Plot: The streets of Detroit continue to be plagued with violence, as street gangs and other criminals run rampant. While Robocop has proven to be a powerful tool in the battle against the lawbreakers, there’s only so much one unit can do, which has led to research into further robotic protectors. So far however, these attempts have failed and sometimes in catastrophic fashion, while Robocop has some issues as well, from old memories to a shaky public perception. Meanwhile, the situation boils over as a new, overpowered narcotic floods the streets and a police strike means crime can run wild, which prompts some drastic measures. A new corporate police tech project aims to one up Robocop with a more powerful cyborg, one that is better armed and contains the mind of a madman, no less. Can Robocop manage to once again shut down the crime wave and protect Detroit?
Entertainment Value: The original Robocop was a slick, masterful b movie made with an A list budget, setting the bar high for the sequels that would follow. Robocop 2 might not reach those dizzying genre heights, but it does offer a fun, b movie style ride. The narrative drops most of the more subversive social commentary, but still feels rooted in the Robocop world and that goes a long way, I think. Just seeing Peter Weller back in the lead role is enough to overcome of the issues, while several other returning cast members and some good villains help that balance as well. While I can see why some might lament the more straight ahead b movie approach, I still think Robocop 2 is a lot of fun and to me, that’s enough. The world building from the original carries over into the sequel and that bolsters the predictable narrative, while also ensuring this feels like a true follow up, not a loosely connected effort. The peaceful Robocop thread might not work in the traditional sense, but it is humorous and again, adds some unintentional humor, so there’s that. I also love the special effects, with some cool stop motion and rock solid production values throughout. The movie also packs some fun, over the top action scenes, a wealth of colorful characters, and some quotable lines, so while not the classic that the original was, Robocop 2 earns an easy recommendation.
The first Robocop movie boasted a colorful ensemble of talent and that continues here, including a number of returning performers. Peter Weller is back as Robocop and that enhances the entire experience, as he brings not only his usual terrific work ethic, but ensures this feels like the real Robocop. While the third Robocop movie is silly fun, the absence of Weller has a big impact on the character, so it is nice to have him around here to keep things “name brand,” if you will. Nancy Allen also returns and is a welcome presence, adding a good amount of memorable lines and reactions, while again, helping this sequel feel even more connected to the original. I think she embraces the b movie elements as well, which is also a boon for Robocop 2. While it is tough to follow Kurtwood Smith’s memorable villain from the first movie, Tom Noonan crafts another fun bad guy for Robocop to tangle with, backed up by a colorful crew of misfits, much like the original. The dynamic of the villains here is quite humorous, with a kid as one of the prime baddies and one of the most sadistic at that. The cast also includes Ken Lerner, Dan O’Herlihy, and John Ingle.
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