Reviewer's Rating 2 out of 5  
Airplane II - The Sequel (1982)
PG

Given that the original writing and directing team behind the furiously funny "Airplane" did not want to attempt a sequel, it seems like crazy folly for Ken Finkleman to accept the job. His effort is not - on it's own merits - entirely poor, but if you've seen the original film, the gags work like leftovers that are well past their sell by date.

One of the strengths of "Airplane" was that it parodied situations and clichés recognisable from the movies and everyday life. Setting this follow-up on a passenger shuttle into space loses that vital grounding and means that the gags have to work twice as fast. They sure come as often as in the first film, but the silly wordplay is forced and tedious, and the actors mug too much for the intended deadpan to work.

There are a few moments of humour that raise a little laugh. Spoofs of "Rocky" and "ET", as well as a man actually turning to jelly work quite nicely, but the periods between these modest highlights are too boring, and allow you to really study not only the horribly cheap effects but the lousy stunt choreography too.

Thrown into this mishmash of failed jokes is a cast comprising of plenty of star cameos that are never exploited for their strengths. William Shatner is the only guest celebrity that is used for any length of time and he's woefully unfunny (unlike in "Free Enterprise"). It's certainly a shame that this film doesn't work, but the startling originality of the first film will always eclipse the spin-offs, especially such a poor effort as this.

Read a review of the DVD.

End Credits

Director: Ken Finkleman

Writer: Ken Finkleman

Stars: Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, William Shatner, Peter Graves, Chad Everett, Lloyd Bridges, Sonny Bono, Raymond Burr, Chuck Conners

Genre: Comedy

Length: 81 minutes

Cinema: 1982

DVD: 5 March 2001

Country: USA

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