Lightning Review: Airplane II: The Sequel

Airplane II: The Sequel movie posterSynopsis
During the maiden voyage of the first commercial flight to the moon, a faulty computer sends the shuttle hurtling towards the sun. Ted Striker (Robert Hays), who is aboard the shuttle to win back Elaine (Julie Hagerty), must once again assume control after the captain become incapacitated.

Airplane! is one of my favorite comedies of all time. I think I have been staying away from Airplane II: The Sequel because I have heard it pales in comparison to its predecessor. After finally seeing it for myself, I would have to agree. Honestly, how could it not be? When Jim Abrahams and David and Jerry Zucker created Airplane!, they caught lightning in a bottle and that type of film is really hard to reproduce. Airplane II reuses many of the same jokes as Airplane!, which is not unusual for a comedy sequel. Many of the new jokes were either hit or miss. I did found myself laughing out loud regularly but not as many jokes hit this time. One of the best aspects about Airplane! was the rate at which the jokes flew at you. Even if one missed, they were already at the next joke and you didn’t have time to dwell on it. The jokes per second didn’t seem as high this time so if one missed, it lingered around longer. It was very self aware, making fun of itself and that it was a sequel. Plus William Shatner has a great cameo that pokes fun at science-fiction, which is priceless given his history with the genre.

I thought Airplane II: The Sequel was OK :-|. Airplane II: The Sequel has its moments but it can’t escape the big shadow of Airplane! and ends up feeling it is trying to ride a wave it can’t stay on.


Cast & Crew
Ken Finkleman – Director / Writer
Elmer Bernstein – Composer

Robert Hays – Ted Striker
Julie Hagerty – Elaine
Lloyd Bridges – McCroskey
Chuck Connors – The Sarge
Rip Torn – Kruger
Chad Everett – Simon
John Dehner – The Commisioner
Peter Graves – Captain Oveu
Kend McCord – Unger
James A. Watson, Jr. – Dunn
William Shatner – Murdock

Ultimate 80s Blogathon Wrap-Up: Airplane! (1980)

I have had such a blast hosting the Ultimate 80s Blogathon with Kim.  Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end.  Earlier today, Kim wrote her blogathon wrap-up and now it is my turn.  For my wrap-up of the blogathon, I am reviewing what is hands down one of the best comedies of all time: Airplane!.

Airplane! movie posterSynopsis
Ted Striker (Robert Hays) boards an airplane hoping to convince his girlfriend, Elaine (Julie Hagerty), to not leave him. While in the air, many of the passengers and crew get sick and it falls to Striker, an ex-fighter pilot who has become afraid of flying, to land the airplane safely.

I am honestly surprised no one chose Airplane! as their pick for the blogathon. This commonly tops many “best of” comedy lists. And for good reason. Every joke and gag lands perfectly, even after at least a dozen and a half viewings later. My friends and I are constantly spitting quotes from this film. Airplane! blends quick-fire jokes with hilarious visual gags. I wanted to include a favorite quote section in this review but it is really hard to come up with a favorite quote from the film because there are so many great ones to choose from. I’ve always known Leslie Nielsen as a comedic actor but apparently that wasn’t the case at all before Airplane!. This movie completely changed his on-screen persona. He nails every line with his deadpan delivery. The two leads, Robert Hays and Julie Hagerty, play perfectly off each other. There are a slew of cameos, many of which went over my head since I am removed from that era of Hollywood, but that doesn’t matter because they still hit their mark. The whole time writing this review I had to stop regularly because I keep laughing just by thinking about this movie.

I thought Airplane! was GREAT :-D. Airplane! is slapstick at its finest. Every joke is on point and every visual gag is sure to make your sides split. It’s incredible that a spoof written over thirty-five years ago can still garner as many laughs as it does and still constantly gain new fans. That’s the definition of timeless.

Also check out my review for Airplane II: The Sequel.


Cast & Crew
Jim Abrahams – Director / Writer
David Zucker – Director / Writer
Jerry Zucker – Director / Writer
Elmer Bernstein – Composer

Robert Hays – Ted Striker
Julie Hagerty – Elaine
Leslie Nielsen – Dr. Rumack
Lorna Patterson – Randy
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – Murdock
Lloyd Bridges – McCroskey
Peter Graves – Captain Oveur
Robert Stack – Kramer
Stephen Stucker – Johnny
Robert Stack – Rex Kramer
Barbra Billingsley – Jive Lady
Otto – Himself