Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Robocop 2 is a science fiction satire film, released in 1990, set in the near future in a dystopian metropolitan Detroit, Michigan. It is the sequel to the 1987 film Robocop. The title character is played by Peter Weller, who also 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 exausting it was to wear the suit.
Despite not being directed by Paul Verhoeven, the director of the first film, Robocop 2 contains many of his hallmarks, such as satirical television commercials (such as for an ultra powerful sunblock to deal with the devestation of Earth's ozone layer) and upbeat news broadcasts. These can be seen in the original Robocop and his later film Starship Troopers. The events in the second film closely follow the events in the first film (the ED-209 unit, for example, is mentioned as being deployed and malfunctioning). However, viewers may be confused by the fact that many of the major plot lines in the second film were not of any concern to any of the characters in both films, although they must have been known to those characters.
The main plot of Robocop 2 is the title character's struggle to regain the humanity that many characters in the film felt he lost when he was turned into Robocop in the first film. Indeed, that plot drove the first film, and is well known in the history of story-telling being a main theme in Pinocchio, Frankenstein, the Tin Man character in The Wizard of Oz, and the character Data in Star Trek: The Next Generation. However, the story is driven by a number of sub-plots.
One sub-plot, dealt with at the beginning of the movie, concerns the consequences of Robocop's realization of his former identity, and his impotent attempt to reach out to his family. Having found out where they moved after he was killed, he merely drives by their house day after day, greatly distressing his former wife. She eventually complains to OCP, and they allow her to see him; beforehand, the new executive in charge of the Robocop project insistently reminds the officer that he could never have his life back as Alex Murphy, and that he is Robocop, Law Enforcement Unit. Seeing his wife, he tells her that the face he has was made in honor of Murphy's death, and that he is just a machine. Though impassive in the face of her sadness and confusion, he intently watches as she leaves his life, forever.
The overarching plot of the movie concerns Omni Consumer Products (OCP) attempt to contrive the default of the debt of the old City of Detroit. It plans to foreclose , take over the city goverment, demolish the old city, and put up a planned community, Delta City, in its place. The replacement of government with corporate control that OCP espouses (arguing that "anybody can own a share. What could be more democratic?") can be considered a type of market populism. As part of this plan, it has forced a police strike by putting an end to the police pension plan. As Robocop cannot go on strike, this merely increases his police duties as the city sinks further into anarchy and terror.
Meanwhile, the Robocop devision of OCP continues to sink tens of millions of dollars into the development of a more advanced and stronger cyborg--a "Robocop 2". Each project ends up a disaster; once the transformed officers realize what they've become, they immediately turn suicidal (one shoots the scientists around him before killing himself, another pulls off his "head" to reveal only a skull underneath). The only reason Murphy has survived and adapted was because of his exceedingly strong sense of duty to the law (and in the first movie, his desire for vengeance). Therefore, a new idea is suggested by OCP's newest executive--a criminal with a similar overcoming desire; a desire for power and immortality, regardless of the cost.
In this movie, Robocop's primary mission is to deal with the distribution of a powerful, addictive, synthetic narcotic named "Nuke". The drug is distributed by a man by the name of Cain (Tom Noonan), who as a result of his drug abuse appears to have a messiah complex ; he believes that Nuke, which he desires to distribute to the entire city, is the way to paradise. He is assisted by his girlfriend Angie (Galyn Gorg ); a foul-mouthed yet very competent ten-year old boy, Hob (Gabriel Damon) whom Robocop cannot shoot because of his age and the resembilance to his own son; and a corrupt police officer who is controlled by his addiction to Nuke.
Having learned of Cain's involvement in the production of Nuke, Robocop confronts him and his gang at an abandonded construction site, in which he is rendered immobile by a powerful electromagnet and disassembled; the pieces are left in front of the striking officers of the Detroit Police. OCP is reluctant to foot the massive costs to repair him and is considering shutting him down for good, despite the protests from the Robocop project members and fellow police officers.
However, he is saved when the new executive, a psychologist, argues for the importance of him as a figure of the community; through lobbying a panel of private citizens, she creates a list of over 300 new directives to be added to his program. Though resistant at first, Murphy is ultimately powerless to refuse the new commands and is unable to take agressive action against criminals, even to defend himself (except for one instance where he shoots around a man's head to get him to stop smoking). Eventually examined by the original Robocop team at the police department, a suggestion on how the directives might be cleared leads him to electrocute himself, clearing all the directives (even the initial three), and then declaring war on Cain, as he immediately leads the striking officers off the picket line, to attack Cain's hideout.
The plots cross when Cain is badly injured in the battle with Robocop. Though Angie wants to rescue Cain from the hospital, Hob considers him already dead and moves to take control of the Nuke distribution. The OCP psychologist, having decided on Cain to be of the perfect mindset for the new cyborg, arrives at the hospital and switches off his life support, calling for an immediate brain removal and transplant. Displaying the new Robocop to the head of OCP, the psychologist demonstrates how he may be pacified through a canister of pure Nuke, which it seems, is the only way the pain of Cain's new existence can be dulled.
Meanwhile, Hob is the new leader of the drug cartel in Old Detroit. Arranging a meeting with Mayor of Detroit, he offers the desperate mayor (Willard E. Pugh ) the money he needs to bail out the city from its debt to OCP--if the mayor agrees to a hands-off policy to the distribution of Nuke. Since this would hinder OCP's attempts to take over the city, Robocop 2 is "officially" sent in to break up the drug operation, while actually ordered to eliminate all parties involved. Except for the mayor himself, who escapes through a sewer drain, both his and Hob's bodyguards are killed, as well as Angie and Hob themselves (the former from a broken neck, the latter with machine-gun fire. Robocop arrives late on the scene in time to comfort a dying Hob, and be told of Robocop 2's actions.
The movie ends with a climactic battle between Robocop and Robocop 2 during the unveiling of Delta City at a press conference, also promoting the new cyborg. In the resultant battle, several Detroit officers, OCP personel, and civilians are killed; the President of OCP, meanwhile, decides on a scapegoat to avoid litigation--the psychologist, acting on her own without company support, was indirectly to blame for the entire incident.
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