RoboCop 2 is the 1990 sequel to the blockbuster hit RoboCop. Directed by Irvin Kershner of The Empire Strikes Back fame, RoboCop 2 sends the cyborg into an even more violent world, as OCP begins its hostile takeover for the birth of Delta City, and there is a new narcotic drug called "Nuke", distributed by a man called Cain.
RoboCop is slowly coming to grips with the loss of his former life as Alex Murphy. Though he attempts to reach out to his family, he eventually realizes he can never return to them. When he finally sees his wife, he tells her that the face was placed on him to honor her husband.
OCP's current plans also come into focus: they attempt to have Detroit default on its debt, so that OCP can foreclose on the entire city, take over the city government, demolish the old city, and put up a planned community development, Delta City, in its place. As part of this plan, OCP forces a police strike by terminating their pension plan and cutting salaries. As RoboCop is property of OCP and cannot strike, this measure increases his duties as the city sinks further into chaos and terror.
Meanwhile, the Security Concepts division of OCP continues to sink millions into the development of a more advanced "RoboCop 2". However, each project ends in disaster; once the officers realize what they have become, they immediately turn suicidal. They deduce that Murphy only survived because of his exceedingly strong sense of duty, and his moral objection to suicide as an Irish-Catholic. The scientists decide they need someone similar, like a criminal with a desire for power and immortality, regardless of the cost.
Throughout the city, a new designer drug named “Nuke” has been plaguing the streets. The primary distributor, Cain, believes that Nuke is the way to paradise, and is obsessed with power. He is assisted by his girlfriend Angie, his still-juvenile apprentice Hob, and Officer Duffy, a corrupt police officer. Having learned of Cain's involvement with Nuke from Duffy, RoboCop confronts him and his gang at an abandoned construction site. However, RoboCop is rendered immobile and disassembled; the pieces are then left in front of the Detroit Police Station.
OCP, reluctant to foot his massive repair costs, ignores his fellow police officers insistence that he be repaired. RoboCop is saved when Dr. Juliette Faxx, an OCP psychologist, takes charge of the new RoboCop team. She argues for his importance as a figure of the community, and creates a list of over 300 new directives to be added to his program. Murphy is ultimately powerless to refuse the new commands, and is rendered unable to take aggressive action against criminals or even to defend himself. After the original RoboCop team explains what to do about this, Murphy shocks himself with a power cable to erase all of his directives. He then leads the striking officers off the picket line to attack Cain's hideout. Cain is badly injured in the battle and is taken to the hospital. With Cain immobilized, Hob takes control. Faxx, having decided that Cain is perfect for the RoboCop 2 project, arrives at the hospital and switches off his life support. Later, while displaying the new RoboCop 2 (Cain) to the head of OCP, Faxx demonstrates how he may be pacified through a canister of pure Nuke.
Meanwhile, Hob arranges a secret meeting with the Mayor, offering to bail out the city's debt to OCP, but only if he agrees to a hands-off policy regarding the distribution of Nuke. Since this would hinder OCP's attempts to take over the city, they send RoboCop 2 in to kill everyone. While the mayor escapes through a sewer drain, all attendants, including Hob, Angie and two city councilmen, are slaughtered. RoboCop arrives late, only in time to find and comfort a dying Hob, who tells him about what happened.
During the unveiling of Delta City and Robocop 2 at a press conference, the OCP President unwittingly presents a canister filled with Nuke. Cain escapes control, destroying the control device that arms his weapons, and opens fire on the crowd. RoboCop arrives, and the two cyborgs battle throughout the building, eventually falling off the roof and into an underground facility. As the rest of the police force arrives and engages Cain, RoboCop heads back to the OCP building to get the canister of Nuke. Upon seeing the canister, RoboCop 2 immediately ceases fire and takes it. While distracted, RoboCop jumps onto his back, punches his way through to Cain's brain, and crushes it.
The Chairman of OCP, executive Johnson, and OCP lawyer Holzgang discuss the companies liability for the massacre, and decide to scapegoat Faxx, claiming that she acted without company support in designing RoboCop 2. Lewis complains about how the OCP executives will escape legally unscathed, but RoboCop reassures Lewis and tells her to be patient.
- Peter Weller as Alex Murphy/RoboCop
- Belinda Bauer as Dr. Juliette Faxx
- Dan O'Herlihy as The OCP President "Old Man"
- Felton Perry as OCP Vice President Donald Johnson
- John Glover as MagnaVolt Salesman
- Mario Machado as Casey Wong
- Leeza Gibbons as Jess Perkins
- John Ingle as Surgeon General
- Tom Noonan as Cain/RoboCop 2
- Roger Aaron Brown as Whittaker
- Willard E. Pugh as Mayor Marvin Kuzak
- Gabriel Damon as Hob
- Galyn Görg as Angie
- Mark Rolston as Stef
- Lila Finn as Homeless Woman
- John Hateley as Purse Snatcher
- Gage Tarrant as Hooker
- Thomas Rosales, Jr. as Chet (as Tommy Rosales)
- Brandon Smith as Flint
- Wallace Merck as Gun Shop Owner
- Stephen Lee as Officer Duffy
- John Dolittle as Dr. Schenk
- Robert DoQui as Sgt. Reed (as Robert Do'Qui)
- Ken Lerner as Delaney
- Jeff McCarthy as Holzgang
- Nancy Allen as Anne Lewis
- Linda Thompson as Mother with Baby
- Brandon Smith as Chet (as Tommy Rosales)
- Tzi Ma as Tak Akita
- Wanda De Jesus as Estevez
- Fabiana Udenio as Sunblock Woman
RoboCop 2 was directed by Irvin Kershner from a script by Frank Miller and Walon Green. After the success of The Dark Knight Returns, Frank Miller was contacted by producer Jon Davison about writing a sequel to the Davison-produced box-office smash RoboCop, directed by Paul Verhoeven. Miller enthusiastically accepted the offer, eager to make an impression in Hollywood the way he had in comics the past decade.
However, Miller's script was labeled "unfilmable" by producers and studio executives. His script was heavily changed through rewrites, and drastically re-written into what became RoboCop 2. Even when his tenure as screenwriter was officially over, Miller showed up on set everyday, eager to learn all about the movie-making process from start-to-finish. He was even given a cameo as "Frank the chemist." His original screenplay for RoboCop 2 took on an almost "urban legend" status and his original script for RoboCop 2 was later turned into a nine-part comic book series called Frank Miller's RoboCop. Critical reaction to the comic adaptation of the Miller script were mixed to negative. Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly gave the comic a "D" score, criticizing the "tired story" and lack of "interesting action." A recap written for the pop culture humor website I-Mockery said, "Having spent quite a lot of time with these comics over the past several days researching and writing this article, I can honestly say that it makes me want to watch the movie version of RoboCop 2 again just so I can get the bad taste out of my mouth. Or prove to myself that the movie couldn't be worse than this."
RoboCop is again played by Peter Weller, who played RoboCop in the first film. However, although a second sequel and a television series were made, this was the last time Weller played the role, due to complaints of how cumbersome and exhausting it was to wear the suit and also because Weller found RoboCop 2 to be a very negative and disappointing film to work on. He complained about some scenes not making into the final cut, "There was a couple of things that made the character more human that weren't used. I can't remember exactly what the scenes were, I just remember wondering why they weren't in." These deleted scenes have never been included on home video releases.
Box office performanceEdit
Robocop 2 debuted at No.2 at the box office.
This film received mixed reviews from critics and fans of the first film. While the special effects and action sequences are widely praised, a common complaint was that the film did not focus enough on RoboCop and his partner Lewis and that the film's human story of the man trapped inside the machine was ultimately lost within a sea of violence. This film was also partially disliked by actors Weller and Allen as they both thought it was a negative film to work on. In his review, Roger Ebert wrote "Cain's sidekicks include a violent, foul-mouthed young boy (Gabriel Damon), who looks to be about 12 years old but kills people without remorse, swears like Eddie Murphy, and eventually takes over the drug business... The movie's screenplay is a confusion of half-baked and unfinished ideas... the use of that killer child is beneath contempt..."
Janet Maslin of The New York Times wrote, "Unlike RoboCop, a clever and original science-fiction film with a genuinely tragic vision of its central character, Robocop 2 doesn't bother to do anything new. It freely borrows the situation, characters and moral questions posed by the first film." She further adds, "The difference between Robocop and its sequel, [...] is the difference between an idea and an afterthought." She also expressed her opinion about the Hob character, "The aimlessness of Robocop 2 runs so deep that after exploiting the inherent shock value of such an innocent-looking killer, the film tries to capitalize on his youth by also giving him a tearful deathbed scene." The LA Times thought poorly of the movie too.
RoboCop 2 currently has 35% positive reviews on the movie review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, with 20 of 31 counted reviews giving it a "rotten" rating and an average score of 4.5 out of 10.