When I was a kid one of my favorite movies on constant rotation was “Grease.” It’s still one of the most entertaining movies I’ve ever seen, and downright spectacular adaptation of one of the most interesting stage musicals ever introduced to audiences. Upon discovering there was a “Grease 2,” I was ecstatic. Another chapter to one of the most bad ass movies ever made? It’s too good to be true. It was during the middle of the opening number to “Grease 2” that my excitement dropped down to an immediate disappointment and I struggled through what is easily one of the cheapest and worst sequels ever devised.
Of course, it’s tough to follow the act of “Grease,” but damn, you could have at least tried. Everything about “Grease 2” is cheap. The title lacks imagination, the performances are downright forgettable, and (aside from the school faculty) the only characters that return are Frenchy and Eddie Deezen as Eugene. Quite a show of continuity. Speaking of continuity, it’s made clear in the original that Frenchy had to repeat the twelfth grade since she dropped out of beauty school, and yet “Grease 2” is set two years after the first movie. So did Frenchy fail to pass three times or did she just decide to go back to school when she was twenty years old? There’s also the appearance of Leo aka Craterface, but it becomes pathetic when you realize he’s a biker likely in his twenties trying to beat up a bunch of fourteen year olds. “Grease 2” lacks many aspects that made the original film so iconic. Everything about it wreaks of the eighties, even though the film is supposed to be set in the late fifties to early sixties. And it doesn’t help that every musical number is either very forgettable, or memorable for being very bad.
I honestly can’t remember a single song in the film save for “Cool Rider.” Granted, Michelle Pfeiffer is immensely beautiful, but a singer she is not. She makes Stockard Channing seem like Whitney Houston. I can only imagine Pfeiffer’s children singing “Cool Rider” to annoy the ever loving crap out of the actress whose admitted embarrassment for this role in the past. The writers stage the sequel as a clever flip of the coin and in reality it’s just lame. This time, there’s a very proper young British student named Michael, who finds himself infatuated with Pfeiffer’s character Stephanie who is a roughneck leader of the Pink Ladies. Much like Sandy did to win over Danny, Michael begins toughening himself up to win over Stephanie. And rather than a sudden change of clothing, he takes literally the entire movie to make himself over for Stephanie. He does this by purchasing a motorcycle and learning how to ride it like Evil Knievel, and becoming a masked bike rider who appears to help the Pink Ladies and T Birds in their ongoing feud with a local biker gang who begins terrorizing them.
Hence, Stephanie begins to fall for the masked rider. Get the flip of the formula? It’s so trite, it’s nauseating. There’s also the sad fact that Maxwell Caulfield and Michelle Pfeiffer not only have zero chemistry, but also fail to muster up the charisma that Travolta and Newton John had with one another. The supporting cast also fails to register as remotely memorable, as they play nothing but background players for sub-plots that go nowhere, and a finale that never quite matches the big number in the school carnival. As a sequel to “Grease” it’s terrible, and as a musical on its own merits, it’s absolutely abysmal. “Grease 2” is a failure on every level and is one of those kitschy memories that is fondly looked back on with a smile because–like “Staying Alive” and “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”–it’s just so god awful it couldn’t possibly have existed.