Irvin Kershner has a knack for taking original films and amplifying what makes them work initially. With “RoboCop 2,” Kershner takes the RoboCop mythology to new heights creating a film that’s significantly more memorable than the original and arguably better. That’s a controversial statement for sure but when a lot of fans think of RoboCop, they think about the RoboCop 2 unit which becomes something of a parallel to Alex Murphy. Where in Alex is still grasping with bits and pieces of his humanity and consciousness, our villain Cain fully embraces the technological shell he is transplanted in and begins to wreak absolute havoc.
“RoboCop 2” is set almost immediately after the original film where RoboCop and his partner Anne Lewis are now battling a new drug named “Nuke.” Said drug has become the most craved drug on the streets, turning its users in to violent criminals. Said drugs are being distributed by a vicious gang member named Cain and his ruthless mob of gangsters, which includes a young boy named Hob with a psychopathic streak. RoboCop and Anne find themselves completely overwhelmed by the plot to overrun the city with Crime and then rebuild it in to Delta City, which is a planned development independent of the US Government. Events also spiral out of control when OCP also cuts salaries, prompting a police strike in Detroit, leaving RoboCop and Anne basically lone gunmen in the fight against OCP as Alex Murphy is beholden to his directive.
Kershner and screenwriter Frank Miller successfully widen the mythology of RoboCop, revealing the inherent horror behind the project, as well as its capabilities of being very easily corrupted by mad doctors. There are a lot of gruesome moments involving Alex’s technology, as well as OCP’s efforts to create even more RoboCop units, which results in a newly revived offer committing suicide after exposing his skull under his mask. Miller revels in the idea that the program is really just the government reviving corpses of tortured officers forced in to duty even after death, and it only emphasizes the twisted mentality behind villain Cain, in the climax. “RoboCop 2” isn’t a masterpiece like the original film, but it has some interesting ideas, and still garners some great stop motion effects and animatronics. It also brings to the table some top notch performances, including Tom Noonan who turns playing villains in to an art form.
Among the features from Shout! Factory, there are a pair of audio commentaries with author and CG supervisor Paul M. Sammon, who offers some insights in to the CG effects, and background on the production. The second track is with the team behind “Robodoc: The Creation of RoboCop.” It’s a fun fan experience as they have a blast discussing the film’s production. “OCP Declassified” is forty six minute VHS footage shot by Paul M. Sammon, who interviews various cast and crew members. “Corporate Wars” is a thirty minute doc with Sammon once again interviewing crew members, and reminiscing on the production along with various Behind the Scenes footage.
“Machine Parts” is a thirty look at the special effects with a few effect demonstrations. “Robo-Fabricator” is a nine minute interview with special effects designer James Belohovek who discusses various memories working on set with the project. “Adapting Frank Miller’s RoboCop 2” is a six minute interview with Steven Grant, who offers insight on the plot and meaning behind some of the more important scenes. Finally there are three original trailers and two TV Spots, as well as three collections of Still Galleries featuring deleted scenes and Behind the Scenes Footage.