Robocop 2 and 3: Collectors Edition Blu-ray Review

It always bums me out when film series get released on DVD or Blu-ray but the extras only focus on the original. The sequels are movies too, even if they’re not as well liked or just not as good. Fortunately Shout Factory treats the sequels like classics too, even when they’re not, as in the case of the Robocop sequels.

Robocop 2 looks great on Blu-ray. You can see the ’90s idea of the future in clear detail. Neon light shines brightly down on the debris strewn streets. Robocop himself is shiny with purple tints and all the detail in the stop motion is highlighted.The Robocop 2 menu opens with the prototype ripping his helmet off to expose the brain and skull. That’s kind of disturbing!

The bonus features detail the rocky production. It covers the Corporate Wars plot. Robocop in love is not a bad idea and could be explored, if they’d ever satisfyingly dealt with Murphy’s family. The idea of having Robocop blown up then reassembled  25 years later would have been a betrayal as early as part two. We want to see the self-aware Alex Murphy have more adventures. But then look what franchise became as it is. Jon Davison talks about Frank Miller when it was going well. There’s 45 minutes of VHS from the production in 1989!

A deleted scene where Robocop visits Murphy’s grave gives me a little bit more of the Murphy side. It’s clear they didn’t go too far with that. Stills show other deleted scenes that I guess weren’t preserved. The Robocop anti-drug PSA is clearly not Peter Weller.

I hated Robocop 3 in 1993 but it has grown on me just because it has practical stunts and optical effects. It may be cheesy but at least it’s not CGI. It’s still 20 min before Robocop shows up.

The production design has a lot of detail to see in HD, especially at night in Delta City rubble, crawling through sewers. They sure dress the set in debris. As ridiculous as splatterpunks were, they’re grimy and colorful. To contrast, the corporate world is bright and chrome.

Fred Dekker and the producers are honest about the misguided PG-13 direction and adding a kid. Miller’s original idea was a Japanese girl which would’ve been progressive, although still a stereotype as a genius hacker. I hadn’t thought about The Monster Squad girl and Frankenstein as a parallel to the girl and Robocop. That makes me appreciate it more. The talk about martial arts is sincere. They did the work. Weller would’ve done the third movie too but for scheduling Naked Lunch. They should’ve waited.

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