A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Airplane II: The Sequel is the 1982 second installment from the classic parodies of 1970s airline disaster films. Although it's still laugh-out-loud hilarious, there are plenty of jokes revolving around sexual innuendo -- as well as jokes involving a priest who reads Altar Boy magazine and attempts to have oral sex with the person sitting next to him -- that make this film a better choice for mature viewers. Nothing is sacred here, and there are plenty of jokes involving sex and drugs. Comedic violence is frequent. Bare breasts are on display. Frequent profanity includes "bulls--t" and "a---hole. Also, there's frequent smoking, especially in the air traffic control room. Don't let the PG rating fool you; if released today, the movie most likely would be rated PG-13.
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What's the story?
After heroically piloting an out-of-control plane to safety, Ted Striker (Robert Hays) becomes a test pilot for a passenger space shuttle bound for the moon but is sent to a mental ward when he tries to tell everyone that the shuttle is faulty. He manages to escape the mental ward, board the shuttle (called "Mayflower 1"), and try to rescue the passengers when the computer decides it would rather pilot the shuttle to the sun. This problem is further exacerbated by a mad bomber who's determined to blow up the plane, and -- oh, yes -- the Mayflower 1 has run out of coffee.
Is it any good?
In an interesting twist, Airplane! and its sequel -- called, appropriately enough, AIRPLANE II: THE SEQUEL -- have held up better than the 1970s disaster movies they were parodying. The sight gags, puns, pratfalls, satire, and rapid-fire wit are as unrelenting in Airplane II: The Sequel as in the original. Some jokes work better than others, and some jokes haven't held up past the movie's initial 1982 release, but, on the whole, this is still a very funny comedy.
Indeed, quite a few of the jokes (references to the Moral Majority, for instance) will go over the heads of younger viewers, and some of the jokes (especially ones involving priests) will be offensive to some. Nonetheless, most teens and parents will find themselves laughing out loud more than a few times. There is absolutely nothing serious about this movie, and somehow it's managed to stand the test of time. Just don't let the PG rating fool you; if released today, the movie would be rated PG-13.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about comedy in movies. What are some of the different kinds of jokes presented throughout the movie?
What aspects of the movie seem dated, and what aspects still manage to be funny for today's audiences?
What surprised you the most about how airports (or spaceports) were conveyed in 1982?
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