RoboCop 2 (1990)

robocop2“RoboCop 2” in spite of the script from the once legendary Frank Miller, repeats much of the same beats as the first film. It’s twice as violent, and uneven in tone, but it’s basically the first film all over again in many respects. OCP is planning to release another new robotic police officer, they want to make RoboCop obsolete yet again, there’s a vicious violent gang on the loose and wreaking havoc, and they have some connections to OCP.

This time around OCP’s presence has become much more sentient, and they’re an unwavering force of moral grays who seem to be working for society, when they’re aiming toward their own means. I’m not too sure why they didn’t just scrap RoboCop after the first film, but in either case, Murphy is still the robotic officer, and is still experiencing moments where he remembers who he once was. The police and OCP executives are angry that RoboCop not only remember much of his past, but is rebelling against his masters a la Frankenstein’s monster. In a gripping moment, Murphy’s widow confronts RoboCop in tears, and he’s forced to turn her away insisting Murphy is long dead. Murphy is a man stuck in his body who can’t fight back or destroy himself. All he can do is find solace in helping what ever people he can, and trying to bring down OCP and their sinister plans.

Meanwhile, a new gang has been unleashed on Detroit with a new drug that they’re distributing that’s the most addictive substance ever created. RoboCop begins to figure out that they’re learning how to outsmart the cops, and begins infiltrating their underground ring with his partner Officer Lewis. “RoboCop 2” runs the gamut from dark comedy to violent action film time and time again, so when vicious scenes are staged, we can never be sure if it’s intended to be humorous or brutal. Take for example the moment when OCP executive begin displaying their failed attempts at new RoboCop models, including a skull faced police officer that commits suicide.

I was never sure if that was a sequence intent on being horrific lending credence to the exploitative nature of Murphy’s situation, or humorous for its claymation and double takes by scientists. The battle between RoboCop and the new intended model is also quite boring and anti-climactic, even considering the unique spin on the new model. OCP is the real villain, and RoboCop, even as a mechanical sentry, seems to understand that they’ll be beaten in due time. OCP is an entity consistently biting themselves in the backsides, and RoboCop is wise enough to know when to strike. Tom Noonan is great as the new villain, the drug prophet Cain, while Peter Weller is still striking as Alex Murphy, struggling to build a semblance of an existence out of his robotic armor. “RoboCop 2” is a weak and utterly uneven follow-up, but at least presents some unique ideas about RoboCop and his world.


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