Plot: What’s it about?
If you’ve ever seen “Scream” then you’ll know what they think about sequals…they suck. Major League II should be the poster child for this theory. What made the first installment (and only installment as of this writing that is not avaialable on DVD) so much fun is that it was original. But, as with most every sequal, few are better or as good as their predecessors. Personally I didn’t like Austin Powers 2, but I seem to be outnumbered on that one. Every tidbit of what made the original funny is now exploited in the sequal. Even Rene Russo, who wasn’t nearly the star she is now, makes an uncredited 2 minute cameo. But we’ll find that the rest of the cast is back (and even more dropped out for Major League: Back to the Minors).
After the Indians miracle season, and we later find out that they got swept by the Chicago White Sox in the AL Playoffs, the team is different. Charlie Sheen’s Rick “Wildthing” Vaughn has lost his image as the biker who originally joined the team right out of prision. Now, he’s all dressed up, dating his agent and is trying to live the life that he wants to…or does he? Jake Taylor (Tom Berenger) tries to make it one more season with the tribe, but is cut short and made a coach by Lou Brown (James Gammon). That leads us to Pedro Cerrano (Dennis Haysbert), who has now switched from Voodoo to Buddhism. Instead of that mean person who everyone is afraid of, now he’s just the opposite–a total wuss who thinks everyone should be happy. Perhaps the most unnerving thing about Major League II is the fact that they kept a key character, Willie Mays Hays, who in the original was played by Wesley Snipes and is now played by Omar Epps. Snipes, a major star at the time this sequal was being made, wisely passed on the part. We all know it’s not him, and that’s just annoying to me.
So what is it all about? Basically it’s the exact same movie…the Indians are now overpriced and arrogant third baseman, Roger Dorn (Corbin Bernsen) has purchased the team from the old owner. Going 3-24 in spring training, it looks to be like last years Indians who can’t win anything. The fans that were so loyal in the first movie, have now been replaced by an even more annoying Randy Quaid whose on again off again commitment to the team just tends to grate on the nerves. Of course, the Indians start to turn it around, with Lou in the hospital, Jake becomes the manager of the team under the old owner Rachael (Margret Whitton). There’s also an unexplained relationship with Rick Vaughn and some schoolteacher that we really no nothing about, or really care to. While still a “Major League” movie and directed by David S. Ward (who directed the first), it has it’s moments, but overall…I’d wait for part one to come out on DVD, this is a waste of time and an insult to intellegence.
Video: How does it look?
One of the few redeeming facets of Major League II is the fact that the picture looks halfway decent. The 1.85:1 image has been enhanced for 16:9 TV’s and the image looks very good. Colors are bright and sharp and there’s really nothing to complain about, except the actual content of the movie. Hopefully “Major League” will get the same great visual treatment as it’s far inferior sequal did.
Audio: How does it sound?
The back of the keep case says “Dolby Digital 5.1 Soundtrack Remastered for Home Theaters”, and it looks like they meant it! The 5.1 soundtrack is very active and I was suprised at the amount of sub woofer effects that I heard. Dialogue is clear and the surrounds were very active, especially during the opening sequence where they do a quick rehash of the last movie. A nice job.
Supplements: What are the extras?
A trailer is included for Major League II and some other Morgan Creek movies and there are some generic photo gallery baseball cards of the players.