Tuesday, December 18, 2012

RoboCop 2 (1990) Review:

Sequels always run the risk of falling short of their predecessors and it happens for various reasons. Most fail from the lack of originality in the  plot or the characters from the first film are left out. However, this sequel has both these factors and nothings wrong with it. The issue lies within the plot with these little things called "sub-plots". What's wrong with them? The fact that they deliberately take a step backwards and that was the wrong idea for this franchise in general. Not to mention, there were parts where some problems are never resolved. I explained this in my review of Raise the Titanic (1980) as well.

Peter Weller is back as the cyborg cop who helped take down a ruthless drug dealer, Clarence Boddicker. A year has past now and RoboCop, who now calls himself Murphy, his former self, has done a lot of good for the city of Detroit. And somehow, the only people that recognize this is everyone hired by the police department. Practically every scene depicted here is either an individual restricting RoboCop, cursing at him or vandalizing him. If he's done so much good, why does everyone disrespect him? There's nothing admirable about that.

The Cain cyborg (aka RoboCop 2)
A sub-plot that is minimally explored is the relationship between RoboCop and Alex Murphy's wife. Since the first film, RoboCop now understands who he was and by remembering his old memories, would like to gain back what he had before he became Detroit's finest. But again, we are given the issue of people restricting him. We are briefly introduced to this character called Holzgang who forces the idea onto RoboCop that he is property and that's all he is. That's right, it's society vs RoboCop! After the "meeting" (more like roast), RoboCop is confronted by his wife and forces the opinion on her that her husband is dead. What is this telephone? And that's how that situation is resolved. Not very productive if you ask me.

The director of RoboCop 2 is Irvin Kershner and that surprised me, since he was the sequel director for Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980). How he let this film become off base with the first is baffling. There's another part in the film where Murphy is being programmed with a bunch bogus directives that make him absolutely what he shouldn't be as a police officer, and the results are shown that all that programming was to of no use to him or society anyway. Just another sub-plot that doesn't have any value to it. Why bother with all this U-turn screenplay Frank Miller? And the worst is at the end! There's nothing more abrupt than the ending of this film and it's truly shocking.

They only points I can give this film are for a few things. This movie is still rated R and that pleased me. The universe that he lives in is no walk in the park. Violence is everywhere and it's his job to rid of it. The villain, Cain, acted by Tom Noonan is fairly sinister too. He's no Clarence Boddicker, but he's just as demented if not more. The special effects are principal here as well. By the 90s, stop motion animation was about over and this was probably the last film to use it, but it still looks cool, especially for the Cain cyborg. The other area that I thought added a little more to the story was how this film shows the gradual corruption of the company, OCP. At the end of the first film, one could think that order was restored,...well apparently not.

Hobs (left) a foul mouthed child that knows how use
machine guns.....he makes me uncomfortable
Besides these key things, nothing else was appealing. Even the musical soundtrack, produced by Leonard Rosenman, brings very little to the table. The tune is repetitive and it doesn't even hint a sci-fi tone nor replay Poledouris' theme from the first movie. Another thing that was disturbing was how the film involved children of different ages to swear like they were at a foul mouth convention. I understand that its supposed to show how bad things are in Detroit, but audiences get the point just by watching foul mouthed grown ups; not children! Besides, I wonder how those children feel now that they're all grown up? Do you feel proud of yourselves? I sure wouldn't.

It retains some parts from the first film but it utterly fails to finish anything that it throws out. RoboCop 2 is a jumbled mess of ideas that never sinks its teeth into a definite target.

Points Earned --> 6:10

No comments:

Post a Comment