Robocop 2 (1990)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Robocop 2</strong> (1990)

(On TV, April 2017) Robocop 2 doesn’t have the best reputation, and it’s easy to see why: It almost entirely re-creates the thematic points of the first film, sometimes in more entertaining ways but never quite going beyond what had been settled in its prequel. Worse yet, the script doesn’t quite know what to do with its most daring ideas (such as the underage killer) and puts them all away during its last act, dumbing down everything to a fairly dull combat sequence that keeps going and going. This being said, there are a few interesting moments in this sequel (The body horror, the over-programming interlude, etc.)—in fact, some of those moments are good enough that a truly decent remake would pick and choose scenes from the first and second movie to be able to create something much stronger than the result of either film. But we have what we have on-screen, and the best thing we can say about Robocop 2 is that it’s more of the same, except not as smart. The violence remains excessive, the special effects have a charming 16-bit quality, the humour isn’t always well-handled and director Irvin Kershner can handle the mayhem efficiently, even though he can’t elevate the material like Paul Verhoeven did. Belinda Bauer is deliciously evil as an amoral psychologist, Wanda De Jesus has a small role and Peter Weller is fine as Robocop, even though the scripts frequently asks him to step out of character. As a sequel, it’s passable … but viewers are advised to avoid the dreadful third installment.

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