POP GOES THE DECADE- A totally rad look back at the glorious 80's and all the flicks, fashions, tunes, and TV shows that made the decade so cool and memorable in the first place. Like, for sure!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

GREASE 2


     "Grease" was a huge smash in 1978 and made John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John household names.  So it was inevitable that a sequel would follow.  "Grease 2" would mark a return to Rydell High two years after our original gang has graduated, and would have an all-new cast this time around.  Choreographer Patricia Birch (from the first film) returned this time, and also directed the film.  






"Grease 2" has unfairly taken a lot of abuse over the years.  It's been called pretty much everything in the book, and is basically considered a terrible movie all around.  It follows the same formula as the original, and while it cannot boast the presence and chemistry of John and Olivia, I honestly find "Grease 2" more entertaining than the original...  Sure, there are faults with the film-but obviously a lot of ambition went into the making of "Grease 2", and despite its major flaws, there is just something so lovable about this movie.  Or maybe it could just be me.  But it's not because I've talked to others who love it as well...


     Seems not much has changed at old Rydell High.  The T-Birds and Pink Ladies still rule the school, of course.   Miss McGee and Blanche are still terrorized by the student body, but this year we have a new student attending.  Michael Carrington, (played by the criminally sexy Maxwell Caulfield) is actually the cousin of Sandy from the first film and has just arrived from England (!).  Didi Conn returns as lovable Frenchy, who's back at Rydell to get her chemistry degree to open her own line of cosmetics.  



     Johnny (Adrian Zmed) leads the T-Birds this time around, while Stephanie (Michelle Pfeiffer) is the head of the Pink Ladies.  Seems Steph comes back from summer vacation realizing she's just tired of "belonging" to a T-Bird and wants more out of life- mainly a hot, studly biker God in black leather.  Michael falls head over heels in love with Stephanie, and while Frenchy warns him that she's T-Bird property and unless he's one himself, then she's strictly off-limits.  So of course Michael starts taking bike lessons in an attempt to win over the elusive Stephanie.  And who needs a school dance this time around?  Why not switch it up with a nifty luau to celebrate the end of school!   Yay!


     Technically, there are many flaws with "Grease 2".  For one, although the film is supposed to take place in 1961, the entire production screams the early 80's.  Many of the songs and numbers are cringe-worthy, especially those involving Adrian Zmed, who mercilessly hams it up in every scene he's in.  This time around, the T-Birds are actually quite wimpy, having nowhere near the balls and bravado of the original Birds.  Having said all that, there are some great songs and numbers in "Grease 2".  The opening number, "Back To School Again" by the Four Tops, is actually irresistible and put together quite well.  Other highlights include the smashing bowling alley number "Score Tonight", "Who's That Guy?", "Cool Rider", "Girl For All Seasons", and "Love Will Turn Back the Hands of Time".  
     I grew up watching both of the "Grease" films, and I have to say it's hard to defend "Grease 2" today.   Even though I know that the original "Grease" is light years better in technical terms, I still shamelessly find the sequel more entertaining.  Back in 1983 this shit was like crack cocaine to us- it was powerfully addictive.    Campy kitsch at its best, and we all know it.  But you would be surprised at how many devoted and faithful fans are out there- it's in the thousands.  And it's a mixed bag of fans as well- male, female, gay, straight- there is simply something about this movie that stuck with people.  "Grease 2" has become known as a strangely appealing but really bad sequel, and seems to gather more and more fans every year.  If you go into it without trying to compare the two, you might enjoy it more, perhaps.  You might not enjoy it at all.  But there are lots of us out there who can always curl up to this one on a rainy day and know every word by heart.  And yes, I own the soundtrack.  Here's a taste of the wonder that is "Grease 2"...








1 comment:

  1. Awesome blog entry! :D It's great to hear I'm not the only one who loves Grease 2! I'd have to say Cool Rider is my favorite song from there! I grew up watching both Grease movies and I feel they're both wonderful in their own ways! :D

    ReplyDelete