Tuesday, May 22, 2018
DISASTER MOVIES MONTH: Airplane II: The Sequel (1982)
Airplane II: The Sequel” crashed into theaters in 1982. The Z.A.Z. team, however, expressed no interest in returning. For years, I've always heard how mediocre and shitty “The Sequel” was without actually watching it. Now, for the first time, I sit down to watch the widely dismissed continuation.
Like many shitty sequels, “Airplane II” begins by undoing all the growth the characters went through in the first film. It's the future, the moon has been colonized, and people regularly travel between it and Earth. Ted Stryker crashed an experimental lunar shuttle, loosing his composure again, and ending his relationship with Elaine. Ted escapes the mental hospital he's in to sneak onto the space shuttle Elaine and her new boyfriend are working on. Once again, something goes wrong. The ship computer goes crazy, forcing the shell-shocked Ted and the quiet Elaine to once again save the day.
Comedy sequels are tricky. Too many are content to simply repeat gags from the previous movie. This is a habit “Airplane II: The Sequel” ritually indulges in. Some of your favorite gags from the first movie are hammered into the ground. Following up some goofy wordplay with “But that's not important right now” is drained of all its silly power. Ted's drinking, tossing a full glass into his face, is repeated lifelessly. His habit of literally talking passengers to death is reprised. The jive-talking black guy and panicking, slapped woman return, doing the exact same gags they did in the first movie. Lloyd Bridges and Peter Graves are back, performing the most minor of variations on the jokes they told before. They couldn't get Robert Stack but Chuck Conners is here to fill in a basically identical part. Even the jiggling titties show up again. Many of the original film's hits are played again, with none of the conviction or fun of the first go-around.
Herve Villechaize being cast strictly for a cheap, visual gag.
Zucker, Abraham, and Zucker have always been dismissive of “Airplane II.” They say they've never seen it and have no desire to see it. I can't say I blame them. The sequel ends by promising “Airplane III,” in a joking-but-not-really manner. While “The Sequel” was somewhat successful at the box office, making 27 million against a 15 million dollar budget, the reception was muted enough to put the kibosh on any further sequels. And thank goodness for that. “Airplane II” is a pathetic attempt to replicate the first's success, lamely copying many of the same jokes while contributing new jokes of little value. It is a worthless sequel. [4/10]
[THE DISASTER MOVIE CHECKLIST: 8 outta 10]
 Awards Bait Ballad
[X] Corrupt or Incompetent Authority Figures
 Destruction of Famous Landmarks
[X] Grim Predictions
[X] Group In-Fighting
[X] Heroic Sacrifices
[X] Massive Collateral Damage or Explosions
[X] Pets or Kids are Imperiled but Survive
[X] Romantic Couple Resolves Problems
[X] Star-Studded Cast