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Awesome: 10.34%
Worth A Look: 6.9%
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Pretty Crappy: 34.48%

1 review, 23 user ratings

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Caddyshack II
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by Jack Sommersby

"A Slice into the Woods"
2 stars

If this hadn't been a sequel to one of cinema's most revered classics it probably wouldn't have received quite as much scorn. But it's still problematic in more than a few areas.

Contrary to the vast majority of reports, the ill-advised Caddyshack II isn’t an all-out atrocity. Granted, it’s sophomoric and adorned with all the technical skill of an awful avant-garde stage show, but it goes down easily enough on an undemanding level, rendering it a failure, yes, but not one without a few merits. No one would ever accuse the 1980 original of being anything but ramshackle, and it had its dead spots, but accumulatively it was all of a piece – it got the job done. There, Rodney Dangerfield’s uncouth self-made-millionaire of a real-estate developer caused hilarious ruckus at the snobbish Bushwood country club: the guest of a club member, with his loud clothes and brazen demeanor, his Al Czervik had zero regard for the club’s priggish airs. In his first screen performance, Dangerfield was the life of the party and gave the movie a great deal of energy – you never knew what this jackanapes of an uncensored loudmouth would do or say next. Mind you, Chevy Chase and Bill Murray and Ted Knight were all given a chance to shine (and they did, spectacularly so), yet when you walked out of the theater it was Dangerfield who stuck in your mind, whose perfectly-delivered lines people have been quoting for years. This time around, a New York comic named Jackie Mason serves the same function as Dangerfield, even playing basically the same character: that of wealthy developer Jack Hartounian who was brought up poor and makes life miserable for the Bushwood stiffs who, as it turns out, are suing him over a low-income apartment complex he’s building the next property over. (“There’s no money in it,” Jack admits, “but I sleep well at night.”) Jack has absolutely no desire to become a member, but his class-conscious daughter, who’s best friends with her former college roommate whose father is the director of the club, wants to “fit in,” and wants her father to, as well. For a while, Jackie Mason takes some getting used to. In fact, at first I thought him criminally untalented in the way his line deliveries seemed too clipped and rushed, as if he were high on speed performing on a stage rather than in front of the camera, and not in an especially appealing way. And because he doesn’t have the most flattering face in the world – it looks scrunched, like a three-hundred-pound biker had clobbered him on top of the head – his presence and persona leave a lot to be desired. Mason, like Dangerfield, has previous experience in nightclubs, but Dangerfield has some semblances of stylization (not much, but it’s there) whereas the rat-a-tat Mason is devoid of variance, so you have to take everything he does on basically the same level. But, miraculously, he managed to win me over. His scenes with the daughter bring out something warm in him in much the same way the parental scenes in Back to School did with Dangerfield; and when the altruistic Jack is turned down flat for membership not just because of his behavior and clothes but his unmistakable Jewishness, Mason has some genuine human dimension without overemphasizing Jack’s sense of righteousness (something many a trained actor has been guilty of). Dangerfield may have been the standout throughout the original, but Mason, when he's finally able to relax, gets the job done about three-fifths of the time, and that’s not bad.

And it’s a good thing we have Mason to fall back on, because most of the rest of the cast fail to tickle our funny bones, mostly because they haven’t been given a whole lot of good lines, as opposed to the original whose performers in addition to Dangerfield were given a cluster of them, even the non-comedic actors Michael O’Keefe and Scott Colomby. This especially goes for Randy Quaid, who plays Jack’s hyper, in-your-face lawyer in such a grating broad manner that there’s not a moment when I was glad to see him – someone should’ve told him shouting and bulging his eyes and whipping his arms around in semaphores and doing more rotten-cherry-on-top shouting aren’t the wisest choices an actor can make. (He’s so quintessentially broad he even manages to stick out in this broadest-of-comedies.) Dan Aykroyd, as the assassin the Bushwood members hire to take out Jack after he’s bought out the majority of the club’s stock and remade the place into an amusement park open to the public, speaks in such an ultra-high-pitched voice, as if this would automatically would be a laugh riot, that it’s probably the worst acting he’s ever done, and that’s even taking into account the horrid Doctor Detroit. Luckily, Chevy Chase chose to return for a few scenes, and while his lines aren’t much better than anyone else’s, his acute timing and alert reserve make them play much better than they ordinarily would with a lesser talent --when his playboy golf ace Ty Webb intentionally uses smutty come-ons to a group of women, with the best of them “Have you ever seen a crisp fifty-dollar bill?” I freely admit to almost busting a gut. Dyan Cannon, as Jack’s blonde-bombshell of a love interest (yeah, right), and Jonathan Silverman, as Jack’s daughter’s love interest (at least he matches up well with his co-star), have proved themselves capable of comedy before but are wasted here, and that includes the well-known black-comedy actor/writer/director Paul Bartel (having done a slew of low-budget pictures, I guess a paycheck in a major studio project was just too good to pass up). The scattershot screenplay is credited to Harold Ramis, who co-wrote the original, and Pj Torokvei, who co-wrote the John Candy/Eugene Levy Armed and Dangerous, is an uneven concoction of desperate gags that coalesce as organically as darts on a board thrown by a blindfolded drunk. The classic dining-banquet scene in the original is weakly redone with Mason and Cannon making a spectacle of themselves on the dance floor with moves that are supposed to be bawdy but are banal instead. A sequence where the snobs are purchased by Jack at a charity auction and are made to toil heavily at his construction site isn’t pointed up at all. And the climactic golf tournament is as by-the-numbers as you can get. Even the mischievous Mr. Gopher hasn’t anything remotely amusing to do. The director, Allan Arkush, did well with the bright Roger Corman production Rock ‘n’ Roll High School but floundered with the dim Andy Kaufman Heartbeeps, hasn’t a penchant for shaping individual scenes for a visual payoff, and the staging is specious, as if having been done by an autistic school-crossing guard. Arkush did have the good sense to bring on board Blake Edwards’ veteran cinematographer Harry Stradling, whose boisterous lighting here gives the production a veneer of class it in no way deserves. For all its dying-to-please aspirations, Caddyshack II may not deserve to wind up in a sand trap, but it’s far from a hole-in-one. Call it a couple of birdies, at best.

A box office dud, grossing only just under $12 million off a $20 million budget.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=2682&reviewer=327
originally posted: 11/12/18 15:37:04
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User Comments

4/05/12 SEAN DUTRA disgracefu. one of the worst sequels ever 1 stars
4/03/06 JRE ewwwwwwwwwwww!!!!!! an utter disgrace of the original. not funny. thumbs way down :( 1 stars
4/13/05 Cassander Sucked beyond belief 1 stars
2/14/05 Jeff Anderson Mason is no match for Dangerfield in this ASS-KISSING JOKE OF A SEQUEL! Nobody IS FUNNY!!!! 1 stars
9/01/04 A upton Yuck 1 stars
4/06/03 Atanu Excruciatingly unfunny. hated everyone on it. 1 stars
3/21/03 Jack Sommersby Some scattered laughs, but they're few and way far between. 2 stars
10/14/02 Charles Tatum I want to take a nine iron upside the heads of all involved 1 stars
6/07/02 BigGun This film sucks big fat donkey dicks!! 1 stars
8/20/01 C.B The Scarecrow does not know what the 1st Ammendment means! It means Freedom of Speech! 5 stars
8/06/01 Mr. Hat (formerly Joe Zappa) It was fun,but w/o Rodney & Bill & only a little of Chevy, Aykroyd & Quaid must save the it 4 stars
7/05/01 Mister Robinson this film would have been more funnier had it had Dangerfield again, but it still sucks. 1 stars
6/28/01 C.C. this film sucks dick 1 stars
6/09/01 Kool-Aid this film isn't as good as the first one, but I still have to give it 4 stars. 4 stars
6/07/01 The Scarecrow Chevy murray and James Holbrook have no taste in films what so ever!! This sucks! 1 stars
6/06/01 James Holbrook This film is a good deal funnier than the first one. 5 stars
5/30/01 Chevy Murray Best piece of pure cinematography EVER!! 5 stars
3/28/01 Andrew Carden No plot, just some scattershots jokes that never work. 2 stars
2/05/01 Classicdog This movie is crap, bad sequal. Does'nt even come close to the original masterpiece. 2 stars
12/23/00 Marc Lookout Abysmal. At one time, I actually wanted to harm anyone involved with this movie. 1 stars
12/05/00 AtlantaBill Oh my fucking God! This movie is an absolute steaming pile of shit...FUCK YOU Jackie Mason 1 stars
7/22/00 Tyler Peterson You can't enjoy a sequel to a movie that sucked in the first place. 1 stars
12/30/99 JussMatt They just couldn't leave well enough alone! Just watch the first and ignore this crap!! 2 stars
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  02-Sep-1988 (PG-13)



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