Where other jokes have gone before

Written on 29 Oct, 2022

How long a gap was it between watching Airplane II this week and my last viewing? 20 Years, 25? I remember it being a decently funny film, but not in the same league as Airplane (which is regularly voted one of the funniest film ever made).

Upon watching Airplane II it quickly became apparent that memories are not always reliable and the past is often rose-tinted. It’s not a great film, it’s not even a good film. It does have moments of funny but not enough.

Too many jokes are rehashed from Airplane, and those that are original often rely on cheap innuendo or are telegraphed too far in advance.

It’s only when William Shatner turns up that the film starts to improve. Shatner has a good ear for comedy and dead-pan delivery. He has a bad habit of turning even straight roles into comedy with his unique approach to delivery (especially some of his Kirk performances), however in Airplane II he shines.

Clearly riffing on his Kirk role, and more general sci-fi tropes, he delivers a wonderfully knowing performance that lets the audience share the joke.

Sadly his cameo came too late for me. Specifically too late in the evening, as I was tired. I didn’t make it to the end of the film. I might go back and try again, but I’ll probably start from when Shatner appears on screen and ignore the rest.