March 25, 2006
Movie Review By: SFAM
Directed by: Irvin Kershner
Written by: Frank Miller & Walon Green (screenplay), Michael Miner & Edward Neumeier (characters)
Degree of Cyberpunk Visuals: Medium
Correlation to Cyberpunk Themes: Low
Key Cast Members:
Overview: Oh how the mighty have fallen. In Robocop, we get a violent, satirical look at a future with an interesting story, complete with cyborg musings and incredible visuals. In Robocop 2, we get a tripe, over-the-top monstrosity that devolves into a Godzilla versus King Kong movie. Where Robocop provided a biting commentary on the state of corporate influence and advertising, Robocop 2 settles for a simplistically evil, nonsensical, corporate stooges who are far more interested in screwing society than they are making long term profit. Put simply, Robocop 2 is a mess when compared to its original.
The Story: In Robocop 2, the OCP Corporation is bent on nefariously taking over ownership of the city so that it can squeeze every dollar out of the populace (which, interestingly, is already poor). As part of their plan, OCP tacitly supports the distribution of a new addictive drug called “Nuke.” With the cops on strike and the evil drug lord Cain distributing the drug and destroying the populace, only Robocop is there to protect Detroit from complete anarchy. But even Robocop is removed when a new scheming corporate businesswoman at OCP will do anything to get to the top, including screwing the CEO, ruining Robocop and replacing him with the Nuke drug lord, Cain. I could to into more details, but truly, the plot sucks too much to bother.
Robocop Stripped: “Christ, he’s been stripped,” is the line the policeman delivers upon seeing Robocop as a heap of parts. I couldn’t agree more. The plot points in Robocop 2 are idiotic at best. OK, so the bad guy and his 12 year-old kid beat Robocop. Of course, the logical thing to do is to drop him off, living parts and all at police HQ, right? And of course it makes sense for a Lawyer to control the Robocop project, even though there aren’t any legal issues involved. And just as logical is the corporation that gambles its entire viability on a psycho-maniac dead drug addict to be its corporate face and protector of the public, while destroying its investment in Robocop by programming him with silly parables (Gee, any reason they didn’t just re-assign Robocop to the military?). In topping this silliness, at least we know that Robocop, human brain and all, is able to easily withstand a drop from the top of a skyscraper. Interestingly, Robocop 2 tells us that the most expensive part of running a city is the police department, not the building of an ENTIRE NEW DOWNTOWN, which, we are told, will instantly pay for itself because its population will be paying for an addictive drug! I could go on, but clearly, the plot isn’t supposed to make sense. One wonders what the original script looked like as its pretty clear that Frank Miller’s script was modified significantly.
Detriot’s citizens are all millionaires!
The Bottom Line: While most of the key characters return (Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Dan O’Herlihy, Felton Perry), they are joined by a cast that includes a parodied lunatic for a mayor (Willard Pugh), a kid for a bad guy (always the touch of death), and shallow scheming, horrible acting corporate bitch (Belinda Bauer). The interesting questions from the first movie are again posed, but this time in a sophomoric, absurd fashion – so much so that they divorce any interest in the potential answers. The FX, including the stop-motion animation are still decent enough to keep the movie from being a total waste, but just barely. If Robocop was intended as a total goof (meaning the actors realized this), it would have worked better. Instead, we get a story that qualifies as a parody while the actors seem to think they’re making a credible remake. The result is less than stellar.