Grease 2 (1982)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Grease 2</strong> (1982)

(In French, On Cable TV, February 2019) I know that Grease 2 has a terrible reputation (upon release, it bombed so hard that it killed off its male lead Maxwell Caulfield’s career for years), but watching it now doesn’t seem like a terrible experience. Of course, I ended up watching both movies at more than a decade’s interval (is this unique? Both movies came out four years apart, and nowadays most people wanting to watch the sequel would do it soon after seeing the first one) and that probably helped a lot in erasing the comparison factor between this mediocre entry and its far better-received prequel. At best, it’s a bubblegum high school musical going back to the early sixties (but really the late fifties) for harmless teenage antics. A young Kim Basinger is quite good in the lead role, her slightly grumpy attitude doing much to make it fun. It’s also fascinating, as a cinephile, to see a film act as a bridge between newer stars such as Basinger or Christopher MacDonald, and veteran actors of yore such as Tab Hunter. As with many musicals, the best numbers come early on, with “Back to School Again” effortlessly introducing most of the cast, and “Score Tonight” wringing the most out of its bowling alley setting. The songs may not be the pop-culture hits of the original, but the dance choreography remains pretty good. No, Grease 2 is not the original. But when I look at the early-1980s musicals, this one is better than most.

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