Sunday, March 13, 2011

Robocop 2

Robocop 2
Since the passing of director Irvin Kershner, I decided to re-watch Robocop 2.  While certainly not as good as the first film, this sequel actually holds up pretty well.  I think Kershner leans on the campy stuff a bit more than Paul Verhoeven’s first movie, and Verhoeven is full of camp.
This biggest problem I have with R2 is that it tries to stuff too much into a 2-hr movie.  We have the police strike, Robocop malfunctioning, New Age drugs, a religious terrorist that is also a drug lord, a cooperation trying to take over a city, and few other plot threads.  I felt the drug stuff wasn’t fully explored and the motives behind Cain’s empire weren’t fleshed out.
There has to be a different cut out there somewhere.
The other minor problem I have with the movie is the mean-spirited nature of certain scenes.  The young softball team breaking into a tech-shop and beating the storeowner is a bit grim and mean.  The Softball coach is behind the violent robbery as he carries boxes of merchandise out to his van.  But, it gets worst when Robocop’s partner (Anne Lewis) kills the murderous softball coach by blowing his brains out right in front of one of the child softball players.  Did I mention none of the players show remorse for the death of their coach, whose body is sitting just outside the store?   
However, the action scenes are fun and the story of these CEOs and business types undercutting each other is a nice carryover from the first film.  Given the limited info on the character, Tom Noonan does a convincing job as the main villain. 
Peter Weller is all around great as Robocop again.  I got a kick out of his malfunctioning quirks.  His voice switches from robotic to human throughout the film. That is a nice touch.
Overall, the Robocop 2 is slightly a mess with all the plot threads, but it is still a fun movie that holds up today…just not as much as the first movie. 
Grade: B-
-Robocop’s armor is a different color.  In this movie, he is blue, purple and grey.  In the first movie he’s more silver.  After doing some research, they original designers of the suit in the first movie wanted Robocop to blue and purple.  I personally like his suit in part 2 more so than part 1. 
-ED-209 returns:  One of the best cameos has to be the funny scene at the beginning with ED robot getting stuck in a manhole.  IMDB says there are two other appearances.  I noticed the second one, but not the third one.
-Frank Miller:  From what I’ve read about Miller’s unused script is that it wasn’t all that great to begin with and changing the script probably helped the film.
-I think the death toll is this movie is higher than the first movie.  A lot of people get killed and many of them innocent bystanders. 

Robocop: Some assembly required

I remember this damn kid was also in an episode of Star Trek TNG.  Gabriel Damon hasn't done much recently. 

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