It's not so much as a sequel as it is a complete remake of Airplane, minus a few scenes and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Airplane 2 takes place in the future, Ted Striker, who was the test pilot for the new passenger space shuttle is now out of work, having been denounced as crazy, and having been sued because he crashed the space shuttle on its test flight.
As the movie opens, we see that the space shuttle is starting to experience some problems, The Sarge, played by The Rifleman himself Chuck Connors, doesn't like what he sees, but he also doesn't do anything about it. Instead, he lets management decide on whether or not the passenger space shuttle is good to take it's crew and passengers safely to the moon. Since this is the maiden voyage of The Mayflower One, no one wants to take the chance of grounding it.
Now that we have the simplified backstory, there wasn't much to this movie. Taking the cast and putting them onto a space shuttle and then retelling the story of Elaine and Ted isn't very creative. I'm sure the studio had some input on what they wanted since the first one worked so well, but the idea that they would just remake the first is actually pretty genius. Considering how many TV movies of the week and movies about airplane disaster movies there were in the Seventies and Eighties, continuing on with the Airplane franchise, instead of breaking away and making something completely different made sense.
The writers were smart in the way that they tackled the movie. Giving us a retelling of the story from Airplane! but, taking it to new levels. The scenes that worked the best in this movie were Ted Strikers day in court, Lloyd Bridges and Chuck Connors scenes together, which are magical and William Shatner's scenes.
Yes, it's a retread. However, the jokes don't get old no matter how many times you see the movie and in my opinion, one of the best jokes ever written for film is in this movie:
Prosecutor: Doctor, can you give the Court your impression of Mr. Striker?
Dr. Stone: I'm sorry. I don't do impressions. My training is in psychiatry.
If you haven't seen Airplane 2 because it was just a sequel, do yourself a favor and watch it, while it has some ok moments, the scenes that I talked about briefly, make up for the lack of creativity for the rest of the movie. Also, Sonny Bono is in it, as a terrorist.
Airplane II: The Sequel (1982)
PG | 1h 25min | Comedy, Sci-Fi | 10 December 1982 (USA)
Airplane II: The Sequel Poster
A faulty computer causes a passenger space shuttle to head straight for the Sun. Can Ted Striker save the day and get the shuttle back on track - again?
Director: Ken Finkleman
Writer: Ken Finkleman
Stars: Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, Lloyd Bridges