Airplane II: The Sequel (1982)

Airplane II: The Sequel (1982)
 
 
 

A Sequel that gets Lost in Space

Ted, I have the strangest feeling we've been through this exact same thing before - Elaine

Lloyd Bridges as Steven McCroskey in Airplane II

It has to be said that "Airplane" is one of the greatest spoof movies ever made, it was completely daft but also amusing and it worked. Sadly "Airplane II: The Sequel" doesn't match up as it ends up rehashing pretty much everything which was so fresh and funny the first time around. It's as if the creating talents behind "Airplane", David Zucker, Jim Abrahams and Jerry Zucker had a bit of material left over and although were not connected to the sequel allowed them to use that material. So what we get is a funny original opening followed by a lame rehash of the first movie.

Some time after having battled his demons to stop a plane crashing, Ted Striker (Robert Hays) finds himself working as a test pilot for the new commercial space shuttle flights. But having folded once more during a test flight for the XR-2300 finds himself thrown back into hospital. When he learns that the faulty XR-2300 is about to launch he not only manages to escape the hospital but get himself aboard where he meets his ex Elaine (Julie Hagerty) who is not only engaged but working on the Shuttle as a stewardess. But when the XR-2300's computer malfunctions killing the crew and sending the shuttle on a collision course with the sun, Ted must once more stand up and try and save the day.

William Shatner as Cdr. Buck Murdock in Airplane II

Criticising "Airplane II: The Sequel" for lack of storyline would be a little unjust as not only do you not expect some form of cohesive narrative but also that behind all the jokes there is a slim one. I say slim because the story about a space shuttles computer going haywire sending it towards the sun is for the most over looked in favour of plying the movie with gag after gag. So nope it's not really the lack of a proper storyline which causes "Airplane II: The Sequel" to suffer.

And neither it is fair to criticise any of the performances as many of the faces and characters return to reprise their roles and do their best to make the jokes work. Unfortunately several of the supporting cast do seem like they have been brought back purely for continuity and not allowed to shine. But the main ones Robert Hays and Julie Hagerty once more deliver fun characters which manage to make you smile even when they seem uninterested in delivering the same tired joke again.

But what you can criticise "Airplane II: The Sequel" for is blatantly rehashing so much of the first movie from storyline to the jokes. It's a shame as it all starts so well with some genuinely funny gags featuring airport x-ray machines and scrolling text over the opening credits. But get about 5 maybe 10 minutes into "Airplane II: The Sequel" and it all goes horribly wrong as the originality is lost and the rest of the movie rehashes the first. It becomes a strong case of we've seen it all before and seen it a lot better.

As such it is very obvious that David Zucker, Jim Abrahams and Jerry Zucker were not connected to the sequel and is lacking in creativity because of it. I hate to say this but it feels like the studio spotted that the first movie made them a nice profit and said lets make another with no interest in whether they could fill it with new and original material. It just feels lacking in ideas and when watched soon after "Airplane" ends up being completely inferior.

What this all boils down to is that "Airplane II: The Sequel" is not a patch on the original as it ends up recycling both storyline and jokes without really bringing anything new other than the first 5 - 10 minutes. If watched on its own "Airplane II: The Sequel" probably works better than when watched soon after watching "Airplane" as watched together "Airplane II: The Sequel" ends up being weak and completely inferior.

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