Grease 2 is the perfect Valentine’s Day movie for someone who’s lost all sense of standards and hasn’t felt the loving touch of another human since 2016. Trust me.
Sequels aren’t always bad – take Shrek 2, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, and High School Musical 2 (all artistic masterpieces). Grease 2, on the other hand, is one of the worst cinematic experiences you can have as a human person. This film isn’t automatic, systematic OR hydromatic. It’s Greased Frightnin’.
The absence of our original summer-loving protagonists is painfully obvious in this sequel. Even with 4 times the original cast size (and 1/2 the talent) Grease 2 cannot fill its own Travolta-less void. What the film lacks in Olivia Newton-John and Hollywood’s Second Favourite Scientologist it definitely does not make up for with the presence of Catwoman, an Alex Turner lookalike and a potentially-British Trump Child. The subpar tone of the film is established from the first scene. Pink Lady Michelle Pfeiffer kicks it off with underwhelming musical number ‘Back To School Again’, accompanied by perhaps every backing dancer in America. Despite the sheer size of the supporting cast, the impressive spectacle of their dancing does not compensate for their lack of musical talent. They do dance well, I’ll give them that, but their singing is more Rydell Bye than Rydell High.
The main premise of Grease 2 is ever so slightly different to Grease 1. Cars are out, motorbikes are in. School dances are replaced by sexually charged bowling games with the intention to “score tonight”. Instead of geeky female Sandy embarking on a romantic conquest that ends with being a leather clad smoker, we follow her geeky male cousin who embarks on a romantic conquest that ends with being (you guessed it) a leather clad smoker. Oh and he dies and comes back to life. Spoiler alert!
We follow Maxwell Caulfield (I don’t know either) through our beloved Rydell High School on a mission to woo bad-girl Pfeiffer. Rydell High’s favourite characters are back, including Frenchie, That One Teacher and the school bully. Remember him, the cosmetically challenged car racer? He’s back to circle the school on a motorbike but never actually enter the premises. Maybe he has a restraining order, maybe he’s just too cool for school. Maybe his face is so scarred and dented that he doesn’t want it seen under the fluorescent lights of the cafeteria? Either way he’s a real threat, the OG Scarface… Al Pacino who?
The main difference between Grease 1 and Grease 2 is that every song makes you want to die a bit. The singing is enjoyable, but only in an X-Factor audition way where you can’t work out if you’re allowed to laugh. None of the vocals come close to Rizzo’s belt or Danny Zuko’s iconic falsetto. Our protagonist’s singing voice is comparable only to the sweet drones of Pierce Brosnan in Mamma Mia, except this time there’s no Meryl to carry him. SOS! Caulfield blesses us with a memorable rendition of the world’s most forgettable song ‘Charade’, which ironically and very unfortunately is not mimed. Even with the shameful number of times I’ve seen this film I cannot grasp the tune of ‘Charade’, meaning he definitely couldn’t.
Two golden scenes save Grease 2 from complete Movie Hell and would not be out of place in its predecessor. These are Michelle Pfeiffer’s unbearably catchy solo ‘Cool Rider’ and a hilarious group number called ‘Reproduction’. ‘Cool Rider’ features Pfeiffer straddling a ladder and vocalising her wish for a rebel on a motorcycle, a “cool rider, a rider that’s cool” as she eloquently puts it before the song’s final refrain of “C-o-o-l/ r-i-d-e-r”. ‘Reproduction’ is packed with fun choreography and scandalous innuendo, set in a sex ed class and sung by an actor who looks like Michael Keaton (if you squint).
Despite the diabolical singing, acting and script you’ll have an amazing time watching Grease 2. Because we here at Movie Limbo do not endorse illegal streaming, I suggest you rent it on Amazon for just £3.99. That’s a whole £199,966.01 cheaper than hiring an assassin to just shoot you in the ears and eyes. Yes it’s absolute shite but it’s also the most PG fun you can have alone on Valentine’s Day. For that reason, Grease 2 is saved from Movie Hell and earns the title of Hell’s Angel. I suggest you give it a watch, after all, there are worse things you could do.