The Films (3/5 - Robocop 2, 2/5 - Robocop 3)
Robocop was one of the single best action/sci-fi hybrids of the 80's (and there were more than a few). The film was a great social satire, as Paul Verhoeven the director excels at. It also blends great performances, solid effects work with great action to create something truly and utterly memorable. It is absolutely a classic in every sense of the word. It also made bank at the box office, so needless to say sequels were going to happen, and they did, Robocop initially spawned off 2 sequels, TV shows, and remakes. The sequels were originally put to Blu-ray in quite lackluster editions by MGM, but have now been given the special edition treatment from Scream Factory.
Robocop 2 takes place sometime after the original Robocop. A new drug called "Nuke" has hit the streets and is quite popular. Law enforcement in the city are unable to control it, and more so as the Detroit Police are on strike. Robocop is the only one that might be able to stop it, into this comes OCP, an organization that wants to get Detroit to default on its debts so they can foreclose on the whole city, and turn it into a capitalist paradise. This enrages one of the criminal kingpins they have been working with Cain who had his own plans for the city. There is also plans to manufacture a "Robocop 2" model to take care of the streets, but also stands in Robocop's way in cleaning up Detroit and stopping OCP.
Robocop 2 is a film that should be better than it is. It has so much going for it. It is the final film by director Irwin Kershner who made Star Wars sequel the Empire Strikes Back not only a great sequel, but one of the greatest overall films of all time. On top of that we have a script written by Frank Miller (granted it was heavily re-written, but later adapted to comics in the 2000's), and it has a cast lead once again Peter Weller, who is perfect in his role as the half human/half robot cop.
The film has a stylish cyberpunk look that wouldn't entirely be out of place in an issue of 2000 A.D., and has moments of excellent action throughout. However, the plot is entirely too complicated, and the film is far too long for it's own good. The beginning of the film is excellent, and the last 30 minutes has some great action to conclude, but the middle portion of the film has too much going on and overall kills the pace of the film.
Robocop 3 is basically the Robocop that should not have been. It came in the early 90's, Peter Weller decided to not come back to the role having determined, I guess that this one was not up to snuff after the complications with the last one. Nancy Allen did return, but was killed to give Robocop something to seek revenge for. The one upshot going into it was that Fred Dekker directed the film, and having not seen the film since I was a kid, I had hopped that Dekker's presence would be a secret saving grace. Fred Dekker for those unaware was the former writing partner of Lethal Weapon's Shane Black (Black and Dekker), and directed the cult classics Monster Squad and Night of the Creeps.
Unfortunately, he did not save it, not one iota. The film follows after Robocop 2, OCP is now a bankrupt company on its last legs, and attempting one last takeover of Detroit with the help of Ninjas. Robocop bands together with a group of rebels to take them on one last time in order to save the city, and avenge his partner Anne (Nancy Allen).
Robocop 3 did not really have anything going for it. It didn't have the same solid and exciting action and violence as the first 2, and honestly felt like a bunch of DTV leftovers from the 2nd one, which it sort of was. In an attempt to salvage parts of Frank Miller's script they took parts of it that went unused, and them here. The film feels like it was knocked a few notches down on the budgetary ladder from even the 2nd film, and it really shows.
Audio/Video (4/5 - Both)
Both Robocop sequels are presented with 1:85:1 1080p AVC encoded transfer preserving their OAR's. The transfers here look quite superb, blacks are deep, colors pop, and detail is excellent, grain is rendered well and naturally.
Audio on both is presented 2 ways both English, both are DTS-HD MA 2.0 and 5.1 tracks. The tracks are both excellent with dialogue, score, and ambient effects coming through clearly.
Extras (5/5 - Both)
Scream does here, what Scream does best, and they load both Robocop 2/3 with significant extras. Both films get multiple commentary tracks, in depth documentaries with cast and crew, trailers, deleted scenes, galleries, and more.
Robocop 2 is a solid, but problematic sequel to the original film. Robocop 3 is just a problematic sequel all around. Scream, however, pulls out all the stop with these 2 and provides upgraded transfers and huge epic slates of extras. Robocop 2 is RECOMMENDED. Robocop 3 is NOT RECOMMENDED. Both are HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for the discs themselves if you are a fan.