Saturday, August 6, 2011

Airplane II: The Sequel

Airplane II: The Sequel; parody, USA, 1982; D: Ken Finkelman, S: Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, Peter Graves, Lloyd Bridges, William Shatner, Sonny Bono, Raymond Burr

After a shuttle crash is blamed on him, pilot Ted Striker is sent to a mental asylum. However, when he hears that the same type of deeply flawed shuttle is about fly to the moon with his ex-girlfriend Elaine, he joins the crew. The computer in co-charge of the flight malfunctions and diverts them towards the Sun, but the passengers get into panic only after they find out they are all out of coffee. Using a bomb, Striker destroys the computer and lands on the moon semi-safely, thanks to coordination of Murdock, the Commander of a lunar base.

"Airplane!" was a parody that walked on thin ice the whole time, but still managed to ignite a very high number of funny jokes. Despite the fact that almost all actors from the original were recruited and the budget was bigger, "Airplane II" simply cannot offer the originality, humor or inspiration of Part I, among others because the director is Ken Finkelman who replaced the daft Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker trio - and thus it broke the thin ice. "Airplane II" has a joke every a quarter minute - but there is a big difference between funny and lame jokes. With forced jokes, violent humor and crude ideas too dumb to pass through the story without wrecking it, this comedy is a mess that borrowed at least a dozen gags from the first film. For instance, despite bombarding us with attempts at humor, the first 20 minutes of the movie have only truly one brilliant gag: the "Rocky XXXVIII" poster featuring an old wimp. A parody is a genre that can always easily go wrong, though this is still a solid flick with a stand-out small role by William Shatner as the hilariously wacky Commander Murdock who spots "USS Enterprise" in space with his telescope.


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