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RoboCop 2 is a 1990 American science fiction action film directed by Irvin Kershner and starring Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Dan O'Herlihy, Belinda Bauer, Tom Noonan and Gabriel Damon. Set in the near future in a dystopian metropolitan Detroit, Michigan. It is the sequel to the 1987 film RoboCop.[2]

The film received mixed reviews from critics, and Rotten Tomatoes has given it a "rotten" rating (from the average score of 34%).[3]

It was the final film directed by Irvin Kershner, who died in November 2010.

PlotEdit

RoboCop is slowly coming to grips with the loss of his former life as Alex Murphy. Though he attempts to reach out to his family, he eventually realizes he can never return to them. When he finally sees his wife, he tells her that the face was placed on him to honor Alex Murphy.

Omni Consumer Products (OCP) plans to have Detroit default on its debt so that OCP can foreclose on the entire city, take over its government, and replace the old neighborhoods with Delta City, a new community development. Towards that goal, OCP forces a police strike by terminating their pension plan and cutting salaries. As RoboCop is legally the property of OCP, he cannot strike and continues on his duty with the assistance of his faithful partner, Anne Lewis.

Meanwhile, the Security Concepts division of OCP continues to sink millions into the development of a more advanced "RoboCop 2". However, each project ends in disaster; once the newly transformed officers realize what they have become, they become suicidal and self-destruct. They figure out that Murphy only survived because of his exceedingly strong sense of duty and his moral objection to suicide. Dr. Juliette Faxx, a company psychologist, approaches the OCP President to convince him to let her take over the project. Faxx wants to try using a criminal, with a desire for power and immortality.

A new designer drug named "Nuke" has been plaguing the streets. The primary distributor, Cain, believes that Nuke is the way to paradise, and is obsessed with power. He is assisted by his girlfriend Angie, his juvenile apprentice Hob, and corrupt police officer Duffy who has an addiction to the Nuke itself. Having learned of Cain's location from Duffy after beating it out of him, RoboCop confronts his gang at an abandoned construction site. However, they overwhelm Murphy and literally cut his cybernetic body to pieces, though he remains alive. His parts are thrown out of the back of a car in front of his local precinct station, where OCP reluctantly foots his massive repair costs. Meanwhile, Duffy is ambushed, beaten and tied down to a hospital bed by Cain's affiliates. Cain then orders the surgeon to kill him by vivisection as Angie and Hob watch in terror and hear him screaming. Faxx and a new RoboCop team repair Murphy, programming him with over 300 new directives added for Public Relations. Murphy is powerless to ignore the new commands and is unable to take any aggressive actions against criminals.

After the original RoboCop team realizes that he would need a massive electrical charge to reboot his system, Murphy goes outside and grabs onto a dangerous powerline transformer to erase all of his directives, both new and old. The picketing officers drop their signs and agree to help him. He convinces them that Cain is more important than any strike right now. The force follows his lead to attack Cain's hideout. Cain is badly injured in a car accident while escaping from the battle. With Cain immobilized, Hob takes control. Faxx, having decided that Cain is perfect for the RoboCop 2 project, arrives at the hospital and switches off his life support.

Meanwhile, Hob arranges a secret meeting with Mayor Marvin Kuzak, offering to bail out the city's debt to OCP, but only if he agrees to a hands-off policy for the distribution of Nuke. Since this would hinder OCP's attempts to take over the city, they send the new RoboCop 2 in to kill everyone. While the mayor escapes through the sewers, everyone else at the meeting is slaughtered. RoboCop arrives too late, just in time to comfort a dying Hob, who identifies Cain as the attacker.

During the unveiling of Delta City and Cain/RoboCop 2 at a press conference, the OCP President unwittingly presents a canister filled with Nuke. Cain loses control, destroys the control device that arms his weapons, and opens fire on the crowd. RoboCop arrives and the two cyborgs battle all over the building, eventually falling off the roof and crashing through to an underground facility. As the rest of the police force arrives and engages Cain, RoboCop heads back to the OCP building to get the canister of Nuke. Seeing the canister, Cain stops fighting and administers the drug to himself. While Cain is distracted, RoboCop jumps onto his back, punches through the armor to Cain's brain and rips it out of the machine, killing him.

The OCP President, Johnson and OCP lawyer Holzgang discuss the company's liability for the massacre, and then decide to use Faxx as a scapegoat. Lewis complains about how OCP is escaping prosecution, but RoboCop tells her to be patient; they are "only human".

CastEdit

ProductionEdit

File:Frank-Miller-in-Robocop.jpg

RoboCop 2 was directed by Irvin Kershner, since Paul Verhoeven was already committed to directing Total Recall. It was based on a script by Frank Miller and Walon Green. Edward Neumeier, one of the screenwriters for the first film, already had a first draft written, but dropped out of the project due to a writers' strike. After the success of The Dark Knight Returns (comic book mini-series), Frank Miller was contacted by producer Jon Davison about writing the sequel, and Miller accepted.

However, Miller's script was labeled "unfilmable" by producers and studio executives.Template:Ifsubst His script was changed, through rewrites, into what became the final script. Even when his tenure as screenwriter was officially over, Miller showed up on set everyday. He was given a cameo as "Frank the chemist".

RoboCop is again played by Peter Weller. This was the last time Weller played the role. He complained about how cumbersome and exhausting it was to wear the suit and found RoboCop 2 to be a very negative and disappointing film to work on. He was also upset that some important scenes did not make it into the final cut: "There was a couple of things that made the character more human that weren't used. I can't remember exactly what the scenes were, I just remember wondering why they weren't in." These deleted scenes have never been included on home video releases. Weller's co-star, Nancy Allen, also had negative feelings regarding the second film.

Despite not being directed by Verhoeven, RoboCop 2 contains many of his familiar touches, including satirical television commercials (such as for an ultra powerful sunblock to deal with Earth's depleted ozone layer) and ironically upbeat news broadcasts. The events in the sequel closely follow the events in the first film (the ED-209 unit, for example, is mentioned as being deployed but is constantly malfunctioning).

FilmingEdit

RoboCop 2 was chiefly filmed in Houston in 1989.[4][5] In an interview with the Houston Chronicle, Kershner mentioned that Houston was an ideal location because of the relative calmness of Downtown Houston at night. He also claimed that because the film needed to be shot in the winter, too much snow and rain would be inappropriate. The grand finale of the film was filmed in the Houston Theater District with Wortham Theater Center and Alley Theatre being displayed.[6] Cullen Center was depicted as the headquarters of Omni Consumer Products, while Houston City Hall was shown during a scene with Mayor Kuzak giving a speech. Scenes with the George R. Brown Convention Center and the Bank of America Center were also included in the film.

SoundtrackEdit

RoboCop 2
{{{artist}}}
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Soundtrack-express.com Rating NC-17


Rating R
Rating PG-13
Rating PG
Rating G
Rating NR[7]

Soundtrackcollector.com Rating NC-17


Rating R
Rating PG-13
Rating PG
Rating G
Rating NR[8]

SoundtrackNet (3.1/5)[9]
Runmovies.eu Rating NC-17


Rating R
Rating PG-13
Rating PG
Rating G
Rating NR[10]

The film score was composed and conducted by Leonard Rosenman, who did not use any of Basil Poledouris's themes from the first film; the soundtrack album was released by Varèse Sarabande. It was not well received by fans or film music reviewers, many of whom complained about Rosenman's use of a choir chanting "Robocop."

The glam metal group Babylon A.D. released a song called "The Kid Goes Wild", written by members Derek Davis, Vic Pepe, and Jack Ponti.[11] The song is played in the background in the middle part of the film, and it was also used to promote the film. The group created a music video featuring RoboCop targeting the band and having a shootout with some bad guys (footage of the film was also used).

Track listingEdit

  1. "Overture: Robocop" – 6:02
  2. "City Mayhem" – 3:37
  3. "Happier Days" – 1:28
  4. "Robo Cruiser" – 4:40
  5. "Robo Memories" – 2:07
  6. "Robo and Nuke" – 2:22
  7. "Robo Fanfare" – 0:32
  8. "Robo and Cain Chase" – 2:41
  9. "Creating the Monster" – 2:47
  10. "Robo I vs. Robo II" – 3:41

ReleaseEdit

Box officeEdit

RoboCop 2 debuted at No.2 at the box office.[12][13]

Critical receptionEdit

RoboCop 2 received mixed reviews from critics and fans of the first film. While the special effects and action sequences are widely praised, a common complaint was that the film did not focus enough on RoboCop and his partner Lewis and that the film's human story of the man trapped inside the machine was ultimately lost within a sea of violence. This film was also partially disliked by actors Weller and Allen as they both thought it was a negative film to work on.(citation needed) In his review, Roger Ebert wrote "Cain's sidekicks include a violent, foul-mouthed young boy named Hob (Gabriel Damon), who looks to be about 12 years old but kills people without remorse, swears like Eddie Murphy, and eventually takes over the drug business... The movie's screenplay is a confusion of half-baked and unfinished ideas... the use of that killer child is beneath contempt..."[14]

Additionally, the film "reset" RoboCop's character by turning him back into the monotone-voiced peacekeeper seen early in the first film (despite the fact that by the end of the first film, he had regained his human identity and speech mannerisms). Many were also critical of the child villain Hob; David Nusair of Reel Film Reviews stated, "That the film asks us to swallow a moment late in the story that features Robo taking pity on an injured Hob is heavy-handed and ridiculous (we should probably be thankful the screenwriters didn't have RoboCop say something like, 'Look at what these vile drugs have done to this innocent boy')."[15]

Janet Maslin of The New York Times wrote, "Unlike RoboCop, a clever and original science-fiction film with a genuinely tragic vision of its central character, Robocop 2 doesn't bother to do anything new. It freely borrows the situation, characters and moral questions posed by the first film." She further adds, "The difference between Robocop and its sequel, [...] is the difference between an idea and an afterthought." She also expressed her opinion about the Hob character, "The aimlessness of Robocop 2 runs so deep that after exploiting the inherent shock value of such an innocent-looking killer, the film tries to capitalize on his youth by also giving him a tearful deathbed scene."[16] The Los Angeles Times published a review panning the film as well.[17]

However Globe and Mail film critic Jay Scott was one of the few prominent critics who admired the film calling it a "sleek and clever sequel. For fans of violent but clever action films, RoboCop 2 may be the sultry season's best bet: you get the gore of Total Recall and the satiric smarts of Gremlins 2 The New Batch in one high-tech package held together by modest B-movie strings. RoboCop 2 alludes to classics of horror and science-fiction (Frankenstein, Metropolis, Westworld), for sure, but it also evokes less rarefied examples of the same genres - Forbidden Planet, Godzilla, and that Z-movie about Hitler's brain in a bottle. It's ironic that the directorial coach of the first RoboCop, Paul Verhoeven, went on to Total Recall; couldn't he see that the script for Robo 2 was sleeker and swifter than Arnie's cumbersome vehicle? His absence in the driver's seat is happily unnoticed because Irvin Kershner, the engineer of sequels that often zip qualitatively past the originals (The Empire Strikes Back, The Return of a Man Called Horse, and the best Sean ConneryJames Bond of all, Never Say Never Again), has tuned-up the premise until it purrs."[18]

RoboCop 2 currently has 35% positive reviews on the film review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes, with 20 of 31 counted reviews giving it a "rotten" rating and an average score of 4.5 out of 10.[3]

AdaptationsEdit

NovelEdit

A mass market paperback novelization by Ed Naha, titled RoboCop 2: A Novel, was published by Jove Books. Marvel Comics produced a three-issue adaptation of the film by Alan Grant. Like the novelization, the comic book series includes scenes omitted from the finished movie. Ocean and Data East published a series of video games based on RoboCop 2

Frank Miller's RobocopEdit

Main article: Frank Miller's RoboCop

Frank Miller's original screenplay for RoboCop 2 took on an almost "urban legend" status, and was later turned into a nine-part comic book series called Frank Miller's RoboCop. Critical reaction to the comic adaptation of the Miller script were mixed. Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly gave the comic a "D" score, criticizing the "tired story" and lack of "interesting action."[19] A recap written for the pop culture humor website I-Mockery said, "Having spent quite a lot of time with these comics over the past several days researching and writing this article, I can honestly say that it makes me want to watch the movie version of RoboCop 2 again just so I can get the bad taste out of my mouth. Or prove to myself that the movie couldn't be worse than this."[20]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. RoboCop 2 @ BoxOfficeMojo
  2. Kershner, Irvin. "RoboCop 2: Entertainment, Yes but Also a Hero for Our Times", The Los Angeles Times, 1990-07-16. Retrieved on 2010-10-13. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 RoboCop 2. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved on 2010-08-17.
  4. Westbrook, Bruce (1990-06-22). 'RoboCop 2' creators give city rave reviews. Houston Chronicle. Retrieved on 2011-02-07.
  5. Westbrook, Bruce (1990-12-14). 'Gremlins' sequel better than the original film. Houston Chronicle. Retrieved on 2011-02-07.
  6. Dyer, R.A. (1989-10-13). Hollywood in Houston? Scores flock to filming of 'Robocop 2'. Houston Chronicle. Retrieved on 2011-02-07.
  7. Soundtrack-express Review
  8. [1]
  9. SoundtrackNet Review
  10. Runmovies.eu Review
  11. http://www.allmusic.com/song/the-kid-goes-wild-t14889430
  12. Broeske, Pat H.. "'Tracy' Stands Firm at No. 1; 'RoboCop2' Is 2", The Los Angeles Times, 1990-06-25. Retrieved on 2010-11-08. 
  13. Broeske, Pat H.. "'Dick Tracy' Clings to No. 1 Spot Second Week in a Row", The Los Angeles Times, 1990-06-26. Retrieved on 2010-10-13. 
  14. Ebert, Roger. "Robocop 2", Chicago Sun-Times, June 22, 1990. Retrieved on 12 August 2010. 
  15. Nusair, David. Robocop 2. Retrieved on 12 August 2010.
  16. Maslin, Janet. "Review / Film; New Challenge and Enemy For a Cybernetic Organism", The New York Times, June 22, 1990. Retrieved on 2010-08-17. 
  17. Rainer, Peter. "An Overhauled 'RoboCop 2'", Los Angeles Times, 1990-06-22. Retrieved on 2010-08-22. 
  18. Scott, Jay. "RoboCop 2", 22 June 1990, p. C.8. 
  19. Review by Ken Tucker, Entertainment Weekly, September 5, 2003
  20. "Frank Miller's Roboflop", I-Mockery, March 31, 2008

External linksEdit

Template:RoboCop Template:Irvin Kershner Template:Frank Miller

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