by Ryan Arthur
Wildly uneven, but still occasionally amusing. It can't compare to the first, though.Two years after the first Airplane!, Airplane II had most of the original cast, but none of the original writers and directors. Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker were gone, replaced by...Ken Finkleman.
"Irony can be pretty ironic sometimes."
Who's Ken Finkleman, you ask?
He's listed as a writer for "Grease 2" and Madonna's "Who's That Girl," if that rings a bell. It's enough to send me off the deep end, how about you? No? Ah well. His work in the 90's consists of Canadian TV shows.
Anyway, on to the film. It's essentially a retread of the first (well, not essentially, it's the same movie on different sets, plus different flashback scenes), although this time it's set in space, aboard a space shuttle. Crash, death and destuction are all imminent, unless heroic pilot Ted Striker (Robert Hays) can overcome whatever obstacles are thrown his way and bring the shuttle down, and down safe. The familiar characters are there, but they've added what's becoming a staple in spoof films:
The Shatner Appearance.
At least Bill seemed to be sort of in on the joke.
Oh, and Sonny Bono plays a mad bomber. I'm sure that helped him get into Congress.
The humor's spotty here, as it always is in this type of film. Some jokes work, some don't. Some won't sink in unless there's multiple viewings, and I'm certainly not gonna advocate that. There are better movies, better spoof movies, to see. Airplane II generally lacks the wit of Z/A/Z on all fronts; you miss the first movie, warts and all, just that much more.
Worth seeing, however, is the late actor Stephen Stucker, reprising his role as the most annoying guy in the tower.Can't hold a candle to the first, although there are some funny bits. Not enough to recommend a rental, though.
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originally posted: 07/05/99 23:56:47