Airplane II: The Sequel (1982)

airplane ii the sequel poster 1982 movie
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 7/10

Some good jokes, good cast

Recycles jokes, not as original, not as funny

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Airplane II:  The Sequel

Studio:  Paramount Pictures

Genre(s):  Comedy

Release Date(s):  December 10, 1982

MPAA Rating:  PG


Ever feel like life is repeating itself?

It’s the future, and a commercial shuttle is headed to the moon.  Ted Striker (Robert Hays) has warned that the Mayflower One isn’t ready to make the trip…leading to his institutionalization.  Ted’s escaped and finds himself onboard the shuttle trying to win the heart of Elaine (Julie Hagerty) from Simon Kurtz (Chad Everett).  When the shuttle’s computer shuts down, Ted must find a way to safely land the shuttle on the moon…but an additional threat of a passenger (Sonny Bono) with a bomb could mean death for everyone on board.

Directed by Ken Finkleman, Airplane II:  The Sequel is the follow-up to the comedy spoof hit Airplane! from 1980.  Known overseas often as Flying High II:  The Sequel, the movie was met with much less favorable reviews and did not feature the original writing team from Airplane!


One way to enjoy Airplane II: The Sequel

I have a hard time separating Airplane! and Airplane II.  When I was young we had borrowed a VHS copy from my aunt who had taped it off HBO.  I watched both movies over and over again until they blended into one film.

I can recognize that Airplane II isn’t as sharp as Airplane!  It reuses many of the jokes and some of the players.  It just doesn’t have the punch of the original, but I can forgive it.  This is one of those cases of just seeing a movie at the right time.  Rewatching the movie, I can recognize a lot of its faults, but I still can’t hate it.


There’s always room for Jell-O!

The cast of the movie is good, but not as strong as the original film.  The movie loses Leslie Nielsen but gains more character actors.  There are lots of cameos from people like Raymond Burr, Rip Torn, John Vernon, George Wendt, Pat Sajak, Herve Villechaize, Chuck Connors, and the kid from Poltergeist Oliver Robins, but it just doesn’t match the original cast.  You get William Shatner stepping in as another former war buddy of Hays and Sonny Bono as a terrorist passenger for jokes (which I probably couldn’t be done now due to the climate post 9-11).

The visuals don’t really evolve and the movie looks cheaper than the original movie despite a bigger budget.  The decision to move it to space is ok for laughs, but doesn’t really change up the story much, nor provide many new jokes.

Airplane II:  The Sequel probably won’t wow new viewers.  For me it is like revisiting an old friend…you might still be friends, but it isn’t the same as when you were young.  With the relatively success of the movie, I’m surprised that the Airplane franchise didn’t continue.  With the laziness of today’s Hollywood, we’ll probably see an Airplane relaunch or sequel.

Related Links:

Airplane! (1980)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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