**** Out of 5
Release Date- June 22nd, 1990
Tagline- He’s Back to Protect the Innocents.
Running Time- 117-Minutes
Screenplay- Frank Miller & Walon Green
Director- Irvin Kershner
Starring- Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Belinda Bauer, Tom Noonan, Felton Perry, Robert Do’Qui and Dan O’Herlihy
In most cases people see sequels as not being as good as the original with a few exceptions of course and while RoboCop 2, which was released in 1990 may not really change that notion, but for the good part of its running time its in my opinion just as fun and entertaining and I’d rate the films about even, but towards the final act RoboCop 2 does in my opinion begin to run out of steam and even if in the end the original is the better of the two I don’t think RoboCop 2 is that much below the first film and its one of the better sequels even if when all is said and done this film exists simply because of the success of the original as it really doesn’t offer anything different. When the original was released I wonder what expectations were, but regardless the first RoboCop became a blockbuster hit so it isn’t a surprise there was a sequel. While the reviews for RoboCop 2 are generally strong I actually think the film is a little underrated. I understand why some would have high expectations as the original is one of the best sci-fi films of the 80s, but when breaking down the sequel I think its just as good and as stated its just towards the final act when it runs out of steam and outside of that I personally find RoboCop 2 to be a terrific film.
RoboCop (Weller) searches for a gang dealing a deadly drug called Nuke all the while OCP is developing a new cyborg, which is dubbed RoboCop 2.
The screenplay was written by Frank Miller & Walon Green and apparently a lot of what Miller wrote was largely rewritten as was the case with RoboCop 3. Seeing as I’ve never read Miller’s final draft I really can’t comment on it. In some cases it’s quite obvious when a script is rewritten, but in the case of RoboCop 2 it generally flows well, but there are some nice ideas that don’t really go anywhere and I don’t know if that’s due to rewrites or just the way the script was written. There’s a scene of Murphy/RoboCop parking right near where his wife lives and he watches her for a moment, which was a nice idea, but its all wrapped up rather quickly sort of rendering it pointless. The characters aren’t very well developed for the most part, but with that said they are entertaining and really in the end that’s all that matters. There’s also some really funny moments such as RoboCop being re-programmed and these scenes are light and fun and highly amusing. The script doesn’t exactly rehash the original, but it also doesn’t really do anything different with the concept either, but with that said the script works well and for the most part doesn’t really suffer like a good portion of sequels.
RoboCop 2 was directed by Irvin Kershner who also directed Eyes of Laura Mars, which was written by John Carpenter who was very early into his career and the film was released a couple of months before Carpenter would become one of the hottest young filmmakers with Halloween. Kershner would also direct Star Wars: Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back and the Bond film Never Say Never Again with Sean Connery reprising his role as James Bond. RoboCop 2 would actually be Kershner’s final film as after this his only other directing credit would be for an episode of the TV series SeqQuest 2032. After that Kershner would retire from directing and he would pass away from lung cancer on November 27th, 2010 at the age of 87. The pace of the film throughout is often fun and exciting and like the original there’s plenty of cynical humor and social commentary. The action scenes are well staged and violent and its quite cartoonish (that isn’t meant as a knock by any means). Whenever a film is filled with graphic violence it’s often absurd (again not a knock). Unless its a dark and gritty film, films with the violence of RoboCop 2 is absurd, but yet works so well. Modern action films often have over the top action and they’re absurd as well, but not in a good way. Irvin Kershner balances the over the top action scenes well and he brings excitement to them. The overall tone of the film very much feels like a comic book and if I knew absolutely nothing about RoboCop 2 I would assume it was an adaption of one, which might have something to do with Frank Miller or perhaps not. Throughout the good portion of the film, Kershner delivers a well paced film with excitement and comedy, but once the main villain is turned into a cyborg, RoboCop 2 can drag in spots, but to his credit, Kershner still keeps the film fairly enjoyable, but the film would have benefited from a little editing. The final act though gets back on track and RoboCop 2 is once again a fun action packed film.
Overall RoboCop 2 is a terrific sequel that may not be as good as the original, but in my opinion its very much on par with it. It’s fun and entertaining with some really funny moments in particular the little league team and coach pulling off a robbery. While on the surface the concept for the first two films are a bit out there, but are smarter than some people might realize. The only thing for me that keeps it just a notch below the original is as stated just before the final act the pace can get a little sluggish, but outside of that RoboCop 2 very much lives up to the original.