Thursday, October 15, 2009

Inexplicable Movie Review: Airplane 2

I've been in an inexplicable mood lately, hence the second of these reviews in a week. Pardon my French and what not, I suppose. Anyway, similar to my review of Gremlins 2, let me talk about another sequel that doesn't get all the credit it deserves: Airplane 2.

While the original is a great film, I'd argue that the sequel is just as good, yet nobody has seen it. Most of the humor comes from two standout sequences - A courtroom scene in the early to middle portion, and the last 15 minutes, which has an incredible, and I daresay perfect, cameo. Of course, since it is an Airplane movie, there are tons of gags scattered throughout.

The courtroom scene is presided over by Raymond Burr, a.k.a. Perry Mason, and features a couple of great scenes. (The full scene can be, uh, seen here.) One is the questioning of a witness about what happened over Macho Grande. And like the first movie, there is some Jive talk. Other good portions are the questioning of Ted Stryker's psychiatrist and the calming down of a hysterical witness.

The other great scenes all deal with an incredible cameo - William freakin' Shatner. It's easier to just provide the link to the last nine minutes, which have all of his awesome scenes, and another cameo by the Starship Enterprise. It is Shatner at his over-acting best.

Other good cameos are Sonny Bono as a crazy bomber, Lloyd Bridges as air traffic controller Steve McCroskey, Peter Graves as Captain Clarence Oveur, Chuck Connors as the Sarge, Steve Stucker as a super gay air traffic controller, and Rip Torn as Bud Kruger and President Reagan.

I think the Airplane! movies maintain their humor because all of the actors are playing the material completely straight. All of the humor is derived from people acting completely oblivious to the humorous situations they're in; it is the opposite of Leslie Neilson's later, shitty spoof movies that are painfully trying to make jokes. Things are funnier when everyone is acting as if they are completely serious.

Controller #3: Get me Steve McCroskey!
Controller #2: Are you kidding? Ever since Reagan fired the air traffic controllers, he's been completely senile!
Controller #3: Yeah, but what about McCroskey?
Controller #2: About the same as Reagan.

Airplane 2 picture taken from here.

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