Year 2, Day 100 - 4/10/10 - Movie #465
BEFORE: This sequel is shorter than the original by a considerable margin - hopefully it's a bit more exciting, as well.
THE PLOT: A 747 in flight collides with a small plane, and somehow the control tower must get a pilot aboard so the jet can land.
AFTER: Now THIS is more like it - actual action actually taking place! The special effects are markedly better, but there's still a lot of that cheezy rear-projection going on...
Though this is the film that "Airplane" was mostly ripping off - you've got the stewardess forced to try and fly the plane, the injured pilot, the substitute pilot, the sick girl being transported to her kidney transplant, and a bunch of people on the ground yelling at each other and overacting while trying to fix the disaster in the air.
It's interesting to see so many staples of the 1970's - Charlton Heston rocking a turtleneck sweater, passengers smoking and drinking boilermakers on the plane, and the use of the term "stewardess" instead of "flight attendant". And what's with the girl being transported to her transplant operation - was this before doctors figured out that it was easier to ship the kidney than the recipient? It just seems ill-advised...
And see, now I've got my proof - it's possible for a little plane to hit a bigger plane and cripple it! Now I've got that worry to look forward to on my next trip... But fortunately, the plane should be full of Comic-Con geeks who grew up playing the Flight Simulator game, so they should be at least better at flying the plane than an untrained stewardess.
George Kennedy's Joe Patroni carries over from the first film, I think he's the only constant in the series - but this time his wife and son are aboard the plane, so he's personally involved in getting a pilot aboard to fly and land the plane. It's a longshot move - but it's the only one he's got!
Also starring Karen Black, Susan Clark, Linda Blair, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Gloria Swanson (as Gloria Swanson!), Sid Caesar, Myrna Loy, Helen Reddy and the classic sitcom triumvirate of Jerry Stiller ("Seinfeld"), Norman Fell ("Three's Company") and Conrad Janis ("Mork & Mindy") Oh, wait, I almost forgot Erik Estrada and Larry Storch (what is this, the Love Boat?)
RATING: 5 out of 10 oxygen masks