and "Airplane II - The Sequel" on DVD
Shirley You Must
Airplane! set the world on its ear when it came out in 1980. It was rude,
crude, juvenile, puerile, and twisted but it was also one of the
funniest movies to have come along in quite a while.
The story is a ripoff of Arthur Haileys Flight Into Danger
in which an ex-pilot is forced to land a commercial airliner after the
crew is stricken with food poisoning, but the story is just a framework
for writer/directors David Zucker, Jerry Zucker and Jim Abrahams to attach
what has become their trademark comedy.
Robert Hays is Ted Striker, the ex-pilot with a messed up head. Julie
Hagerty is Elaine, the stewardess with whom Striker has been involved
for years, until his various problems got the best of him. Leslie Nielsen
begins his long relationship with the Zuckers/Abrahams team as the doctor
who keeps things relatively together on the ill-fated flight.
Also on hand are Lloyd Bridges, Robert Stack, Peter Graves, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
and many others in a variety of supporting roles.
You cant close your eyes for a second during Airplane! or youll
miss something funny or outrageous, like the tough guy next to Striker
during the disco flashback scene when Strikers voice over
says he was so smitten by the sight of Elaine that he had to ask the guy
next to him to pinch me to see if Im dreaming.
The movie doesnt only spoof disaster films, but many other films
(including From Here to Eternity and Saturday Night
Fever), groups, and situations.
Its so funny I thought my pants would never dry.
The DVD is in widescreen, enhanced for 16x9 TVs, with Dolby Digital
5.1 audio. Picture and sound quality are fine. Extras include a running
commentary from the team of loonies who thought up and made the movie,
accompanied by producer Jon Davison.
Airplane II the Sequel isnt up to the standard set
by the original, but its still pretty funny and does a good job
of capturing the feel of the original.
Written and directed this time by Ken Finkleman, it picks up many years
later though the characters havent aged at all. The story
revolves around the Mayflower I, the first passenger space shuttle about
to make its maiden voyage to the moon.
Unfortunately, kickbacks and cutbacks have made the ship unsafe, but
its about to blast off anyway (which is a good thing for us or wed
have no movie).
Hays and Hagerty are back as Ted and Elaine, and Bridges, Graves and
several lesser characters from the first film return as well. Newcomers
include William Shatner, Raymond Burr, Chad Everett, Sony Bono, and Chuck
The humour is a little more Jewish than the first film, but thats
okay. Besides, there are plenty of sight gags, bathroom jokes and lots
of general lunacy enough to make you forget that this isnt
a funny as the first film if you havent seen it for a while.
The DVD is in widescreen, enhanced for 16x9 TVs and the pictures
very good. Audio is only Dolby Digital mono, though the sound quality
itself is fine, all things considered.
There are no extras of which to speak.
Tell us at TechnoFile what YOU think