Robocop 2 (1990)

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OCP instigate a police strike in order to cause Old Detroit to tear itself apart so they can make a hostile takeover and take the entire city private.

One of Frank Miller’s earliest movie scripts, Robocop 2 is a bit of a strange mess of ideas, some of which work while others are just cringe inducing. Subtlety is kicked right out of the park as the inhabitants of Old Detroit are to a man, gun-toting, heavy metal obsessed psychopaths and crime lords are drug dealing, foul-mouthed 10 year old boys with machine guns. In fact it’s a classic case of a writer thinking that filling a script with swearing and violence makes it “adult” while in fact it could not be more juvenile. It also misses the dark satire of the original film that made it work so well and some of the cheesy sentimentality is just laughable. On the other hand, the parodying of underhanded corporate practices that undermine democracy and avoid legal responsibility is actually quite clever and the characterisation of Murphy – who must come to terms with what he has become and its moral implications – is interesting, if not satisfyingly explored. It also has a few (albeit unsubtle) laughs and the model-based effects although dated have a real old school, kitsch charm.

As a whole it’s very hit and miss, but it entertains on a purely nostalgic level and the producers of the Iron Man franchise were obviously impressed, having procured more than a couple of its ideas for their projects.

6/10

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