Movie Club: Short Circuit 2

Discussion in 'Introductions & Off Topic' started by LiamABC, Mar 18, 2018.

  1. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    WELCOME EVERYBODY TO THE LATEST DISCUSSION THREAD OF THE NEW MOVIE CLUB, DESIGNED TO RUN PARALLEL WITH R.O.C.K.S. A big thanks to everyone that are joining us through all of this.

    This week we're doing the sequel to the previous movie, Short Circuit 2

    Remember any ideas for films to discuss are most welcome, and should be made on the Movie Club Introduction thread (the sticky one), and anyone is welcome to add their thoughts about movies already discussed on their respective threads.

    Just a friendly reminder to everyone that, whilst fans are obviously welcome to passionately discuss and give their views on these movies, please remember to keep things on a friendly footing and respect your fellow posters.
    Also, please do not post where or how to find the full movie online. And do not post asking others to PM it to you. You are however allowed to watch the movie in whatever manner you want.
  2. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    A classic movie I have watched a lot.
    I used to have this movie recorded on the same VHS cassette tape as Return of the Jedi (one of my favourite movies) so the tape got played and watched a lot. :D

    Some people aren't keen on sequels but I always really enjoyed Short Circuit 2.

    I really like the story.
    Fisher Stevens and Michael McKean are great together in the movie.

    So many wonderful scenes.
    The Johnny 5 toys in the department store.
    Johnny 5 discovering the city.
    Getting input in the library.
    The street gang song.
    Ben and Fred using songs to get help from Sandy.
    Johnny fighting the robbers and giving himself a makeover.

    An ironic scene is the start of the movie with all the Johnny 5 toys in the department store. I can't help but wonder if that was put in as a homage to the lack of merchandise for the for the first movie or maybe even to say they should have made some toys for the sequel.
    Short Circuit 2 has got to be the only movie showing toys of the movie lead character and no toys of the character being available. They released a Turbo Man figure from the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie Jingle All The Way.
    It is really strange that McFarlane, NECA, Diamond Select or Mezco or even a third party/kickstarter company hasn't made some Johnny 5 toys.
  3. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    I haven't seen the second Short Circuit film anywhere near as much as the first. This was only my third time of watching it.

    It's a really different animal from the first one. Only two characters from the original movie reappear - Johnny 5 the robot himself, and Ben, played by Fisher Stevens. No Ally Sheedy or Steve Guttenberg - well, Ally Sheedy did a brief voice spot, when Johnny 5 read her character's letter to Ben. But she took no part in the main events of the movie.

    Johnny 5 - or "Number Johnny 5" as Ben kept calling him - was his usual self, eager for input. The thought of the big city is always exciting at first, but like so many others before him, he quickly learned that most people don't give a damn. We've all felt like he does here.

    He speed-reads a large number of books - I love how he says he could read every book in the shop in 35 minutes. The most notable bit is earlier though with "The Hound Of The Baskervilles", where halfway through reading it he announces, "I think the chauffeur did it!" - and then when he'd finished, says, "he did!" - for the record, there is no chauffeur in that book, so I guess they must have wanted the title for its familiarity but didn't want to actually give away who the real killer was, so they invented a chauffeur for this purpose. It's very poignant that the two books he deemed worthy of extra study were revealed to be "Pinocchio" and "Frankenstein" - to illustrate how he senses the majority of people perceive him.

    The "outsider" theme is just one of many interesting ideas in this film. Another is the fact that for all his super-intelligence, Johnny 5 doesn't understand deception. I'm tempted to question the validity of this blind spot, given that he used deception tactics on a couple of occasions in the first film - throwing the homing beacon into a passing truck, and making a duplicate of himself for the military to destroy.

    One thing that I do find questionable though is this. In this second film Ben is studying to become a US citizen. That meant he was not a US citizen in the first film, when working on the original SAINT project, highly top-secret and very sensitive. Would the US government really allow a foreign national access to such a powerful weapon? It's not even as if this detail has any importance in the storyline.

    Oh well . . . back to the positives. The music clues on the telephone answering machine is a really fun sequence, as Sandy and the cab driver work out what the songs are and where to go next with each clue. Having said that, if Ben can do such clever things as that, it makes you wonder how he fell on such hard times in the first place to be reduced to selling Johnny 5 toys on the streets of New York City.

    So this movie has some holes in the plot, but it packs quite an emotional punch, in some ways a bigger emotional punch than the first movie (apart from the end where we thought he'd been destroyed of course!). While the first movie straddles the comedy and drama of it, the second really focuses on the feelings of isolation, and has the gags around the side of that. Also when we see Johnny 5 take the beating he gets from the robbers, it's heartbreaking.

    Overall, in terms of blending together the drama and comedy, it's not quite as good as the first, but it's growing on me.
  4. The Drifter

    The Drifter Berbill

    Recently watched Short Circuit 2 for the first time. Excellent film! I actually thought it was slightly better than the original.

    The Johnny 5 robot was obviously more advanced/elaborate than what we saw in the original film (only two years earlier). I also think it was physically larger than the original movie - makes sense, since they probably had more money & more technology to work with re: this sequel, even though it was only a short two years later.

    The storyline was interesting as well. I liked how the whole movie was centered around Ben getting pulled into making toys of Johnny 5 for a large company. As was mentioned in other posts, it's surprising that a toy company in the '80's never made a toy of this robot - given that it seemed exactly like the type of toy would have been a hit back in the day - especially during the holidays. However, it's even more surprising that a toy company hasn't made this toy in the 30+ years since the original film.

    My favorite scenes included:

    -When Johnny 5 fell out of the window in the high-rise office building, and the was able to "save" himself due to a built-in glider he had - great scene.

    - The scene when the two criminals who broke into the warehouse ended up getting physically "thrown out" via the traps that had been set for them ahead of time; the recording that was calling the authorities (that prompted the criminals to leave & not try to get in the warehouse again) was fantastic & hilarious. This reminded me slightly of the set-up that the MC character put together in the first Home Alone film, in order to defeat the two criminals who were trying to break into his house.

    -The scene when Johnny 5 was racing out into traffic with one of the characters, and reassuringly said, "Don't worry - my cousin was a Harley Davidson!" - LOL

    - The scene(s) when Ben used Johnny Five's technology/expertise to "meet" Sandy as she was on the way home on the bus (by forcing the bus to stop), and then was reading off electronic "cue cards" (behind her) as he was talking & trying to flirt with her - hilarious ;)

    -Though the film was primarily a comedy (like the first one), it was tough to watch Johnny Five get destroyed by those criminals. They did a great job of humanizing the robot here, since you really did feel sorry for him/it.

    The movie was also a nice time capsule of NYC in the late '80's. I know it's changed a lot since that time. The huge bookstore that the Johnny 5 character went to probably isn't there anymore, and I know Radio Shack has since gone out of business. I was in NYC on vacation two summers ago, and did go to a great smaller bookstore that sold used & new books called The Strand. However, it wasn't nearly the size of the one in the film.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2018
    LiamABC likes this.

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