Grease 2, the follow-up to Grease, marks its 40th anniversary this year by making its arrival on Blu-ray for the first time.
Nearly four years after the first film became a worldwide phenomenon, the sequel landed with quite the thud. Grossing $15 million against an $11 production budget made it quite the letdown to say the least. Not even the critics were kind. When Coach Calhoun (Sid Caesar) yelled about yanking, tearing, ripping, and slaughtering the opponents in Grease, he could have been yelling about the critical reaction to this film.
When a film is a massive success, a sequel more or less is inevitable. However. this is one of the worst sequels I’ve ever seen. For all the crap that Attack of the Clones gets, the awfulness of this film does not even come close. There’s no going behind the scenes on the bonus features because, like the DVD, they do not exist. The only good thing about this film is that Michelle Pfeiffer, Adrian Zmed, and Christopher McDonald were able to have a career in Hollywood. That’s about the only good things I can say about this wretched mess of a movie. Maxwell Caufield was basically in actor jail for the next decade because this film was a massive failure. There ought to be a study in the difference in Pfeiffer and Caufield’s careers after this film.
Michelle Pfeiffer and Maxwell Caulfield lead the cast as we return to Rydell High for the 1961-62 school year. Pfeiffer is the Pink Ladies leader, Stephanie Zinone and she’s looking for a “Cool Rider.” Meanwhile, Caufield is Michael Carrington and this ought to come as no shock but he’s Sandy’s cousin. It’s too funny because gender-flipping aside, he’s basically playing the same role. If you’re looking for any of the main cast reprising their roles, you won’t have much luck. Didi Conn reprises her role as Frenchy but that’s about it aside from the faculty and staff. Hell, the creativity must have had a problem because Dick Patterson returns for the film but plays a character by a different name. They thought they’d get away with this nonsense?!?
Screenwriter Ken Finkleman must have been the go-to writer for unwanted sequels at Paramount. Well, the sequels where the original filmmakers want nothing to do with it! At the same time he’s penning this mess, he’s also having to write and direct Airplane II: The Sequel. If the original filmmakers opt against returning, take it as a sign! Not everything needs to have a sequel. This film feels like one of the Direct-DVD spin-off sequels of American Pie because none of the main leads reprise their roles. Hell, the original sequel ideas are jaw-dropping.
Grease 2 might have catchy tunes that are few and far between but at the end of the day, it’s just a gender-flipped remake of the predecessor and can’t capture the same magic.
DIRECTOR: Patricia Birch
SCREENWRITER: Ken Finkleman
CAST: Maxwell Caulfield, Michelle Pfeiffer, Adrian Zmed, Lorna Luft, and Didi Conn
SPECIAL APPEARANCES BY: Eve Arden, Sid Caesar, Dody Goodman, Tab Hunter, Connie Stevens
Paramount released Grease 2 in theaters on June 11, 1982. Grade: 2/5
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