Bullet Points: Robocop 2
Robocop 2, like many sequels does not always get the recognition it deserves. Was it as good as the original? Absolutely not. But when you take a look at Robocop 3, the made for TV Prime Directives movies, the TV series and last but not least, the 2014 reboot of Robocop and I think any Robocop fan has a greater appreciation for Robocop 2.
- The Premise: This time around Robocop is fighting the war on drugs, specifically the synthetic drug known as Nuke and the evil mastermind who created it, Cain (Tom Noonan). And like in the original, there are forces within OCP, the company that created Robcop, that want to see him out of the picture for their own personal gain.
- They’re Back: Peter Weller returns to the role of Robocop, Nancy Allen is also back as his partner Anne Lewis and rounding out the list of returning cops is Robert DoQui as Sgt Reed. On the OCP side, Felton Perry is back as Johnson and Dan O’Herlihy is back as The Old Man. OCP’s Dick Jones and Bob Morton do not return, because they dead.
- And Now The News: One thing the original Robocop movies got wrong about the world of the future is the way news is broadcast. In Robocop 2, they let you know that the Surgeon General was assassinated by a Nuke head, we see shocking footage of the assassination and then it is on to the next story. In reality, we would see the assassination footage over and over and over again. We’d have “expert” after “expert” talking about it, it would dominate the airwaves for days all the while people would watch yet complain about it on social media and share their own “expert” opinions.
- Bankrupt: One thing the original Robocop movies did get right about the world of the future is the financial troubles in Detroit. In Robocop 2, the mayor of Detroit (played by Willard E. Pugh of Traxx fame) is fighting to save the city from becoming another asset in the OCP portfolio. And when his ill conceived telethon doesn’t work, he gets desperate.
- Kinder and Gentler Robocop: In the original, Alex Murphy is violently dismembered by Clarence Boddicker and his gang, this leads to Officer Murphy becoming Robocop. In Robocop 2, Robocp has a run in with Cain and his gang and gets dismantled. Enter Dr. Juliette Faxx (Belinda Bauer), she is looking to get ahead at OCP by any means necessary (sharing a hot tub with the boss is a pretty good indication of that) and she has taken over the Robocop 2 project. When they are preparing to rebuild the original Robocop she gets the bright idea to make him a kinder and gentler Robocop. Instead of shooting bad guys, Robocop stops to talk to them about the err of their ways and give them some nutritional advice.
- Robo’s Revenge: Don’t worry, it isn’t long before we get the Robocop we know and love back and he’s going after Cain. Seems a little early in the movie to be wrapping things up though… and it is. After exacting his revenge on Cain, arresting and hospitalizing the Nuke leader… Dr. Faxx gets the bright idea of putting Cain’s brain in Robocop 2, since all the other police officer experiments they have tried have been complete disasters. So in her educated opinion, you should go in the complete opposite direction and go with a criminal with a drug addiction and a God complex. Not the smartest move but it does set up for…
- Robot Wars: The main event of the movie is satisfying, as we get to see the rubber match between Robocop and Cain. It teaches us that the original Robocop is better than the follow up and that OCP should probably quit trying to go “new and improved”. Unfortunately Hollywood doesn’t learn that message, look no further than the aforementioned list of Robocop projects that followed this one.
Unlike some Robo Fans, I was never a Robocop 2 hater (I think the kid in the movie Hob, may be a reason for a lot of the hate. I guess much like fans hate Return of the Jedi because of the Ewoks). Not only do I not hate Robocop 2, I think as time has gone on I actually enjoy Robocop 2 more now than I did when I originally saw it in the theater.