Irvin Kershner directs Peter Weller, Nancy Allen and Dan O’Herlihy in this sequel to the dead cop turned cyborg law enforcer classic.
Paul Verhoeven clearly was the magic ingredient that made the original Robocop such a cult classic. This tries for all the same beats yet misses the mark more often than not. There is action but it feels lacklustre. Gory violence but it feels rationed. Satire but it lacks the same scabrous luridness. The production design is bright but not particularly credible. At least they retain the zany wold upside down future ad breaks. The best moments really are when this feels more like a kid’s action comedy… Murphy being reprogrammed to be “nice” or when he is overwhelmed by the bigger toys. Some of the top notch animatronic work to realise Peter Weller chopped up into pieces is eerily effective. There’s just not a lot of love here for the concept… if there was we’d at least reprise Basil Poledouris’s anthemic score and make sure “I’d Buy That For A Dollar!” was still clogging up the telly networks. This isn’t going to be the most sophisticated diagnosis as to what went wrong in 1990 but it all is just generally shittier by comparison to our 1987 masterpiece. I sometimes get a lot of flak for not loving Empire Strikes Back quite as much as A New Hope or Return of the Jedi. I’m just going to point out both Episode V and this have been fobbed off on the same hack director rather than someone who cares about the follow-up. Robocop 2 filled a Friday night adequately as a nostalgic entertainment but feels indefensible in direct comparison to its progenitor. Stay off the Nuke, kids!
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