complex named Cain.

So the wife situation is sorted when Murphy realises that he’s no longer the man he once was and tells his wife that his face is a reconstruction made in honour of her dead husband. Murphy is then captured by the drug cult and essentially ripped to pieces. His parts are dumped by the striking police officers and he is reprogrammed by OCP with a few hundred new directives which are aimed to make him a more helpful figure in the community as opposed to being just a violent tool in the war on crime.

Murphy’s new programming basically renders him useless as a crime fighter, leading to many wacky situations in which he tries to arrest a corpse and give a lecture to a bunch of kids who are trying to rob a shop on how disappointed there parents must be in them. It’s definitely a different turn from the previous film in which RoboCop existed in a ridiculous, exaggerated world but everything about him and his story were played seriously. It’s not entirely unwelcome though. It provides a few laughs and doesn’t last long enough to become particularly annoying and for some reason it must have really stuck with me. The only bit I remember from watching this movie as a kid is when he shoots around a guy smoking a cigarette and says ‘Thankyou for not smoking.’ Good stuff.

Anyway, Murphy eradicates his new programming by electrocuting himself and decides to go after Cain, the striking cops following him and acting as his army. During the attack Cain is mortally wounded, leaving Hob, a ten year old with a penchant for swearing, and Angie, Cain’s girlfriend, in charge of the drug cult. Meanwhile Dr. Faxx, an OCP psychologist, decides that Cain will be the perfect candidate for the RoboCop 2 program, his crippling addiction to Nuke being a good method of keeping him under control.

Christ, there’s a lot going on in this film when you actually sit down to write about it. Let’s try and wrap this up quickly. Mayor’s office tries to make deal with drug cult in order to get money to keep control of city. RoboCain busts the deal, killing many of the mayor’s aides as well as Angie and Hob. RoboCain goes crazy at the sight of some Nuke during a media junket for OCP as they announce the buying out of the city and the deployment of RoboCop 2. RoboCain shoots the shit out of a bunch of people. RoboCop stops him. Good times all round.

So that’s it in a very large nut shell. There’s still the odd news break here and there but it’s not as effective as when Verehoeven does it. The man just has a way with that kinda shit. It’s no where near as good as the first one but it’s still enjoyable enough. There’s some dodgy stop-motion animation used to bring RoboCain to life but as I said last time, that stuff has a certain charm and can help in portraying the jittery motion of a mechanical object. The computer effects used to portray Cain’s face via a screen on RoboCop 2’s body look especially dated but, well, what can you do?

Perhaps the biggest problem with this film is the dramatic change that occurs within Dan O’Herlihy’s character, the OCP President. In the original film he’s portrayed as a kind old man who truly seems to care about the people in his employ and the people of Old Detroit. In this film he’s just a massive douche bag who does whatever he can to make money and make sure his development plans go through. It’s really quite odd.

In summation, I’d give RoboCop 2, the film not the robot, three pints out of five. Laterz and see you tomorrow. Guess what I’ll be reviewing then. I dare you.

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