A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that positive messages are dramatized in this movie including the wonders of knowledge; the value of honesty, friendship, and loyalty; and concern for others. Most physical action is cartoon-like, causing no serious injury. There are hapless bad guys, pratfalls, trap doors, and parachutes. The exception is a serious, lengthy attack on Robot Johnny 5 near the conclusion. He is severely smashed, battered, and broken, in danger of total memory failure (i.e. death). Final suspense is centered on efforts to rebuild the robot, saving his "life."
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What's the story?
This sequel to Short Circuit finds Ben Jahrvi (Fisher Stevens), one of the inventors of Robot Number 5 (now called Johnny 5), out of work and selling toy replicas of the robot on the streets of a big city. Johnny 5 is sent to help Ben and his fast-talking partner, Fred (Michael McKean), fill a huge order of the little robots. At the same time a band of thieves is trying to steal valuable jewels from a bank vault. Johnny, Ben, and Fred are in their way. The race is on as our heroes try to build the toys while the villains try to stop them and rob the bank. As the story unfolds, Johnny 5 has his first experience with city life and Ben falls in love.
Is it any good?
SHORT CIRCUIT 2 takes the most charming elements of the original movie and capitalizes upon them. Johnny 5 with his mimicry of all things hip, his thirst for knowledge, and his simple goodness, is the focus. The plot, while complex enough to hold the viewer's interest, takes a back seat to the characters, their feelings, their development, and the measure of their relationships with one another. Only the overzealous assault on Johnny 5 mars the otherwise good intentions.
The filmmakers have also toned down the first film's stereotypical East Indian character and his malapropisms. It's an inventive, funny movie with fine performances.
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