Paramount Studios presents
Airplane II: The Sequel (1982)
"Ted, I have the strangest feeling we've been through the exact same thing before."- Elaine Dickenson (Julie Hagerty)
Stars: Julie Hagerty, Robert Hays
Other Stars: Chad Everett, Chuck Connors, Peter Graves, Lloyd Bridges, Pat Sajak, Art Fleming,Sonny Bono, William Shatner, Raymond Burr, Rip Torn, John Dehner, Kent McCord, John Vernon,Al White, Leslie Nielsen
Director: Ken Finkleman
MPAA Rating: PG for (brief nudity, language, sexual humor)
Run Time: 01h:24m:03s
Release Date: 2000-10-24
DVD ReviewThe original Airplane was one of the biggest comedy hits of the 1980s. This of course meantthat a sequel was inevitable. In order to better recapture the magic, the sequel recycles the same gagsfrom the original, this time in a setting of the space shuttle out of control.
Julie Hagerty returns as Elaine Dickenson, the stewardess from the original. She has now becomea computer specialist aboard the first passenger shuttle to the moon. Ted Striker (Robert Hays) hasbeen framed and committed for problems with the test flight of the shuttle. When Ted hears that theshuttle is about to take off, he escapes the madhouse and gets aboard the shuttle (buying his ticketfrom a scalper in the airport). From there, the crew is inevitably incapacitated, leaving Striker andDickenson to keep the shuttle from flying into the sun. As if that weren't enough, the supercomputerR.O.K. overheats and won't allow manual override, and Joe Salucci (Sonny Bono) is carrying a bombon board in order to allow his wife to collect the insurance. Backing Striker up are McCloskey(Lloyd Bridges) and Sarge (Chuck Connors) on earth and Buck Murdock (William Shatner) on AlphaBeta base on the moon.
As in the original, puns and visual gags run rampant. We also get silly running gag exchanges suchas "I have a question."
"What is it?
"An interrogative statement seeking information. But that's not important now." Along the wayof skewering the cliches of the Airport genre, the film makes fun of a great many sciencefiction films, such as 2001 (the mad supercomputer, as well as a very funny bit with twocrew members ejected from the shuttle floating to the tune of the Blue Danube waltz), E.T.(a somewhat predictable "Phone home" joke) and Star Wars, where the openingcrawl metamorphoses into a seamy trash novel. Television isn't safe either, as BattlestarGalactica and Mission Impossible get the same treatment.
The cast, again in the Airport mold, is full of character actors and cameos. Bridges andConnors satirize their usual tough guy roles glibly. William Shatner turns in a funny performance asthe completely clueless commander of the moon base. Peter Graves is present only briefly, but getsto inquire about whether Jimmy likes it when his dog Scraps holds onto his leg and rubs up and down,instead of gladiator movies. Stephen Stucker happily returns as Jacobs, who functions as a witty andsardonic chorus. One of the biggest laughs comes with Al White, who appears as a court witnessspeaking a dense jive, translated into Honky with burned-in subtitles. Thankfully Paramount hasn'tsuccumbed to the recent rash of studios deleting such subtitles and destroying the jokes.
Watching the two films in quick succession is a guarantee for boredom; the same gags and situationsare repeated to the point of being ridiculous. Either one of the Airplane films is pretty good,but both of them are repetitive to an extreme. Some of the humor is quite dated, such as jokes about Ronald Reagan and references to firing the air traffic controllers in 1981 which will no doubt go over the heads of many now. However, the film does hold up surprisingly well after all these years. Certainly I was laughing regularly throughout it. I can't resist such material as this:
McCloskey: Jacobs, I want to know absolutely everything that's happened so far.
Jacobs: Well, let's see. First, the earth cooled, and then the dinosaurs came. But they got too big and fat, so they all died and they turned into oil. And then the Arabs came, and they bought Mercedes Benzes. And Prince Charles started wearing Princess Di's dresses....
There is a brief moment of nudity and a fair amountof sexual humor that would probably garner the film an R rating if it were submitted to the MPAAtoday, though Airplane II earned a PG on its original release.
Rating for Style: B-
Rating for Substance: B
|Aspect Ratio||1.85:1 - Widescreen|
|Original Aspect Ratio||yes|
Image Transfer Review: Paramount does it again with another beautiful anamorphictransfer of a film that's nearly 20 years old. Blacks are rich and dark, colors are natural and shadowdetail is excellent. No artifacting or edge enhancement is visible. I detected zero source printdamage. Overall, a surprisingly good viewing experience.
Image Transfer Grade: A
Audio Transfer Review: The sound is a 2.0 mono, supplied in both French and English. The dialogue comes through clearly,without distortion, and the music sounds equally good. Hiss is minimal and noise is nonexistent. Thisis a perfectly serviceable audio track.
Audio Transfer Grade: B
Disc ExtrasStatic menu
Scene Access with 15 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
Extras Review: Squat. There are subtitles, and the chaptering is adequate. But that's it forextras.
Extras Grade: D-
Final CommentsEither of the Airplane films is worth owning, but both of themis probably excessive. A very nice transfer, though the disc is completely lacking in extras. Definitely worth a rental if you have a taste for visual and verbal humor.
Mark Zimmer 2000-10-18