Robocop 2

Dir: Irvin Kershner
Star: Peter Weller, Belinda Bauer, Tom Noonan, Felton Perry

[7] part sequel, part remake, all action; Robocop 2 is superbly-engineered comicbook-styled entertainment, that more than makes up for it's lack of originality with wall-to-wall violence and relentless pacing. The Detroit police force is on strike (again!) and social order is breaking down as gangs of murderous thieves roam the streets thoroughly freaked out on the highly addictive drug "Nuke". Only our heavy metal hero (Weller, back in armour) is still on duty to splatter gangsters over the sidewalks but when he tackles Cain, the man behind Nuke, the cybernetic Murphy is reduced to a pile of rubble. OCP initiate a program to create Robocop Mk. 2 but after Cain gets his come-uppance from a rebuilt Murphy, his brain is transplanted into the new creature which proceeds to go on the rampage.

A dazzling visual treat for action movie fans with some brilliant effects by Phil Tippett and Rob Bottin. The screenplay by Frank Miller & Walon Green is crammed full of movie references (Frankenstein to King Kong) and comic culture themes. There are faults: the characters are mere cyphers and some of the illogical events, where commonsense is abandoned for the sake of narrative expediency and superheroic vigour, do tend to be a little distracting. It lacks any of the humanist concerns of Verhoeven's original, replacing that film's erudite sub-text with the unsophisticated nature of pulp adventure. Excellent as graphic actioners go, but negligible as science-fiction. (TL)


Bit of a cop-out?
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