RoboCop 2

Directed By: Irvin Kershner

Starring: Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Dan O'Herlihy, Belinda Bauer, Tom Noonan, and Gabriel Damon

As I revisit the RoboCop series, I have mixed feelings.  I loved the original movie, but I have no love whatsoever for its two sequels.  In the case of RoboCop, Hollywood butchered yet another blockbuster series with these sequels.  The proof is in the pudding.  Just look at the second RoboCop movie.  Lacking consistency, coherence, and creativity, RoboCop 2 is a painful reminder that most sequels just aren't meant to be.  I'm sure it doesn't help that Macaulay Caulkin's evil twin brother is a central antagonist in the film bringing the heat to RoboCop and the Detroit police.

Working alongside his partner Officer Anne Lewis (Nancy Allen) to clean up the streets of Detroit, RoboCop (Peter Weller) continues to struggle with the fact that his old life as Alex Murphy is gone.  As he continues to pummel the scum of the city, Murphy's fellow police officers are planning to go on strike.  Omni Consumer Products (OCP) has terminated their pension plans and significantly cut their salaries in its quest to launch Delta City.  In fact, the company is even searching for candidates to build a second RoboCop and is about to foreclose on the financially-strapped city of Detroit.  Despite all this internal turmoil, Murphy turns his attention to Nuke — the latest drug hitting the streets — and its distributor Cain (Tom Noonan).

I've got plenty of gripes with RoboCop 2.  Unlike its edgy predecessor, this installment at best can be described as cartoonish.  There's certainly buffoonish villainy from the big evil corporation OCP.  There's a whiny RoboCop who wants to express his emotions rather than stop the crooks of Detroit dead in their tracks.  While these certainly are problematic aspects of the film, the worst part is the kid Hob portrayed by Gabriel Damon.  For his part as this pint-sized criminal who can somehow go toe-to-toe with RoboCop, screenwriters Frank Miller and Walon Green should be absolutely ashamed of themselves.  There's no excuse for creating such a pointless character who adds nothing but a childish tone to the film.  The inclusion of Damon's Hob really costs RoboCop 2 some points in my book.

RoboCop had the advantage of coming out in 1987.  Three important years passed between the releases of the original and the sequel.  It was the 90s by the time RoboCop 2 arrived in theaters.  Using the same old style and filmmaking techniques just doesn't work at this point in time.  The bombastic music, the stale news programs, and the giant robot wars are all outdated and work against the movie.  The poorly conceived RoboCop 2 misses the mark.

It's clear that I have no love lost for RoboCop 2.  It's an unnecessary sequel that taints the legacy of the original.  It's anything but a lethal response to the success of RoboCop.  You're going to need a John Daly or three to get through this one.  RoboCop 2 gets a 0.09% rating.