Short Circuit 2

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If the original Short Circuit brought us a mechanised version of E.T, this sequel is more a chromium Crocodile Dundee. Number Five, a military robot which received the spark of life, turned peacenik, and renamed himself Johnny Five, answers a distress call from his co-creator (Stevens) to join him in the Big City. His naive candour and sociological observations provide simple humour (of punks: 'Whoah! Human porcupines!'), as does his unwitting involvement in a bank robbery; and a terrific set piece is his attempt to prompt love-struck Stevens from afar by way of the '50s manual Dating Dos and Don'ts for Modern Teens. Though the direction by TV veteran Johnson is a little sparing of the big screen, and though the saccharine monitor keeps lurching dangerously into the red, this is that rare thing - a moderately intelligent kids' film, and a sequel that is better than the original. But why, when the theme is the prejudice encountered in Johnny Five's quest for acceptance among humans, is his Indian friend an absurd stereotype played by a blacked-up white actor?

Release details

Duration: 110 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Kenneth Johnson
Screenwriter: Steven S Wilson, Brent Maddock
Cast: Fisher Stevens
Michael McKean
Cynthia Gibb
Jack Weston
Dee McCafferty
David Hemblen
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