ROBOCOP 2 (BLU RAY)
Reviewed by: Andre Manseau
What's it about
Officer Murphy is back, as he tries to take down Cain, the evil peddler of Nuke, Detroit's designer drug of choice. Unfortunately for him, there is corruption within the police department and Robo must overcome being replaced.
Is it good movie?
I've had a long history with Robocop 2. For some reason, when I was young my parents let me watch the first film (and I LOVED it), and so when the second one came out, we watched that as a family too. It's weird to me that they ever let me see it, because those films are not for a boy of 8 or 9 years old as I was- they're super violent.
Anyway, all that is to say that Robocop 2 takes the violence and dark themes of the first one and cranks it all the way to 11. Although I consider it a watchable sequel (because the third one should never be mentioned), it's tough to make a case for it as being a really good movie.
It's great to see Peter Weller back as Robocop- the dude owns the role and to this day when I walk around like a robot (which I often do), I think of his distinct movements. Also nice to have Nancy Allen return, although her role was greatly reduced in this film. Tom Noonan also turns in a good performance as druglord/cult leader turned evil-robot Cain.
Loosely based on Frank Miller's ultraviolent screenplay-turned-comic book, this one is a real downer. Almost from the outset, all hope is more or less gone. A huge complaint with this film is the inclusion of Hob, the hideous and evil little boy under Cain's rule who is just beyond mean. There's a scene where a corrupt cop is tortured and the little boy is forced to watch. Nice sentiment!
The idea here is that Robo is in trouble. OCP is taking control of the city and the police have gone on strike and Robocop is one of the only lines of defense, as he's OCP property.
Of course, that isn't the end of it as OCP has decided to make a new Robocop (which makes for some hilarious and depressing failures). On top of that, Robocop gets ambushed while trying to stop Cain's gang and gets rended limb from limb in a scene I've never forgotten since I was a child (which means it is quite effective).
Robocop is then rebuilt and made into a wuss-bot, with wanker new directives and has to take it upon himself to literally shock his system into becoming the badass he used to be. Meanwhile, Cain gets wiped out (becoming a floating brain in a jar) and becomes the ED-209 of the film, a more powerful robot for Robocop to tangle with. And yes, the evil robot is addicted to Nuke.
If I had to get cold and hard, I'd say that Robocop 2 is worth seeing if you enjoyed the first (a movie I truly love). There are some cool action sequences and Robocop is still pretty awesome, but the whole thing feels a bit muddled, heavy-handed and simply mean. It also mirrors a lot of the first film in terms of plot (evil corporations, Robocop being torn to pieces, an evil Robot to clash with) and isn't quite as original.
Also, what happened to Robocop simply being Murphy from the end of the first film? If you remember, Robocop had "overcome" his robot side and had the mannerisms and attitude of Murphy by the end of the last one and he's right back into robo-mode in this film. That's a disappointment.
Anyway, enough rambling. This sequel seems unnecessarily mean and doesn't have the same charm as the original but packs decent action sequences and a cool heroic character, although he's lost some steam since the first film.
Video / Audio
Video appears with a 1.85:1/1080p transfer and looks really only slightly better than DVD.
The same can be said about the DTS 5.1 HD audio track, nothing overly impressive.
There's less here than there is behind Robocop's dead eyes.
That means there's nothing.
Robocop 2 can be taken for pure fun if you don't get caught up in the nastiness of it all. The Blu-Ray is nothing special though, so don't rush out to upgrade your DVD copy. I'd buy it for a dollar!
PS: Although director Irvin Kershner tries hard to stylistically imitate Verhoeven, he doesn't quite succeed. I miss the awesome commercial parodies.