Sheen's in a Tug of War
There is an unwritten rule that most sequels to spoof movies suck, they suck because the best jokes are used in the first movie and the second movie is usually just a case of recycling the humour from the first with just a smattering of new gags thrown in for good measure. There are exceptions to this rule and "Hot Shots! Part Deux" is one of them and that is because whilst we have returning characters we have an abundance of new humour, new movies to spoof and just a couple of jokes carried over. In fact "Hot Shots! Part Deux" is almost as good as "Hot Shots!" only suffering because towards the end it seems to struggle to not be repetitive.
When a rescue mission, to rescue the last rescue team, who went to rescue the last rescue team who went into Iraq to rescue hostages goes wrong the CIA go looking for Topper Harley (Charlie Sheen - Men at Work). Having retired to a life working in a monastery and fighting as a pastime he is persuaded to help when his old friend Col. Denton Walters (Richard Crenna - Body Heat) ends up one of those who end up a hostage. But Topper is still struggling to get over Ramada (Valeria Golino - Rain Man) who left him standing at a train station after they fell in love.
So where as in "Hot Shots!" we had "Top Gun" at the centre of the humour this time around we have the "Rambo" movies. That one fact is part of the reason why this sequel works because the "Rambo" story is recognizable, the characters and scenes it mickey takes are well known and with Richard Crenna actually sending up his own character from the "Rambo" series it has that little extra kudos. Of course it's not just "Rambo" which gets spoofed, there is an amusing take on "Kickboxer" as Topper fights in an ancient form of martial arts, hands bound and in his case cover in sweets. Plus there is a wonderful scene which draws on "Apocalypse Now" and allows for an amusing interchange between Charlie Sheen and his father Martin.
Because the writers found very different movies to what they ripped to shreds the first time around "Hot Shots! Part Deux" never feels like a rehash of "Hot Shots!". And because of these new movies there are a lot of different jokes which somehow even manage to drawn on such movies as "Lady and the Tramp". Of course to provide a continuation there is some humour which does appear in both movies most notably Lloyd Bridges as Tug Benson and his body destroyed and replaced over several military campaigns. The only trouble is that by the time "Hot Shots! Part Deux" hits the final 20 minutes it seems to be struggling for new material and so some of the jokes end up being repeated.
Of course one of the most memorable things about "Hot Shots! Part Deux" is the sheer physique of Charlie Sheen, man did he bulk up for this role. In fact Sheen looks so muscular and toned that scenes which feature him firing a machine gun look like it could be Stallone standing there, especially with the shaggy hair thing going on. But again Sheen's performance is also comically good from puzzled looks to dead pan delivery it makes you realise how good he was with the right material. Sheen is not alone and again Lloyd Bridges is a lot of fun as Tug as are all the actors who play various characters with Valeria Golino once again being very sexy as Ramada.
The thing about both "Hot Shots!" and "Hot Shots! Part Deux" is they get the humour right, it intelligent spoofing of other movies rather than just going for lowest denominator fart gags. But it is also because for every gag going on in the foreground there is usually something funny going on in the background such as tap dancing Monks, or the chant for Gummi Bears when Topper is deciding what to dip his hands in during the martial arts fight.
What this all boils down to is that basically "Hot Shots! Part Deux" is almost as much fun as "Hot Shots!" and that comes down to not only more intelligent humour but different movies to spoof meaning different gags and very little repetition. Plus of course it's hard to forget "Hot Shots! Part Deux" purely because of the amazing shape Charlie Sheen was in, looking like the younger brother of Rambo.