Saturday, May 02, 2015

Airplane II: The Sequel (1982)

Note:  This review was originally posted to my Epinions account.

One of the advantages of renting movies is the ability to see a movie and its sequel within a few weeks of each other. With Airplane 2 – The Sequel!, I felt like I was watching the same movie again. Robert Hays returns as Ted Striker, who, in this movie, was a test pilot for the Mayflower I. The Mayflower I is about to go on its maiden voyage to the moon, but Striker doesn’t think that it will make it. The shuttle is riddled with problems, such as faulty circuitry, but the mission is going ahead anyway.

Those in charge of the program had Striker committed to a mental institution, but he escapes in time to make it to the spaceport and purchase a ticket for the flight. (It was sold out months ago, but he finds a scalper willing to sell him a ticket.) Elaine, played again by Julie Hagerty, is on the flight, but she’s engaged to Simon Kurtz, played by Chad Everett. Captain Clarence Oveur is back as the pilot, but he has a new flight crew. The navigator is named Unger and the first officer is Dunn, giving us a great scene where the three of them recall the chain of command during the war. (“Well, technically, Dunn was over Unger and I was over Dunn.”)

The plot is very similar to the first movie. As I mentioned, Striker finds his way onto the flight and has to win the heart of Elaine while saving the day. He has the help of the control tower, but he winds up the hero. The movie seems to have been made simply to string the jokes together. Some of them are obvious, such as Sonny Bono going to the spaceport gift shop and actually buying a bomb. Some of them are a little more obscure. During the scene with Sonny Bono, you’ll notice a poster for Rocky XXXVIII. There’s another scene on the plane where you will probably miss a sign that reads, “UNAUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY”. William Shatner also appears in the movie as a sort of parody of his role as Captain Kirk. (There’s even a shot of the U.S.S. Enterprise flying by.)

There were no DVD extras in the version that I got from NetFlix. (It’s possible that there are other versions out there.) This means that you may be buying just the movie. If that’s the case, avoid it. It was almost like I was watching the first movie a second time. The only thing that was new was the set of jokes and gags. It’s good, but not that good. The movie gets three stars.

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