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The RoboCop 2 Appreciation Thread

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Timeline Man, Apr 8, 2021.

  1. shug4476

    shug4476 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    Yep that meant many reviewers absolutely panned it. I also recall it meant Jim Cameron was absolutely determined not to have the young John Connor point a gun at anybody in Terminator 2!
     
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  2. seventeen

    seventeen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Paris, France
    Yes it was probably a direct reaction as Robocop 2 came out during summer 1990, during the pre-production of T2.

    They even made a whole marketing angle for Robocop 3 about this time being less of a nasty film and in that one, the kid is now a computer genius.

    When I rewatch the movie, I think the kid is one of the better things in it. Tom Noonan is bland, Weller is OK but not given much to do beyond shooting people, but the kid played by Gabriel Damon is just awesome. His death scene is great.

    With T2, Cameron of course choose the wisest commercial move, making the kid a hooligan, but with a heart. I wonder if he would have played it differentely has Robocop 2 not happened.
     
  3. Timeline Man

    Timeline Man Time Traveler from Naples Thread Starter

    Location:
    Naples
    Or that very same kid being corrupt and following the wrong life model.
     
  4. Timeline Man

    Timeline Man Time Traveler from Naples Thread Starter

    Location:
    Naples
    Noonan was memorable, while Weller did not overact. His performance is made of sly and subtle moments... that's the pure genius of it.
     
  5. NaturalD

    NaturalD The King of Pop

    Location:
    Boston, Mass., USA
    I think Weller is absolutely the best thing about II (probably why I never even watched III). The part where he is “nice” Robocop (channeling Adam West, it appears to me) is the highlight of the film.
     
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  6. Timeline Man

    Timeline Man Time Traveler from Naples Thread Starter

    Location:
    Naples
    Yes, I guess that Adam West was the main inspiration for that!

    That was truly a great concept, because RoboCop was fighting against "himself" and his programmation.
     
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  7. Mosep

    Mosep Forum Resident

    Location:
    St.Louis, MO
    Not to be a threadcrapper but I've never been much of a fan of this movie. Seemed too much like a carbon copy of the original but with much less wit and much more nastiness. Great effects work on the Cain Robot at least and Weller is always great.

    And the cute gangster kid was a dumb idea IMHO.
     
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  8. NaturalD

    NaturalD The King of Pop

    Location:
    Boston, Mass., USA
    I rewatched this for the first time since the cinema release after this thread opened. (I bought the trilogy on DVD maybe 20 years ago and had only watched the original in all that time.) I agree with you; seemed like a fun trashy sequel back then but sure doesn't hold up like the first. Too much obvious-fake CGI kaiju stuff, and the evil kid is just not credible, especially his articulate, pain-free death scene. The Jesse Jackson-inspired mayor is pretty cringeworthy too. Kind of an ugly stereotype.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2021
  9. SBurke

    SBurke Nostalgia Junkie

    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    First movie I ever walked out of.

    I've never gone back to give it another shot. I wonder what I would think of it now. It's been a while.

    Didn't Frank Miller write it?
     
  10. Chrome_Head

    Chrome_Head Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA.
    I saw this in the theater with my Dad, and even as a kid I remember being disappointed with it.

    It’s better than the cheapo third, but comes nowhere near the twisted subversion and disturbing nihilism of the Verhoven original.

    He screenwrote both 2 and 3 if I’m not mistaken. And he directed 3?
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2021
  11. seventeen

    seventeen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Paris, France
    He was heavily involved in 2, but for 3, director Fred Dekker took all the cut scenes from the numerous drafts written for 2, and made up a new screenplay from them. Frank just gave his blessing, and let it be.

    Yes Weller is good, but he is relegated to second place in the last half of Robocop 2, once the kid is dead, the star is the Robocop 2 animatic destroying everything on sight.

    Miller could have switched to film director but I think Robocop 2 was the wrong launch platform for this. Of course he took it as in cinema, you take any opportunity to have your foot inside the door. I owned a copy of his first draft for decades, but sold it on ebay. It was all over the place (adapted in comics nows as a mini-series).

    About a year later, I asked him about Robocop 2 and he raised his eyes to the sky LOL, the experience and the reception was something that dented his creative aura a lot. He was used to work with minimal interference doing comics, which isn't how film works.
     
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  12. shug4476

    shug4476 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    But this is like criticising the literal interpretation of poetry. There is what the words literally mean and then beyond this there are the ideas the author was attempting to convey when writing them.

    I still find the social commentary of Robocop 2 enthralling. So many ideas. The attempt to recreate the Robocop success by 'harvesting' other injured cops who all have a nervous breakdown and commit suicide once they realise what they have become. The realisation that the only reason the first Robocop was a success was because he was a devout Catholic! And then the psychologist who comes up with the idea that a drug addict is the ideal test subject as their dependency makes them controllable. It is such an interesting meta-commentary on state and corporate attitudes.

    I also adore the adverts. The financing of terrorism by the drug industry. The purposeful starvation of the police of adequate funding in order to precipitate their replacement with corporate technologies. I could go on and on...

    If you can't see past the kid with the gun and the silly Mayor you are missing the point!
     
  13. Timeline Man

    Timeline Man Time Traveler from Naples Thread Starter

    Location:
    Naples
    Well, the special effects were incredible. Even the Harryhausen stop-motion of the "RoboCop 2" unit was marvellous and beautiful to see, I would say it was at its historical "peak" in terms of technique and realization.

    Yes, RoboCop is kinda "sidelined" after the kid is dead. That was Weller's main criticism about the movie, there should have been some more hint of character development in the third act. Well, no movie is perfect.

    That said, RoboCop 2 is still a superb sequel.
     
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  14. JCRW

    JCRW Forum Resident

    I was a kid when this movie was released so I was pretty shocked that they had a young kid as one of Cain's henchmen along with his fate. That said, it was a decent follow up to the original film and certainly a masterpiece when you follow it up with a viewing of Robocop 3. It's been a while since I watched R2 but I seem to remember the whole reprogramed "nice" Robocop schtick going on a bit too long in the film.
     
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  15. shug4476

    shug4476 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    The reprogrammed sequence represents the emasculation of the State's capacity to respond to threats to the democratic order. Robocop is cynically reprogrammed by his corporate owners in order to serve a rose-tinted view of the social 'good'. The nominal reasons given for this are in order to improve public relations. The real reason is that, behind the scenes, OCP has harnessed the cruelest, most ruthless criminal in society as Robocop 2 in order to eliminate its corporate and political opposition.

    Robocop realises he has been brainwashed and commits a form of suicide in order to fry his command circuitry and free himself from corporate supervision. This leaves him free to respond to his innate ethical norms, which are to confront corruption, abuse of power, and violence.

    As a meta-commentary on the world as it is today, it was absolutely well ahead of its time. As the equalities agenda permeates the notional fighting forces in the Army and Marines, the State, behind the veil of official secrecy, continues to use the most ruthless people to enforce its will. See Guantanamo.
     
  16. NaturalD

    NaturalD The King of Pop

    Location:
    Boston, Mass., USA
    Missing the point of Robocop II ... that’s a good one :love: Everything you’ve said about it applies to the original. I’m pretty sure even the makers of II knew they were just amping up the formula.
     
  17. shug4476

    shug4476 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    It explores different ideas and theories to the original. Irvin Kirshner was a very bright man in his own right and a mentor to Francis Coppola.
     
  18. Timeline Man

    Timeline Man Time Traveler from Naples Thread Starter

    Location:
    Naples
    The "reprogrammed" sequence was shorter than what you remember.
     
  19. JCRW

    JCRW Forum Resident

    Yeah, it may be time to re-watch the movie. It's been a long time since I have watched all the Robocop movies so I may do that this weekend. :)
     
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  20. Timeline Man

    Timeline Man Time Traveler from Naples Thread Starter

    Location:
    Naples
    The blu-ray release is superb.
     
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  21. Stephen J

    Stephen J Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Agreed. This is an underrated movie. Enjoyed it very much in 1990 and a few times since.
     
  22. seventeen

    seventeen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Paris, France
    The Shout Factory Blu-ray is the one to get, though the MGM one is decent.

    Indeed the reprogrammed section is very short. What's long is the time from Robocop being torn to bits, to him regaining his self-control. But the Wild Bunch inspired shoot-out right after is awesome. I wouldn't have minded the reprogrammed section to be even longer and even crazier, for instance, Robocop is not put during this time in a regular crime happening like in the first with bad guys shooting at him, and they don't show his screen view with all the directives driving him crazy as they all oppose each other, they just show him acting like Adam West Batman.

    If anything, R2 is a very underestimated film, with a prescient view of where the future was heading socially, so it's nice to see some love. If the score was from Poledouris like it is on the workprint, it would be regarded much better. I think it came out one year too late. It should have been 1989. They lost time with different scripts and other directors.

    Robocop 3 is the pits, but you can clearly see the interesting ideas Miller had, like Robocop joining the resistance against the corporation. It clearly played on the Christ like quality of the first, transforming him into a messiah. Too bad it's botched in the final film.
     
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  23. shug4476

    shug4476 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    I have the DVD for RC3 but haven't dared put it in the player. I think it'll stay that way for a while yet
     
  24. seventeen

    seventeen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Paris, France
    The funny thing with 3 is that Robocop acts the whole film like he does when he is reprogrammed in Robocop 2.

    Why? Because the board at Orion decided it was the section in R2 which had the most laughs, so they assume it was a crowd pleaser, so they went into that direction.

    Incidentally, according to him, the film killed Fred Dekker directing career.
     
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  25. Chrome_Head

    Chrome_Head Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA.
    All I can remember now about 3 is Murphy fighting a ninja-styled dude with a sword, and flying on very visible wires.

    It's like they let an assortment of 6-year olds write and create it.
     
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