It is a fact. Nancy Allen always puts me in a better mood. My standbys are DRESSED TO KILL, STRANGE INVADERS, CARRIE and SWEET REVENGE, but for some reason I got a bad case of the number two's and wanted to watch ROBOCOP 2. Even though she is second billed, it seems more like a "sometimes starring" Nancy Allen, cuz she just pops up here and there. But some nights you gotta roll with it. The groundwork for the Robocop series was paved by a man driving a steamroller, ever talented and charming Paul Verhoeven and the second one is directed by Irvin Kershner of the awesome EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and the even awesome-ER,EYES OF LAURA MARS, so we know we are in good hands. What we get is a dumpy water downed version of the first film. Where the first installment is a social commentary on the state of law enforcement and violence in the media, the second one seems to take these ideas and pump up to gargantuan portions without having really any redeeming quality what so ever, but damn if it ain't a crackerjack of a film!
The movie kicks off with a slam banger, then a cut to Leeza Gibbons. As her big haired face graced the screen I vaguely remember on Entertainment Tonight there was a big buzz about her being in the movie. I think I actually thought she was the star, but she is just a TV reporter. What a stretch. In the first ten minutes we really that Robocop has to progress with in the future/present/now past landscape of Detroit. Evil drug dealers peddling their shit to kids, cult leaders of the damned, tough as nails hookers and even the fucking union. You can feel the energy building and you are just WAITING for Robocop to bust it out! Suddenly, a cop car speeds in the frame and out steps a mechanical foot and you know this set piece of knocked over trash cans and hobos is about to BLOW! Robocop does a quick scan of the area and crime are EVERYWHERE! You know this because his helmet can pick up crime vibes and flashes a message stating, "CRIME IN PROGRESS!" Good to know. Nancy Allen fresh off one of my favorite THIRDS (Poltergeist 3) pops up and is in major stealth mode. She can sneak around a black lit alley like nobody's business. Things blow up, bad guys are killed and Robocop is in a MASSIVE bad mood.
RoboCop is different now. He seems to be remembering things. We get tossed into a flashback involving a baby and some gun fire, but I wasn't really paying attention. I was snapped back into reality when they removed RoboCop's damaged helmet and we get some real PETER WELLER FACE! WHOA! It's super gross. He has some major BRAZIL face. It has been stretched and held together by nuts and bolts. AND we are only 20 minutes into the movie. I think I am in LOVE with this movie.
So remember in the first RoboCop and then later in Starship Troopers, Verhoeven gave us some great socio-political funny fake commercials? Just sprinkled in for shits and giggles? Well, Number two has them also and they ain't funny. We do get some Chase Bank realness though. It truly is how you feel treated after you leave one of their branches. Some dude with a Darth Vader voice plays a bad guy and a sexy lady, played by Belinda Bauer are out to create the ultimate killing machine, but they can't seem to get it right. The best part of the film is them trying all the proto types and then watching them fail miserably. Lab techs are shot, buildings are destroyed, but it is pretty grand entertainment.
The bad guys have tried everything to continue to commit crime without getting murdered by RoboCop, but it is hard. So, they have devised a brilliant plan! Have a kid be the drug dealer, because Robocop can't kill kids! And what a kid drug dealer he is! He is hateful, curses like a nun on the run and shoots machine guns. I just imagine this boy LOVING his job. His best scene is with Nancy Allen after she tries to bust up in the joint. He jumps her and wraps a chain around her neck and says, "LOOKS LIKE YOU ARE OUT OF BREATH BITCH!" Her face is priceless.
We get some Beth Grant Executive Realness (for realz!) trying to explain how robots have feelings. Bitch, I saw Wall-E. Don't hand me this crap. But the bad guys unleash another Robocop. This one isn't so nice and doesn't mind wiping out an entire little league baseball team. Blood and guts and all! Poor Motor City Muskrats. You do feel sorry for the kids as they are being mowed down. We get a shit storm of bullets and a fucking great Nancy Allen stunt double. Nancy climbs on things and looks over, but doesn't do the really dangerous stuff, like jumping or driving a car at normal speed. I wouldn't either! Nice Robocop shows up on a motorcycle that is screaming action figure accessory and Nancy almost punches the evil boss lady in the face! Harpo from The Color Purple shows up and the little mean kid says, "Don't be a queer!" The city is a battleground as good robocop and bad robocop battle it out and a slam bang maelstrom of high octane excitement and low octane acting. The credits roll and I was so pleased they didn't kill Nancy off!
Robocop 2 does what most sequels do. They rape the first film and try their damnest to make the sequel look and feel better, but they almost always fail to live up to the original. You can argue for days with nerds about sequels that are far superior to the originals. I agree there are some, but Robocop 2 is not one of them. While super fun and SUPER over the top (I try to get a Stallone shout out as much as possible) it just doesn't have the heart the first one had. And that is saying a lot!
I must point out that Robocop 2 taught me a very valuable lesson. When hiring a sound effects guy, always get the best. Like Travolta in BLOW-OUT, you need someone is going to go the distance. Stephen Hunter Flick I bow down to you! You did an amazing job with the sound effects. Everything that is gross, SOUNDS even grosser! YUCK! Suzanne Vega was right. Blood does make noise.
P.S. Can I just tell you how fucking bad I want the three issue ROBOCOP 2 Marvel tie-in comic book?!!