Worth A Look: 13.51%
Just Average: 2.7%
Pretty Crappy: 16.22%
1 review, 68 user ratings
by Carina Hoskisson
In 1978 a small movie musical called Grease happened to storm the country and topple box office records. The whole premise of the story is that a summer romance between Sandy (Olivia Newton John) and Danny (John Travolta) fizzles when the pair is thrown into Rydell High School together. Danny, fearing his reputation would suffer; put the damper on Sandy’s desires. She spends the rest of the year trying to get his attention back. Danny is part of the hot-rodding, badass, leather clad T-Birds. Sandy tries to fit in with the Pink Ladies, the bitch on the bike equivalent to the T-Birds, who want nothing to do with her. All, as you can imagine, is well in the end. Sandy sexes herself up—and Danny decides that if Sandy’s pants are sewn on, he wants a seam ripper. Everyone (well almost) graduates from Rydell.There’s just one problem. Grease is a hit. A huge hit. What’s a producer to do? The whole cast graduated from the high school. The director, writer, choreographer, and your two stars don’t want to have anything to do with a sequel. Not even Frankie Avalon will make a return appearance.
"Almost completely unremarkable"
Well, the absence of talent, heart, script, motive or sense has never gotten in the way of a producer hell bent on “2” territory.
And so one of the most blasé, unaffecting, and boring sequels in film history is green lighted.
I’m going to try to recount the plot for you. Caution: take a No-Doze before you continue reading—and don’t operate heavy machinery.
Rydell High School is back in session. The T-Birds are back. This time they aren’t hot-rodders, they ride motorcycles, and they can’t dance. The Pink Ladies are back, but none of them are as bitchy as they were before (or as interesting.)
Milquetoast Michele Pfeiffer is Stephanie Zinone. Stephanie is supposed to be a Pink Lady with attitude. Instead Pfeiffer walks around like a lost soap star looking for a teleprompter. Stephanie just broke up with T-Bird Johnny (Adrian Zmed.) This is probably a good idea since she’s Isabeau and he’s a short angry troll.
English exchange student Michael Carrington (no relation to Alexis) arrives for his taste of Rydell American pie. When Michael gets off the bus he’s met by Frenchy (Didi Conn) who is the only returning character from the first film. Frenchy explains in an awkward transition that Michael is Sandy’s cousin. This is even more awkward because Sandy is Australian and Michael is, apparently, a cockney from London’s East End. Wait, maybe he’s from the Midlands, or maybe Cornwall. One can’t really say because his accent changes so often. Bygones.
Michael falls almost immediately for Stephanie. But he’s geeky and she’s a Pink Lady…I think you sense the enormous social chasms between them.
By this time you’ve already witnessed some sad, sad “dance numbers.” I say “dance numbers” because they should have “been performed” by people who “could dance” or at least have been “interesting in the slightest.”
Poor Michele Pfeiffer has to sing a coma-inducing solo about her fantasy, a “Cool Rider” who will someday sweep her, and her Farrah Faucet hair, off her feet. Michael watches Stephanie straddle a ladder and “ride” it like a motorcycle. So he uses the money he makes from selling history papers and buys a motorcycle so that he can be said “Cool Rider.”
A lot of things confused me about Grease 2.
Like how come, all of a sudden, the T-Birds and the Pink Ladies changed ranks completely. None of them were in the original, so it seems that immediately, upon the previous year's graduation, an entirely new set of people become T-Birds and Pink Ladies. Does this happen every year? Leap Years? Did an energy crisis or lack of spare car parts drive the T-Birds from hot-rodding to motorcycles?
How come Frenchy, who was one of the Pink Ladies, still wears her pink jacket but never actually talks to any of the new pink ladies, who seem unaware of her existence. In fact, the only person who ever talks to Frenchy is Michael. Does Michael see dead people? Are Frenchy and Michael in some kind of Drop Dead Fred parallel universe? Why is Frenchy in high school at all? Didn't she drop out?
When Michael finally takes Stephanie on his motorcycle into the sunset why does he speak in an American accent?
Why are all the extras dressed in hair and costume like the 50’s while Michele Pfeiffer wanders around looking like she should be on Knots Landing?
Why, in the name of all things holy, did someone write a song called “Reproduction” and then have 30 year old people dressed in 50’s costumes sing about reproduction in a choreographed number set in a high school Biology room? A girl in a poodle skirt actually sings/flails the line “make my stamen go berserk.”
Someone actually cast Lorna Luft in a movie? Is Lorna Luft really the only highlight of this movie?
And then I realized...this is what happens when a studio just wants to make money off a name. Throw integrity and talent out the window and Grease 2 is exactly what you get. A thoroughly banal, tedious, insipid, and boring package that deservedly failed at the box office. The worst part about Grease 2 is that the lesson has not been learned. Producers and studios still make monotonous sequels to varying degrees of success (Speed 2 I’m looking your way.) We have to suffer this repeated dismal dreck in the name of entertainment.Do yourself a favor, when Grease 2 runs on basic cable, watch a Ronco Rotisserie infomercial instead and you might actually be entertained.
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originally posted: 08/17/03 23:42:50