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The RoboCop 2 Appreciation Thread

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

  1. Greek Nacho

    Greek Nacho Responsible and Well-Adjusted Individual

    Location:
    United States
    It's interesting to look at, but I think if Robot Chicken did a parody of it, the scene would probably look more convincing.
    For all Robocop 2's merits, I don't get that at all. It's tonal whiplash the whole way through. Robocop disappears for long stretches, his presence for sections of the film feels completely incidental. You've got several loose ends that go nowhere, like Murphy stalking his family. It's an absolute mess. There are good ideas, moments, and there's fun to be had, but it doesn't gel perfectly like the original does. Probably because the character of Robocop in the original is the anchor of the film. Everything connects back to him in some way. You're rooting for him to find out who he was and get revenge on the gang that killed him. Here he's just acted upon rather than taking action most of the time. He's not nearly as important to the overall film.

    Also putting Cain's brain in Robocop 2 is just really stupid and contrived. They try to justify it in the film, but you can't. I get that they're trying to satirize corporate indifference to anything but their bottom line, but they would have known putting a criminal brain inside a big machine would cause mayhem that would ultimately cut into their profits more than waiting to find a suitable brain. Even if they're dumb enough to think they can control him for an extended period with Nuke.
     
    NaturalD likes this.
  2. Timeline Man

    Timeline Man Time Traveler from Naples Thread Starter

    Location:
    Naples
    Hell yes. It underperformed, but it was a hit nonetheless. As simple as that. So I'm right, Oatsdad is wrong (and a bit delusional).
     
  3. Timeline Man

    Timeline Man Time Traveler from Naples Thread Starter

    Location:
    Naples

    1- Again, the stop motion battle is marvellous and fantastic. It was praised by critics and movie buffs, and it constitutes the pinnacle of that technique. I prefer that over the messy and crappy-looking CGI they use today, where monsters look fake and you watch a bad videogame, not a movie.

    2- The loose ends are not loose. They are all part of the bigger design of the message and the story-arc the movie was communicating and depicting. Having RoboCop omnipresent on-screen would be boring. They did the right choice.

    3- Faxx did that mess, not OCP. She's psychiatrist. It's a very provoking concept. I loved it.
     
  4. Glaeken

    Glaeken Forum Resident

    Location:
    OH
    I think it's almost as good as the original, just for very different reasons. For better or worse, it forged its own path and I respect that. Audiences of the time (those who still cared by 1990) just wanted more Robocop 1.

    ROBOCOP 2 had enough interesting plots and subtext for two movies and suffers a bit for it. The screenplay is entirely to blame for that. Frank Miller was not an experienced screenwriter; he was a comic book writer. Totally different professional frameworks. Walon Green had to trim Miller's bloated script down as much as possible. If you're curious about where ROBOCOP 3 comes from, it's almost entirely the gristle and fat from Miller's ROBOCOP 2!

    As for the brain, it's pretty obvious Dr. Faxx is twice as ambitious and crazy as her colleagues. Johnson realizes this but fails to convince the Old Man, who's willfully blind because Faxx is schtupping him.
     
    Greek Nacho and Timeline Man like this.
  5. finslaw

    finslaw muzak to my ears

    Location:
    Indiana
    Yeah, part 2 got really disjointed when for a brief time he went all PC. Great idea, but it was such a brief blip it felt forced.
     
  6. Timeline Man

    Timeline Man Time Traveler from Naples Thread Starter

    Location:
    Naples
    Great post.
     
    Glaeken likes this.
  7. Glaeken

    Glaeken Forum Resident

    Location:
    OH
    In many ways, that "directive overload" subplot was the best part of the movie up to that point, and yes it was over and done way too soon. Sort of like Evil Superman vs Clark Kent in SUPERMAN III.
     
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  8. Timeline Man

    Timeline Man Time Traveler from Naples Thread Starter

    Location:
    Naples
    The sequence was short for a reason. That procedure ridiculized RoboCop. The movie would have become way too "comical". They did the right thing to make it brief.
     
  9. Glaeken

    Glaeken Forum Resident

    Location:
    OH
    It worked better short only because the director made it lightheartedly comical.

    A more prolonged sequence would have worked great if the crazy directives caused his actions to become more drastic, more draconian and *dark*.
     
  10. Timeline Man

    Timeline Man Time Traveler from Naples Thread Starter

    Location:
    Naples
    No. The point was that............. the new directives made him "politically correct" and Disney-like. I guess that Frank Miller had 2021's America in mind, 30 years before. Brilliant.
     
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  11. Glaeken

    Glaeken Forum Resident

    Location:
    OH
    "Avoid Orion meetings"

    He got that one right.
     
    Timeline Man likes this.
  12. Timeline Man

    Timeline Man Time Traveler from Naples Thread Starter

    Location:
    Naples
    LMAO, terrific... was that one of the new directives depicted on the screen?
     
  13. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    Plenty of movies that weren't successful spawned sequels - the horror world is littered with them.

    This is especially true if the unsuccessful movie was a sequel. Studios will think the unsuccessful movie was an aberration and assume that another movie would bring back the audience.

    If the studio thinks the property retains value, they'll make a new movie, even if that next film follows a dud.

    "RoboCop" remained a well-regarded character/property despite the bad taste "R2" left in many mouths, so we got "R3".

    As I stated earlier, if "R2" was a success, then why did they steer away from its tone and style for "R3"? Why not make "R3" more of the same? :confused:
     
  14. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    :rolleyes:

    One must really distort the meaning of the word "hit" to include "R2" in that category.

    For those of us who loved "RoboCop" in 1987 and eagerly went to the sequel in 1990.

    "R2" debuted at #2 in its opening weekend, and then it was #3 in its 2nd weekend.

    Then #7 in weekend 3 and #11 in weekend 4.

    For comparison, the original movie didn't fall that far until its 7th weekend.

    Hit movies don't fall out of the top 10 after 3 weeks! :shh:
     
  15. Timeline Man

    Timeline Man Time Traveler from Naples Thread Starter

    Location:
    Naples
    This is flaming LMAO. Well, it doesn't matter, because if the movie grosses twice its budget, and does profit in VHS rentals and TV airings departments, well, guess what? It's a hit. Like it or not, man, you must start to deal with the reality of things. Good luck.
     
  16. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    FWIW, I never called it a bomb. I said it wasn't a success and I specified that it wasn't a major flop.

    But it still wasn't a success, much less the "huge success" the OP claimed...

    I disagree with that last sentiment. The 1987 movie was a much loved movie that had to overcome major negativity to become a hit.

    C'mon: who among us didn't see the title "RoboCop" and assume it'd be a cheesy POS?

    When I read reviews that said it was actually good, I felt shocked.

    The 1987 movie was a hit because people liked it, not due to "hype", and lots of people looked forward to the sequel.

    "R2" should've been a bigger hit than the original. The first one had to fight against that idiotic title, but 3 years later, the sequel didn't suffer from that obstacle.

    Like the 1st sequels to "Matrix" and "Austin Powers", the core audience grew over the span between original film and sequel, so if "R2" had been a film that audiences enjoyed, it really should've made much more money than the original.

    But bad reviews and bad WOM sank it.

    It still sold some tickets but it was a big letdown.

    There's no reason "R2" couldn't and shouldn't at least have done "Total Recall" numbers...
     
  17. Timeline Man

    Timeline Man Time Traveler from Naples Thread Starter

    Location:
    Naples
    LMAO, are you real?
    They aimed at collecting more box office gross with a lower budget and a minimum effort... so... KIDS. Make it a kid movie. As simple as that.

    "Recognizing that RoboCop's fan base consisted primarily of children, Orion Pictures cut down on the graphic violence that was seen as the defining characteristic of the first two films"
    ----------------> "Robocop 3 Set to Blow-Torch the Competition". Electronic Gaming Monthly (51). EGM Media, LLC. October 1993. p. 209.
     
  18. Timeline Man

    Timeline Man Time Traveler from Naples Thread Starter

    Location:
    Naples
    It was a hit. But also a huge success in retrospect, because its profit in VHS rentals, TV airings (rights), DVD sales and blu-ray sales, as well as newfound fame among movie buffs, made it so.
     
  19. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    For 31 years, everyone regarded "R2" as a movie that damaged the franchise. Miraculously now we learn that "R2" was a hit! :eek:

    I give up.

    You're right: "R2" was a huge hit that elevated the franchise and was beloved by millions.

    Hooray for "R2", the greatest sequel of all-time! :pineapple:
     
  20. Maggie

    Maggie funky but chic

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Actually, both RoboCop 2 and 3 are based on Frank Miller's original script for RoboCop 2. If you check out the comic adaptation of Miller's script (which I don't recommend -- it's awful), you see that essentially the first acts of 2 and 3 combined were the original first act of Miller's 2, and again the third acts of 2 and 3 combined were the original third act of Miller's 2. The second act, where RoboCop is taken out of commission, is similar in both films.

    Neither of them was actually the original original script for RoboCop 2, which was a repurposed Judge Dredd script bashed out by Neumeier and Miner in the immediate wake of the success of the first film. It's set in the distant future and involves RoboCop being reawakened after 50 years. Once again, strangely, this "original original" script for RoboCop 2 (entitled Corporate Wars) has similarities with both Robocop 2 and RoboCop 3, and was eventually used as the very loose basis for the pilot of the 1994 Canadian TV series, written by Neumeier. Corporate Wars is also reasonably similar in concept to the low-budget Prime Directives movies made a few years later, and one or two of its ideas involving the surveillance state made their way into the 2014 remake.

    All this strongly suggests that there are not that many RoboCop stories out there to tell.

    Another correction: although RoboCop 2 was indeed relatively successful in 1990 terms, it was not a "hit." It cost almost twice as much as the first film, and actually earned less at the box office. It was considered a commercial disappointment and its failure to be a major hit contributed to Orion's bankruptcy.
     
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  21. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    Uh-oh. Now you're in for it! :laugh:
     
  22. Juan Matus

    Juan Matus Reformed Audiophile

    I had not realized that there were several drafts of this movie. The first by Edward Neumeier and Michael Miner seems quite interesting. I guess they were fired and Frank Miller ended up writing the final version but from Wiki:

    Neumeier and Miner's draft, RoboCop 2: The Corporate Wars, is set 25 years after RoboCop, trying to stop a bank-robbery, is blown up by a thief. The titular protagonist wakes up in a new United States named AmeriPlex, consisting of upper-class "plexes" made out of former cities (i.e. NewYorkPlex, RioPlex, DelhiPlex) and many more shantytowns with residents named OutPlexers. He is revived in a now-abandoned building for the defunct Omni-Consumer Products by two goons of a "super-entrepreneur" named Ted Flicker, who plans to make the national government a private corporate entity he owns. Flicker also currently has a lot of control over the country, despite another person (who was a former comedian) being the president. RoboCop's new system is also the central computer system of AmeriPlex, NeuroBrain.

    RoboCop 2 follows numerous subplots, such as Flicker's plan for domination, a violence-spreading narcotic named Smudge, the Internal Grid Security commander trying to genocide the OutPlexers, and RoboCop's code being played with by an American scientist and a Chinese hacker. The script hypes the first film's consumerist aspects; those in the high-class city plexes eat at LeisureGold where ServiceDroids serve them and make love with SexBots at various brothels; while the environment's media landscape is filled with "NewsBlips," mood-enhancing drugs ads, and MoonDog, a rapper from space, changing public opinion.

    On March 7, 1988, a five-month Writers Guild of America strike began, and its length resulted in Neumeier and Miner being fired from the project for breach of contract. Additionally, the writers and Orion struggled to agree on a story, with the studio turned off by the gritty parts of Neumeier and Miner's draft.

    I don't know if this would be better or worse than the film that was ultimately released.
     
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  23. Timeline Man

    Timeline Man Time Traveler from Naples Thread Starter

    Location:
    Naples
    It grossed twice its budget. So it's technically a hit. Not a smash hit, but a hit. Without accounting ancillary profits.

    ORION had many other problems.
     
  24. Glaeken

    Glaeken Forum Resident

    Location:
    OH
    [​IMG]
     
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  25. Maggie

    Maggie funky but chic

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    The Corporate Wars script is readily and freely available on the internet. It's kind of a mess. It's clearly based on the Judge Dredd script that Neumeier was working on before the original RoboCop was picked up, and the dialogue is all placeholders. A couple of pages are missing, but the general outline of the plot is there.

    RoboCop is barely in it. In the end he has a kind of "romance" with NeuroBrain, an idea that was developed into Neumeier's script for the 1994 TV series pilot.

    The stuff involving the OutPlex eventually made its way into RoboCop 3.

    The script does have a couple of memorable gore scenes that would have pushed the envelope way beyond what was in the original or the produced version of R2.

    The studio's rejection of Corporate Wars wasn't because it was too gritty, it was because it would have been too expensive, and because it dropped almost all of the characters from the first one (Lewis, the Old Man, the captain of the precinct, etc.).
     
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