Airplane II: The Sequel (1982)
Following on from the big success of Airplane!, it seemed a sensible idea to do a sequel as soon as possible. The writers and directors of the first film were not involved (having gone on to work on the Police Squad! series with Leslie Nielsen, who had really impressed), but most of the cast did return to play their roles again. The plot was rather similar, but this time taken to the extreme, being as surreal and amusing as ever.
This means that Ted Striker is back! And this also means that once again something rather ludicrous is about to happen. Set some time in the near future, Mayflower 1, the first lunar shuttle, is about to travel to the moon, but there are some problems. Ted is still having flashbacks about what happened during the war, the shuttle is about to self-destruct, the computer has developed a mind of its own, everything’s overheated, and none of the engines are working.
Doing it once was tough enough, but can Ted come to the rescue for a second time and prevent a rather horrid disaster somewhere in space? Oh, and there’s a bomb on board too, that doesn’t really help things. I wonder what’ll happen next. After plenty of tension, Ted does manage to save the day, much to the relief of everyone, well done, that was textbook. A very impressed Elaine goes on to marry Ted.
This was one of those films where a lot was happening, with jokes packed in everywhere, and you had to keep an eye on what was happening in the background too. Among the bizarre jokes that I liked were Scraps the dog’s heroics, a parody of Jeopardy! with the original host Art Fleming, and the gaffer in the credits had an additional “what’s a gaffer?”.
I was also amused when Ted walked past a singer, the first time I saw this I didn’t know who he was or what the joke was exactly, but it was so random as the teenagers say (about 15 years ago) that it just made me laugh. Maybe it made sense at the time (it turns out that it was lounge singer Jack Jones’s performance of the theme to The Love Boat), but that’s not important right now.
Airplane II: The Sequel wasn’t as well received as the first film, which was always going to be a tough act to follow, indeed there wasn’t even a gushing “the funniest film ever made!”-type quote on the cover of the DVD box, and it was probably a good idea that they stopped here, but there was still plenty to enjoy. There are no extras as such, apart from scene selection, and the dialogue dubbed into German, how fancy.