The original RoboCop is a film that I love. It featured a violent look at consumerism in a style only Paul Verhoeven could muster up. Plus, it had a freaking half robot, half cop killing people left, right and centre. What exactly is there not to love with RoboCop? Because of that love affair that people had with RoboCop, the film needed a sequel. Unfortunately, Verhoeven would not be back, but The Empire Strikes Back director Irvin Kershner stepped up to plate with a plan to direct a script written by Frank Miller (Sin City).
As you may or may not know, it turns out Frank Miller’s script was unfilmable, so Walon Green ended up rewriting the script, and the result was RoboCop 2, a sequel that has a fair share of violence and laughs but doesn’t quite live up to the original.
I tell you right now, though, I love RoboCop 2, so you know this review will be biased. My unconditional love has been rewarded, though, as Scream Factory has gone above and beyond in releasing a fantastic Blu-ray, featuring a spectacular 2K video transfer that is a sight to behold. If the video transfer alone wasn’t enough, the special features are a heaping pile of freaking awesomesauce.
RUN-TIME: 117 min
ASPECT RATIO: 1.85:1
AUDIO: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, 2.0
PRODUCTION DATE: 1990
RELEASE DATE: Mar 21, 2017
RoboCop returns to fight his toughest opponent yet: his replacement!
RoboCop 2 pits two unstoppable cyborgs against each other in a battle to the death! When Detroit’s descent into chaos is further compounded by a police department strike and a new designer drug called “Nuke,” only RoboCop can stop the mayhem. But in his way are an evil corporation that profits from Motor City crime and a bigger and tougher cyborg with a deadly directive: Take out RoboCop. Containing the latest gadgetry and weaponry as well as the mind of the madman who designed “Nuke,” this new cyborg isn’t just more sophisticated than his predecessor… he’s psychotic and out of control! And it’s going to take everything RoboCop has – maybe even his life – to save Detroit from complete and utter anarchy.
Coming out four years after the original, RoboCop 2 takes place in an even worse Detroit than the one featured in the first movie. The police are on strike, so crime is through the roof. Hell, even the muggers have to be careful about being mugged. The only people out there doing their job are RoboCop and his reliable partner
Anne Lewis (returning actress Nancy Allen).
The problem that RoboCop is trying to attack currently, besides stalking his wife, is the increasingly popular drug called Nuke. Developed and distributed by the mysterious Kane (Tom Noonan), Nuke is the new high that honestly, doesn’t seem to have that many awful side effects, besides the addiction part.
Meanwhile, OCP, the evil corporation from the first movie, is trying to revitalise the RoboCop project for themselves, with varying results. OCP leader The Old Man (Halloween III‘s Dan O’Herlihy) is hoping to take over ownership of the city, due to the city owning OCP millions of dollars, and hopes that crime can be lowered with a new robot cop, as ED-209 is busy stuck in a manhole cover somewhere.
Lucky for The Old Man, Dr. Juliette Faxx (Belinda Bauer) has taken charge of the RoboCop 2 initiative and has no problem with putting a criminal behind the metal helmet. It turns out Kane, the psycho hipster, is the perfect candidate and after a heart-thumping chase from RoboCop on a bike, Dr. Faxx gets her chance to introduce OCP to the new RoboCop: Kane(now featuring Lawnmower Man 90s CGI!)
The fun that comes from RoboCop 2 is watching Peter Weller step back into the robot suit. He easily slides into the role, and this time around, he gets to do a bit of comedy. There are tons of laughs to be had with RoboCop’s directives getting messed with and because of this manipulation from OCP, we the audience get to witness RoboCop nearly shooting a man to pieces because smoking is bad for the guy.
We also get a few laughs from the always enjoyable satirical take on consumerism and the decaying state of the world. Honestly, though, the Sun Block 5000 commercial is becoming a bit of reality, which is frightening.
Violence fans need not worry that RoboCop 2 is pure comedy, as the film is still plenty full of bloody bullet holes. We get that incredible violent trademark that Verhoeven set off in the original movie.
The only reason RoboCop 2 doesn’t hit the same success of the first one is the fact that it doesn’t offer a proper villain like Kurtwood Smith was in RoboCop. Tom Noonan does a fine job as Kane, but the character’s story is paper thin, with a lot of his backstory ending up on the cutting room floor. Eventually, Tom Noonan becomes a walking stop motion puppet with a face that CGI aborted. It’s weird why they didn’t decide to go with a full physical suit like RoboCop.
Another problem that comes up is the lack of Nancy Allen in the story. She shows up here and there, but there is a pretty lengthy stretch where she is absent, and it is noticeable.
Nevertheless, these are small annoyances when looking at the film as a whole. We still have a plenty of violence, robot action and some enjoyable comedy. Yes, the film isn’t as near perfect as RoboCop was, but it sure is a helluva sequel.
I couldn’t believe what I saw when I started up RoboCop 2. I was blown away by the clarity. It was like I was seeing the movie for the first time. That is how amazing the 2K transfer of RoboCop 2 is from Scream Factory. It’s so damn good in fact; you can tell when the camera has focusing issues. There are times where the quality takes a bit of a dip, which could very well be problems with the film negative used. These quality dips don’t last long, and before you know it, you’re back to that crystal clear quality again. You can say the same for the audio quality, which I watched in 5.1 and was ecstatic with the surround sound channel use. Bullets were flying all around. The only thing I noticed that was I put off by was some lip sync issues in a few scenes. It comes and goes, and I don’t think it was the disc causing the problem. It very could have been in the original theatrical release for all I know.
As for the special features, be prepared to spend a few hours with them. Most of the features come in at around the 30-minute mark, with plenty of information to be digested. I was disappointed in how short and uninformative the Adapting Frank Miller feature was, which didn’t offer up much in the way of new information. As for deleted scenes, there is a gallery that you can peruse through, but you don’t expect an actual deleted scenes feature.
- NEW 2K Scan Of The Interpositive
- NEW Audio Commentary With Author/CG Supervisor Paul M. Sammon
- NEW Audio Commentary With The Makers Of “RoboDoc: The Creation Of RoboCop” Documentary – Gary Smart, Chris Griffiths And Eastwood Allen
- NEW Corporate Wars: The Making Of ROBOCOP 2 – Featuring New And Vintage Interviews With Director Irvin Kershner, Producer Jon Davidson, Cast Members Tom Noonan, Nancy Allen, Galyn Görg, Executive Producer Patrick Crowley, And More!
- NEW Machine Parts: The FX Of ROBOCOP 2 – Featuring Phil Tippett, Peter Kuran, Craig Hayes, Jim Aupperle, Kirk Thatcher, Paul Gentry, Don Waller, Justin Kohn, Randal Dutra And Kevin Kutchaver
- NEW Robo-Fabricator – An Interview With RoboCop Armor Fabricator James Belohovek
- NEW Adapting Frank Miller’s ROBOCOP 2 – An Interview With Comic Book Writer Steven Grant
- NEW OCP Declassified – A Collection Of Rare Archival Production And Behind-The-Scenes Videos Including Interviews With Director Irvin Kershner, Actors Peter Weller, Dan O’Herlihy And A Look At The Filming Of Some Deleted Scenes
- Theatrical Trailer
- Teaser Trailers
- TV Spots
- Deleted Scenes Still Gallery
- Still Galleries (Behind-The-Scenes Photos, Stills, Posters And Lobby Cards)
RoboCop 2 to me is a worthy followup to the original film. It keeps the violence intact and manages to throw in some solid laughs. The villain seems like an afterthought, especially given the fact that the story has him turning into a walking stop motion puppet at the end. Nevertheless, that’s a small nitpick.
The Blu-ray from Scream Factory has a video transfer that is phenomenal and plenty of special features to watch. Be sure to pick it up!