Short Circuit 2
|Short Circuit 2|
Promotional one-sheet poster.
|Directed by||Kenneth Johnson|
|Produced by||David Foster
|Written by||Brent Maddock
|Starring||Tim Blaney (voice)
|Music by||Charles Fox
Jim Steinman (song: "Holding Out for a Hero")
|Edited by||Conrad Buff|
|The Turman-Foster Company|
|Distributed by||TriStar Pictures|
|Running time||110 min|
|Box office||US$21,630,088 (domestic)|
Short Circuit 2 is an American 1988 comic science fiction film, the sequel to 1986's film Short Circuit. It was directed by Kenneth Johnson, and starred Fisher Stevens as Ben Jahrvi, Michael McKean as Fred Ritter, Cynthia Gibb as Sandy Banatoni, and Tim Blaney as the voice of Johnny 5 (the main character – a friendly, naive, self-aware robot). Filming for this film took place in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Benjamin Jahrvi (Fisher Stevens), is selling toy versions of Johnny 5 in New York City after learning that Skroeder was fired as security of Nova for disobeying orders, when department-store buyer Sandy Banatoni (Cynthia Gibb) orders 1,000 such toys. Ben is helped manufacturing them by con artist Fred Ritter (Michael McKean), who borrows money, hires temporary workers, and rents a warehouse, later identified as the base of operations for a small group of thieves hired by bank teller Oscar Baldwin (Jack Weston) to steal a set of jewels known as the Vanderveer Collection, worth $37,862,000. The thieves prevent Ben and Fred from completing their toys in time. Thereafter Ben's friends Stephanie and Newton send Johnny 5 to build the toys rapidly, allowing Ben to study for his U.S. citizenship test. Considering Johnny's thirst for data, Fred is sworn not to reveal their location to Johnny, believing that the robot would become over-excited. When Fred reveals their location, the robot leaves the warehouse to explore the city and inadvertently befriends Oscar himself. Fred, having learned that Johnny is worth $11,002,076.17, tries to sell the robot to a few businessmen. Upon discovering this, Johnny escapes into the city, disappointed in his inability to convince others of his sentience. Johnny is later retrieved by Ben from the police's stolen-goods warehouse, where-after Johnny encourages Ben to court Sandy. The thieves later lock Ben and Fred in the freezer of a Chinese restaurant, while Oscar persuades Johnny to finish the tunnel leading to the bank. Having discovered the Vanderveer Collection, Johnny deduces Oscar's true intentions but is pursued, then severely damaged by the thieves causing his system to go malfunction and has 2 hours for repairs. Johnny scares the thieves away with a remote controlled plane.
Ben and Fred are assisted by Sandy to escape but Ben and Sandy are captured by the police for the robbery but are released by the 2 police officers who found Johnny earlier and discovered who is the real robbery and they just captured the wrong suspects. After a long search, Fred who managed to escaped from the police finds Johnny in the alley and enables his self-repair. Enraged upon learning that while he was physically harmed, whilst Ben and Fred were simply locked away he vows for revenge stating "Sure, kidnap the humans, destroy the machine!". Johnny then proceeds to track and locate Oscar and traps his accomplices. However, Oscar himself flees and steals a boat. Johnny, now even more enraged, uses a dockside crane to capture Oscar, who is captured and deprived of the stolen Collection. The effort exhausts Johnny entirely but he is revived by Ben. Later scenes show Johnny as a celebrity, allowing Sandy, Ben, and Fred to establish a business in his image. The film concludes with Ben and Johnny becoming US citizens, which he shares with a newly restored and gold-plated Johnny. Asked about his new status, Johnny enthusiastically jumps into the air, shouting that he feels "alive!".
- Tim Blaney as the voice of Johnny 5
- Fisher Stevens as Benjamin Jahrvi
- Michael McKean as Fred Ritter
- Cynthia Gibb as Sandy Banatoni
- Jack Weston as Oscar Baldwin
- David Hemblen as Jones
- Don Lake as Manic Mike
- Ally Sheedy, who played Stephanie Speck in Short Circuit, lends her voice to one scene (uncredited).
The film received mostly mixed reviews at the time of release. It is rated 38% on Rotten Tomatoes. The NY Times Vincent Canby gave it a negative review. He wrote "For anyone over the age of 6, the film is as much fun as wearing wet sneakers."  The Washington Post gave a mixed to positive review with qualifiers "Short Circuit 2" is unabashedly mawkish and sophomoric, and the actors support the technology. But if you're a kid, or an adult with an Erector Set, you might just enjoy this summer-weight caper. Most of the positive reviews in fact were nice but accepting of the film's obvious flaws. Variety added "Mild and meek, Short Circuit 2 has an uncomplicated sweetness as a successful followup to the original robot kiddie comedy." Siskel & Ebert Having disliked the first film, gave the film "two thumbs up" and called the film "even better than the original." In a 1988 Los Angeles Times article, the review noted that "Wilson and Maddock have improved considerably here....Their construction is more deft, their dialogue is better, and they make Number Five come more alive..." Rita Kempley of the Washington Post scored the film 6/10 saying, "...[Director Kenneth] Johnson pulls heartstrings with the best of them—or the worst, if you hate that sort of thing... if you're a kid, or an adult with an Erector Set, you might just enjoy this summer-weight caper."
At the boxoffice, Short Circuit 2 disappointed landing in 7th place on it's first weekend making only $3,843,067. It went on to finish with $21,630,088. That was down almost half of what the first Short Circuit made. It ranked 45th at the U.S. Box office for 1988. 
Awards and nominations
- Honored with the Winsor McCay Award [for career achievement]
|Best Science Fiction Film||Nominated|
|Best Special Effects||Eric Allard, Jeff Jarvis||Nominated|
Short Circuit 2 was re-released on DVD on April 24, 2007, which included a "making-of featurette" on actor Fisher Stevens. In 2010, the film was released once again with alternative cover-art. A Blu-ray disc of the film was also released in April 2011, though no extras were included.
Hot Cars, Cold Facts
Hot Cars, Cold Facts, made in 1990, is a short educational film featuring the Johnny 5 character, voiced by Russell Turner. It also starred Gina Revarra as Lisa, John Hugh as Officer Dave and Donald Bishop as Howard. The film takes place after Short Circuit 2.
- "Short Circuit 2 (1988)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2010-02-06.
- "imdb.com page for Short Circuit 2". Retrieved 10 March 2010.Reference to character's name.
- Short Circuit 2 at Rotten Tomatoes
- "Short Circuit 2 - DVD". Buy.com. Retrieved 2010-02-06.
- Wilmington, Michael (1988-07-06). "MOVIE REVIEW : Number Five Comes Alive in 'Circuit 2'". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-08.
- Short Circuit 2 at the Internet Movie Database
- Short Circuit 2 at the TCM Movie Database
- Short Circuit 2 at AllMovie
- Short Circuit 2 at Rotten Tomatoes