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Rather Pointless Sequel
Michael_Elliott1 September 2017
More American Graffiti (1979)

** (out of 4)

At the end of American GRAFFITI we were told the outcome to the four main characters. This sequel allows us to catch up with some of them and then see their outcome. Steve and Laurie (Ron Howard, Cindy Williams) are now married but that is coming apart. John Milner (Paul Le Mat) is trying to get his racing career off the ground. Terry (Charles Martin Smith) is fighting in Vietnam. His flame Debbie (Candy Clark) is with a loser boyfriend.

It would be unfair to call MORE American GRAFFITI a poor cash grab because it really wasn't. This sequel arrived six years after the original film and it's not quite as awful as some make it out to be but there's no question that it's rather pointless. I say that because the original film told us what happened to the main characters so seeing "how" it happened here really doesn't contain any drama or suspense.

Another problem with the movie is its structure. The film film could bounce from one character to another because everything was happening over a single night. The same bounce game is happening here but it takes place over a period of years and since you already know the conclusion to two of the stories there's really not much going on here. THere's an anti-Vietnam and anti-police message throughout the picture so perhaps they wanted to show the fight that these folks were doing by the end of the decade.

Another problem is that there are some pretty uninteresting stories here. In fact, I'd argue that there's really nothing interesting going on here. The worst story is clearly the one with Debbie. The Vietnam stuff is poorly shot and the director beats you over the head with the message so much that you tune out even more. The racing really has no drama because, well, you know the ending. The entire marriage drama is basically an extended fight of the battles this couple had in the original only with a silly protest angle thrown in.

The performances are good for what they are and there's no question that we've got a terrific soundtrack once again. Since you love these characters from the first movie you can somewhat be entertained by this and go along for the ride but there's no question that overall this movie is rather pointless. The technical stuff dealing with the footage and alternate aspect ratios didn't help matters either.
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wrong sequel
SnoopyStyle9 December 2019
This is the sequel to American Graffiti. Many of the cast return. The story picks up on the last day of 1964 and then skips to each following years. John Milner gets pushed out of his own racing team and gets paired with an Icelandic beauty who knows no English. The Toad gets sent to Vietnam. One year later, he's trying to shot himself for a ticket home but his bumbling puts him in a massive friendly fire incident. Deb Dunham becomes a hippie. Steve and Laurie are unhappily married with twins.

The obvious move for the sequel is one day six years later as the group gathers for a reunion. Somebody dies and people return for the funeral. Since Richard Dreyfuss doesn't return, the funeral should be his. The structure of this movie sucks. Going back and forth between the years actually diminishes the charm from the original. The first movie is about a time and a place. This is a mess of diverging styles and stories. The most memorable plot is the Toad since Vietnam is usually the most cinematic. The most annoying is Steve and Laurie. The Icelandic chick adds interest to Milner's story. Quite frankly, I'm not really following Deb's story. There's a snake and then the snake dies. I don't know what's happening to her and I don't care.
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"More" is Less
moonspinner5531 July 2001
Despite the fact the characters' futures were foretold at the end of the original, executive producer George Lucas went ahead with this follow-up to his directorial breakthrough, the 1973 hit "American Graffiti", with the novel idea that each person's story takes place on a different New Year's Eve--and that all the stories are intercut with each other (shuffled in order, so to speak). But with so little emphasis on the cast as a group, and with very little contemplation on the fates of the characters in the stories that precede that one we're watching, one gets a disconnected feeling that doesn't provide the nostalgia intended. Paul Le Mat is racing cars (and flirting with a pretty Swede) in the first episode; Charles Martin Smith is a soldier in Vietnam; Candy Clark has been a San Francisco hippie; and Ron Howard and Cindy Williams are battling marrieds with bratty kids (Richard Dreyfuss sat this one out, though Harrison Ford does make a sneaky cameo). Each installment has been filmed in a unique style tailored to the material, with Smith's Vietnam episode the most vividly captured (and the idea of him comically trying to blow off his own arm in order to get back home says more about the war than most anti-war movies do in two hours). Ultimately, the film's stylistic attributes are a colorful distraction. The multi-image cinematography and constant period music on the soundtrack can't deflect the fact the script is thin, while the actors (endearing at first) are encouraged to overact. Writer-director B.W.L. Norton bulldozes his way through; while the pacing seldom flags, his picture could use more of the cleverness, the humor and the sensitivity Lucas displayed in '73. There's a hint of melancholy sweetness at the end of Clark's installment, and a bit of it in Le Mat's story, but "More" turns out to be Less. **1/2 from ****
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Not as great
BandSAboutMovies26 May 2021
Warning: Spoilers
Where George Lucas' American Grafitti showed the last few days before college for a group on American teenagers, the sequel - written and directed by Bill L. Norton, who was an actor in Messiah of Evil and also directed Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend - is about what happens next to the characters played by Candy Clark, Ron Howard, Paul Le Mat, Cindy Williams, Mackenzie Phillips, Charles Martin Smith, Bo Hopkins and Harrison Ford. Of them all, only Richard Dreyfuss didn't show up. And this is Howard's last role as a credited and named character in a movie.

As for George Lucas, who created the first film, well, he was a little busy, what with starting Lucasfilm, developing Radioland Murders with Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz, planning Raiders of the Lost Ark and writing The Empire Strikes Back. Of the film, Lucas would say that it failed miserably and critics disliked how much fun it made the end of the 60s - not to mention all the cutting between film genres - seem.

Despite that negative critical reception, this film wasn't the commercial failure Lucas claims that it was. Some filmmakers would be happy with making $15 million on a budget of $3 million.

Set during several New Years' Eve celebrations, during which the times of that year are remembered, this follows the cast from the original. Each year is a different style of film, with 1965 being a grainy war newsreel of the Vietnam War and 1966 looking a lot like the movie Woodstock. Norton thought that cutting between four different time frames would be too jolting for the audience. Years later, Lucas would agree.

But hey - the drag race scenes, shot in a low aspect ratio like an exploitation movie? Those are pretty great. There's a huge crowd of extras, who were all given Star Wars toys to show up.
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Pointless sequel
preppy-313 December 2004
"American Graffiti" while overpraised, is certainly one of the best films of the early 70s. It made tons of money and jump-started the careers of many stars. So, naturally they made a sequel--but why? At the end of the original it told us what happened to the main characters--there was absolutely no surprises here. That being said it's an OK movie.

The different types of screen sizes are nice--70mm for the race car sequences; small, hand-held for the Vietnam sequences; multiple screens for Candy Clark and the hippies and regular size screen for Howard and Williams "normal" couple. But, storywise, there was nothing new here and the different screen sizes can only hold you interest for a while. It was just an average movie--but a big let-down from the original. This was not a big hit when it was released--it disappeared quickly.

This is mostly a forgotten movie--as it should stay.
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Massively underrated, and surprisingly so
grantss27 June 2021
I don't know why this is so disliked. It might be that American Graffiti was so revered, that it seems sacrilegious to make a sequel of it. Personally, I really enjoyed More American Graffiti, as I did American Graffiti.

In fact, I enjoyed this more than the first movie. Maybe it was the humour: there was more of it, and it was quite tongue-in-cheek, especially the Vietnam parts. Plus, the music was even better this time round, though maybe that's because I prefer 60s music to 50s stuff.

Plot is great: the individual stories, the human drama, all set to the backdrop of the turbulent 60s: Vietnam, hippies, rock 'n roll, student protests.

Solid direction.

Good performances, including some actors in early, minor roles: MacKenzie Phillips, Rosanna Arquette, and an interesting cameo from Harrison Ford. Definitely worth watching.
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Is too light on too serious subjects.
Boba_Fett113810 December 2006
This movie is completely different from its 1973, George Lucas directed, predecessor "American Graffiti". "American Graffiti" was about the celebration of an age and the innocence of youth and it above all was a fun movie to watch. Even though "More American Graffiti" is more comedy like than its predecessor, it's not halve as fun. This is because the movie handles too many serious subjects that were going on in the late '60's in a too light- and simple way.

It's good to see that the movie manages to bring back almost every actor from the first "American Graffiti" movie. Some in big, others in small cameo appearances such as Harrison Ford and Mackenzie Phillips. Just like "American Graffiti" the movie also features some then still unknown actors who are now big stars, such as Scott Glenn and Delroy Lindo. So really nothing wrong with the casting again. I wish I could say the same about the rest of the movie.

Basically "American Graffiti" wasn't a movie that needed a sequel, so in that regard, this movie already is a redundant and pointless one. But also the movie on its own adds very little. It's unclear if they movie wanted to make a statement or just wanted to entertain.

The movie handles some very serious and heavy subjects that were going on in the late '60's. Such as the Vietnam war, its anti-Vietnam war college protests, hippies, etcetera. It uses a comical approach of all these subject, that feels totally out of place and almost works offensive, especially the Vietnam and anti-war protest sequences.

The movie isn't told in chronological order, some story lines even occur years apart from the other. It makes the movie often more confusing and weak, than strong and gripping. The movie once more follows many different characters, this time in many different settings. It makes the movie feel disjointed, also since every plot line features its own cinematic style and differs from the other.

This movie really raises the question; why? Why is it so different from the first movie, why did most of the actors ever agreed to be in this? Why didn't Lucas directed this one? Why is it more comedy like- but are the subjects so heavy and serious? Why was this movie even made?

Neverhtheless as a stand-alone movie, it's still one that amuses enough. I mean I wasn't bored while watching it and some of its comedy still worked out fine. Also the great actors are a reason why this movie still remains a watchable enough one.

So it's watchable but still a redundant and pointless movie and therefor really not a recommendable one.

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More American Graffiti is More Laughs
view_and_review23 June 2019
Most of the American Graffiti gang are back and they are older. Gone are the "pure and innocent" times of the 50's. This movie takes place in the radical counter-culture age of the 60's. There's a war, kids are growing their hair long, and women want to work.

I thought More American Graffiti was funnier than its predecessor. Between Terry (Charles Martin Smith) trying to weasel his way out of the Vietnam War, Debbie Dunham (Candy Clark) trying to get her beau to marry her, and the marital problems of Steve and Laurie Bolander (Ron Howard and Cindy Wiliams), there were plenty of laughs. I thought this was an excellent follow up.
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Forgotten Sequel.
AaronCapenBanner29 August 2013
Only reason I saw or even heard of this film is that it was included as a double-feature on the DVD with the first. Perfectly awful film fails miserably at recreating the sense of nostalgia of the first, despite some of the same cast returning. The film is poorly directed in a heavy-handed way, using the "multi-screen" approach(different scenes being shown occurring at the same time) which is distracting and pretentious.

Story tries to clarify plot points alluded to by the "fates" of those characters shown over the ending credits, but film feels utterly pointless, and new story elements(with Ron Howard and Cindy Williams) are really horrendous, so mundane and dispiriting.

Even George Lucas admitted he didn't know why he allowed it to be made!
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Sometimes less is more (rental)
leplatypus10 July 2017
This sequel breaks down right from the start because it's clear that all our friends from the 1st movie live now their own life separately, so the movie is actually a collage of 4 separated short movies stuck together : As all vignettes movie, the quality of the segments is uneven : 1) the Nam experience of the Toad : except some nice shots of copters flying, this was highly boring ; 2) the SF hippies : except the really quick cameo of Harrison and a young Scott Glen, nothing really interesting here ; 3) the dragster contest : much better but in a very limited plot : the talent of the cast, Le Mat and Nordic Anna Bkorn, makes the difference 4) the family life : it's the more finished part that reunites as well good acting and an engaging story : i don't know a lot of movies that deals with student protest in the 60s and we have a good summary here : this segments has also the best song moment of the movie with the famous Babylove (unlike the 3 others in which the score is far from Lucas hits..)… The director has indeed an experimental attitude with his camera but at the end, the movie is a nearly expandable sequel. If i don't give it the average, it's due to the silly captions at the end… What's the point to tell more about their lives with lines while you have got it with pictures ???
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A very unfortunate failure
funkyfry19 April 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I really don't think producer George Lucas didn't really set out to make such a horrible sequel as "More American Graffiti" turned out to be. But in retrospect it was the first crack in his then-seemingly impenetrable armor. Coming straight off the huge success of "American Graffiti" and produced basically at the same time as "Star Wars", this film was the first that Lucas successfully took away from Coppola without having to bother directing it himself. The result is typical Lucas -- far more interesting in terms of its structure and the way it's edited than the actual material. The writer/director Bill Norton has been allowed to use a variety of different screen ratios and split screens to produce odd associations in the images. While it's interesting to see ironic juxtapositions of the 4 story lines, the style ultimately only epitomizes the fractured nature of the film itself.

Lucas' brilliant original film was all about a group of friends on the archetypical "last big night" before school ends and Kurt (Ron Dreyfuss) and Steve (Ron Howard) are supposed to go off to college. One thing that made that film work, despite the fact that it's very episodic, is that you had the core characters together at the beginning and they come back together at the end. There's a disposition of time, like in Nick Ray's "Rebel Without a Cause" where a certain period of time becomes very elastic and takes on more meaning than such a specific time really would in actual life, but everything takes place in a static space. "More American Graffiti" is basically the opposite -- the space is very dynamic, with Toad (Charles Martin Smith) off in Vietnam, his former girlfriend Debbie (Candy Clark) partying with hippies in San Francisco, Steve and Laurie (Cindy Williams) involved in student protests in Berkeley, and John Miler (Paul Le Mat) drag racing on the semi-pro circuit. In a contrived meeting early in the film all the principles are brought together to watch John race, but after that the threads don't come back together and weave apart the way they do in the original. Instead they split off and we follow the characters through about 3 years' of time, just seeing various events on New Years Eve in what seems to be 1967, 68 and 69. It's easy for the audience to become confused, and I think it's fair to say that we do. While the original film seemed to condense important events and rites of passages into unreal theatrical time that produced an experience of nostalgia even for those who never experienced those events, this sequel drags and stretches the few plot points from the epilogue of the original and attempts to make them into a coherent film.

The best parts of the movie to me are the ones with Candy Clark in SF and Charles Martin Smith in Nam. Some of the jokes do fall flat but the style of those sections is interesting and they form a neat contrast with each other. A good movie could maybe have been made if these parts were just a bit better, and if the other parts weren't such a drag. Speaking of drag racing, the whole plot with Milner talking to a foreign exchange student was really lame, unfunny, and throwing in Mackenzie Phillips for a cameo didn't help at all. It was just another contrived moment, like when they briefly explain why Curt isn't in the movie because he's already in Canada. Instead Laurie just has another brother who is basically identical to Curt but has a different name and is now played by a very boring actor. There's a black kind of satire to some of the Vietnam stuff, very similar to what I would imagine Lucas and John Milius' original idea for "Apocalypse Now" would have been like. And there's some of that manic fun in the San Francisco scenes that made the first movie fun. But still along with that fun stuff, you have the rest of the movie dragging it down, as if anyone wants to see Steve and Laurie argue in their horrible suburban abode as if they were auditioning for a Spielberg movie about divorce and child abandonment. I think even if those parts of the movie weren't so painful, it still wouldn't really be comparable to the first movie because there's no closure and no sense of coming back together or of anybody having learned anything. It just sort of ends at the point when they ran out of money or something, a cheap freeze frame imitation of "Two-Lane Blacktop" and so many better films.

Like the original however, this film has a great soundtrack of period hits that is probably worth owning for its own sake and almost makes the movie itself palatable. The performances by Country Joe and the Fish are great, and Scott Glenn all duded up as a hippie in love with Candy Clark is a sight to see -- I wonder if even back then he had to use a wig? I couldn't possibly recommend this movie, and yet it has some small affection in my heart because I love the original so much. Every couple of decades I guess I have to give this movie a try just to make sure that it's really as worthless as I remember it being. It's a party killer but it's something that every fan of "American Graffiti" or George Lucas in general will want to see at least once or twice. It shows how a lot of effort can go into something and it can still turn out pretty half baked. It makes you reflect on how much of a miracle it is that Lucas actually made such a good movie as "American Graffiti" in the first place, as if all the elements were in place and all the appropriate gods had been placated. Unfortunately such was not the case for this film or for Bill Norton.
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The rare sequel that is more experimental and original than its predecessor
CubsandCulture10 March 2020
While it doesn't fully work-the film struggles mightily to balance the nostalgia of the original with the social upheavals of the 60's-this follow-up is a lot bolder, more daring and well honest than the prior film. It is refreshing to see such a risky sequel. The film largely exists to point out how so much crap the country was going through in the 60's was left out of the Lucas' memories.

The film is sliced into 4 different segments with each filmed in a radically different way. The drag race is glorious 70mm, Vietnam is in grungy handheld, etc. The different looks are blended about as well as one could expect and the overall effect is too invoke the innocence lost theme of the film. In any case the film proceeds in a such an unusual way that it is worth seeing for that alone.

The 4 segments are decidedly a mixed bag. Toad in Vietnam is especially grating and ill-considered. This is where the seams of the bubblegum humor of the first get exposed badly with the more acidic sequel. On the flip side John's story-and especially his fate-works perfectly as the framing device of innocence lost narrative.

I have no idea why this film is a forgotten film. It's really interesting and engaging.
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More American Graffiti (1979) **
JoeKarlosi11 June 2011
This belated followup to the classic "American Graffiti" is nowhere in the same league as its predecessor but yet I'm happy to have it anyway. Most of the original stars returned for it, but it's too bad the stories couldn't have been more interesting (with the exception of one good one, which I'll expand on later). At the very least, there was an interesting method born out of necessity which was utilized to tell the tales; as in the original, there are four separate stories going on, though this time they're not all occurring at the same time. Since we learned at the end of the last film that John Milner (Paul Le Mat) would be killed by a drunk driver in 1964, and Terry the Toad (Charles Martin Smith) would wind up Missing In Action in Vietnam in 1965, there would have to be some allowances made. So this sequel occurs on four different New Year's Eve's...

In December 1964, John Milner has become a big drag racer. As he prepares for the latest big race, he is introduced to a foreign beauty from Iceland who does not speak a word of English, yet Milner tries to romance her anyhow. This results in a rather dull chapter, but at least at the start we are also reacquainted with the rest of the group as they visit John at the racetrack for support: Ron Howard and Cindy Williams (they're both married now and Cindy's pregnant), Charles Smith and Candy Clark (both are now serious boyfriend and girlfriend, and Terry announces that he is going off to fight in 'Nam).

Then we cut to December 1965, where Terry the Toad is struggling through the violent Vietnamese War, and trying desperately to get himself injured somehow so that he can get sent home. This is by far the best story of the four, and always is worth returning to as we jump from one segment to another. (This chapter alone would have made a decent film). To make it feel like a real Vietnam documentary, this story only is filmed in rough and gritty 16mm. Charles Martin Smith once again is very entertaining, as he manages to be funny in trying to maim himself ... but also, this entry includes some poignant material of the hell endured in 'nam as well. One of the characters from the original film returns here - Bo Hopkins as Joe, the former leader of the Pharoahs gang ... who is placed as a fellow war vet here along with Toad.

In December 1966, Debbie (Candy Clark) is now a hip, psychedelic '60s chick, who mourns the loss of her former boyfriend Terry and gets stuck with a real creep as her newest beau, who takes advantage of her. Mackenzie Phillips' teenage character is sandwiched into this segment somehow, but it's a tedious chapter which really goes nowhere. The only slightly interesting thing here is that Candy's story is shot through visual trickery, such as split screen and other various cinematic illusions, to capture the trippy feeling of the wild and wacky times.

In December 1967 we have Steve and Lori (Ron Howard and Cindy Williams), married and struggling with their kids. They fight, they yell at each other a lot, and ultimately Cindy finds herself running off to stay with her second brother Andy (not Richard Dreyfuss; Dreyfuss had played her brother Curt in the original but did not return here, so a second sibling was created). Andy gets himself into trouble by burning his draft card and participating in various hippie protests of the day... another very boring storyline.

Throughout the film we have more great songs sprinkled around the events, this time sounds from the later '60s, obviously. It doesn't work out quite as nicely as it had the last time, but at least they tried to recapture the musical tone of the original. I think that if the stories had been better written (aside from the exceptional "Toad in Vietnam" scenario), this might have been much better. But I'd still rather have this movie than not. ** out of ****
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Why was this sequel made?
TOMNEL14 September 2008
I suggest if you have already seen the original American Graffiti, do not see this movie. If you haven't seen the original, I still don't recommend this, but it will be a lot less painful to watch. The characters from the first film are great, and by the end you fell a connection to them. This movie sets out to show how bad their lives have become. It's a chore to watch!

Set on New year's eve in 1964, '65, '66 and '67, we have four stories about the characters from the first film. In '64, we have John Milner (Paul Le Mat) who is now a professional drag racer. He meets a foreign girl Eva, and though his plot really goes nowhere, it's the best of the four. In 1965, we have Toad (Charles Martin Smith) who is stuck in Vietnam, and more than anything, he wants out. He tries to find ways to hurt himself or do stupid things to get out. In '66, we have Debbie (Candy Clark), the girl who Toad picked up in the first movie. Now she is a pot smoking hippie, and really I'm not sure what her plot was about. It was her going to a concert...not much of anything happened. Finally, in 1967, Steve Bolander (Ron Howard) and Laurie Bolander (Cindy Williams) are having marriage problems that end in a anti-war rally and police action.

None of these stories are very good. The script in some parts features very, very bad dialogue. These poor characters who I enjoyed so much in the first film, ended up where they are here...why? Why was this sequel made? I guess if a sequel was made, it had to feature the Vietnam war, and hippies and police action, but the real thing is that this movie shouldn't have been made.

The direction was stylish, but it just amounts in a huge headache. Each story has a different style. Milner's is just a regular (depending on how you watch it) wide screen, and is filmed how the rest of the movie should be. Toad's plot was shot in 16mm, and what it amounts to is a poor looking picture, which is the size of a small box in the middle of the screen. Debbie's plot is shot in multi-screen. At one point there might have been one screen, but for the good majority, it's anywhere from two to twenty screens up at once. Don't bother trying to follow the screens, since there's nothing going on anyways. Steve and Laurie's plot has the weirdest filming style. It's style really doesn't mean anything, and is dumb and pointless. Instead of just a full widescreen, it's a condensed widescreen that looks like a full screen version of widescreen. Though I don't like the others, at least I understand what they were going for, this one just doesn't make sense.

The music is this movie's saving grace, not that it could save this! Bob Dylan, Simon and Grafunkel, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and dozens of others have nice songs featured here. They don't save the feature, they just make it a little better than it is. It's still bad!

Overall, this is a pointless sequel. Any fan of the original should avoid this lackluster sequel!

My rating: * 1/2 out of ****. 110 mins. PG for language, drug use and violence
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No more graffiti to go around
caspian19785 August 2004
The dream of the early 60's has ended. The story of More American Graffiti is anything but the magic that came out of 1962. Some of the characters return to play a big part in this movie. Some only make a quick cameo to do the film justice. It is a nice story if you loved the first. The direction with the crazy 60's montage and chase scenes are interesting and adds to the story. Although it is not a half fast production, the cast holds the story together while the story doesn't. The cutting between the Vietnam War, the protesting and the car race is nice but fails to produce any real effect on the characters. By the end of the movie, many of us have given up hope and any interest in the characters well being. We are willing to let them wonder off into the jungle and drive down the road to their death without asking why. We are content, knowing that the movie will soon be over. That is more of a willing conclusion to the movie as oppose to a moral or a happy ending.
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A Fun Sequel That was Not Needed
eric26200331 May 2015
Warning: Spoilers
With the exception of Curt (Richard Dreyfuss) missing in this unneeded sequel to the classic Academy Award winning "American Graffiti", "More American Graffiti" has the rest of the gang back, not where we left them off, but three years later the previous film. If I'm not mistaken, Curt went off to become a teacher in Canada if memory serves me correctly from the last film. And while it is fun to find out what's happened to them after the credits rolled, the spark and the intensity has not came back. The sole purpose for this sequel like any other sequels before and after this one was that it was there follow in on the big-budget success of it predecessor and take advantage of a good thing coming. And while I was entertained by the sequel, I still couldn't find a legitimate reason why they needed a sequel to begin with. However, what's different from the other sequels, "More American Graffiti" makes the effort by not trying to follow the same pattern as what was offered before, but a new fresh new look at the gang and what they're doing now.

It has a bit of a depiction of the events that emanated from 1964- 1967. John Milner (Paul Le Mat) continues to drag races and now reels in the big buck doing in drag races. Steve (Ron Howard) and Laurie Bolander (Cindy Williams) have tied the knot, but they're not really living happily ever after. Laurie wants to pursue a career, but Steve still has that archaic, misogynistic frame of mind that her place is to watch the offspring. Terry the Toad (Charles Martin Smith) has gone off to fight in Vietnam, but is finding ways to get a discharge home. And finally Debbie Dunham(Candy Clark) is now a hippie girl hanging with groupies and seems to be in a precarious relationship as well.

Sure there's a bit of pros and cons as each sub-plot shifts back and forth and we don't fully get the gist of each of their mediocre individual stories or really care for that matter. The only one that has me enthralled was the Milner side-story and his jilted romance with an Icelandic lady, Eva (Anna Bjorn) who speaks no English, but their chemistry comes alive through motions that far exceeds words. It kind of brings back the reason why "American Graffiti" was a work of art. It was simple, pure, innocent coming-of-age drama that was both provocative and enlightening at the very same time. The other stories are just a nostalgic time machine travel through the 1960's when topics back then were the central focuses that were headlining the news at the time like the Vietnam War, and the hippie moments where young idealists decide to drift out of the context to come up with innovative ways to carry on in life.

The thing that separates this sequel here was that in "American Graffiti" was that the creative control is not entirely handled by George Lucas who has taken a back-seat here and served as the executive producer. The main doing the heavy cargo here is Mr. Bill L. Norton who served as both writer and director. And while Norton does do an incredible effort in putting interesting refreshing elements into the sequel, even though I expected more than what I got, I still found this ambitious story a difficult task at hand coming from a television director. And each of the four stories have remarkable takes in their delivery, though the hippie sub-plot is much too technical and doesn't hold much interest.

I can't really recommend "More American Graffiti", because for the fact that it's not up there with the genius that is "American Graffiti". And if you love "American Graffiti", you'll detest this movie all the more. But if you must watch it, do it for curiosity sake and you'll see it's nothing like the first story and lacks the intensity that predecessor possessed. If you come in with a low expectation rate, it might hold your interests. And if you found the story dull, there are some pre-famed stars that you might point out like Scott Glenn, Mark Kay Place, Delroy Lindo, and Harrison Ford returns the scene as Officer Falfa.
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Not awful, but not really necessary, either.
Analog_Devotee4 January 2021
I enjoyed seeing most of the characters from the original film back. I think the character of John Milner was handled best. Steve and Laurie were utterly uninteresting and I didn't care about their troubled marriage in the slightest or the little story which went along with it. It was just... boring. Same goes for Debbie's story... Watching it, I couldn't help but wonder, Who the hell cares about any of this? I also wasn't a fan of how they quickly graced over Carol's character. She was so integral to the story in the original, and I loved her and Milner together. Yet in this film she's there and POOF, gone... What were they thinking? I have mixed feelings on how Toad's story was handled -- but I will say I didn't hate it. It was an interesting choice.

I also loathed the split- and triple-screening in this. It was infuriating! Who can enjoy a film when they're having to look at two, three and four different angles? WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?

On the contrary, the final shot in this film hits really hard. It's subtle, and if you've seen the film, you know what I'm talking about. If you're a huge fan of Milner's character like I am, it'll hit doubly hard.

All in all, I wish this was either not made or handled better. Bringing on the new writer and director was a huge mistake.
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Unnecessary, Nearly Unwatchable Sequel
dglink15 July 2004
The final frames of the original "American Graffiti" provide one-line summaries of the fates of the film's four central male characters. While somewhat sexist in omitting the female characters, the ending of the original film provided all the information about those people that even the most ardent fan of the movie would want. However, someone felt that mega-bucks could be made by detailing the dreary lives of these characters after the original film ended. Bad move. Making an insurance salesman and his wife, a nerdy private in Vietnam, a drag race driver, and a overgrown hippie into interesting characters in interesting situations was far beyond the talents of those who wrote this nearly unwatchable movie. While most of the original cast is back, with only Richard Dreyfuss having the good sense to stay away, "More American Graffiti" is a mess of silly situations that involve protests, car races, country singers, and the Vietnam war. The use of split screens, once thought innovative and daring, is overused here to the point of distraction and adds confusion to the already confused goings one. This is a sequel that demonstrates nearly everything that can go wrong with a sequel. Perhaps it should be screened in film schools as a lesson. Even the use of period music, which was a delight in the original, is poorly done here. If you want more "American Graffiti," see the original twice.
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Could be better.
afonsobritofalves14 November 2018
It's even good, but it's still a lot to be desired. This is good at the level of special effects, sound mixing and editing; But the level of history and characters is pretty bad, the first movie is pretty good but as far as this can not be said the same. I recommend it to anyone who likes comedy (even if they are not the best).
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Should have stopped with the first one
grahamsj31 November 2000
Warning: Spoilers
As with many sequels, this one just doesn't have the quality or the impact of the original. The first one belongs up there with the rest of the greats. This one just doesn't cut it. The first film had a magical "good time" feeling about it that is totally missing from this film. We became enamored of all these characters (minus Richard Dreyfuss) in an age of innocence. Now, a few years later, they have changed so much that they are largely different people. While this is what happens in real life, we don't expect this to happen to our favorite film characters! The film doesn't have the humor that the original had, and we were expecting to laugh. What little humor is there is dark. The first film also featured what is probably the greatest soundtrack ever, while this one is good but not even close to the original's. This film is so totally different from the original that it isn't even actually a sequel. I gave it a 4.
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More of what happened to the others after Richard Dreyfuss left
departed0727 May 2008
I loved the first "American Graffiti" with all my heart and soul that I considered it to be the best movie about rock n' roll along with being the best teenager flick I've ever seen. The first film spawned the careers of George Lucas who would later do the blockbuster epic "Star Wars" before doing the prequels two decades later while making Richard Dreyfuss a star in Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and other films as well.

Somehow without those two, the magic died off.

"More American Graffiti" shows audiences what happened to the rest of the characters later on in the sixties where Steve (Ron Howard) and Laurie (Cindy Williams) are protesting against the Vietnam War while their friend Terry "The Toad" Fields (Charles Martin Smith) is in the war himself and trying to get out. John Milner (Paul Le Mat) is still the hot drag racer in California where he never quite left home. The rest of the supporting actors in the film from Candy Clark's Debbie (Terry's Girlfriend), to the Pharaoh's gang members, along with Harrison Ford and others really don't do much. The original film showed teenagers cruising the streets without any bloodshed with the early music of rock n' roll from Buddy Holly, The Fleetwoods, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, Bill Haley and the Comets, Buddy Knox and more that brought back the nostalgia bug in classic music. The soundtrack for "More American Graffiti" is a mixture of rock, soul, country, hippie music, and whatever fitted the mood during the late 60's of protesting, drugs, sacrifices and more.

After watching "More American Graffiti" it looked like it wanted to show audience members what happened after the title epilogue of the four main characters in the first film (with the exception of Dreyfuss's character) where it wasn't necessary. This film wasn't necessary either as I was glad to see that neither Lucas or Dreyfuss moved on to bigger and better projects.
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A Flawed Experience
cultfilmfreaksdotcom5 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Since it's reported at the end of the original that Paul LeMat's cool cat John Milner – the hot rod James Dean type with the fastest car in town – was killed by a drunk driver in 1964, the sequel's starting point has all the main characters except Richard Dreyfuss (now a writer in Canada) meeting at a drag race course to cheer on Milner at the tail end of that fateful year.

Thus we follow the surviving characters in other New Year Eve's throughout the sixties: Terry Toad Philips in Vietnam, 1965; Debbie in San Francisco, 1966; and Steve and Laurie Henderson in 1967.

Let's start with the least interesting characters of the original – Steve and Laurie, played by Ron Howard and Cindy Williams, who were both, at that point, known for their roles on HAPPY DAYS and the successful spin off LAVERNE AND SHIRLEY, are still a bickering couple with kids and a hellish relationship going nowhere but down, down, down.

The unhappily married duo have only wedding rings in common. Laurie wants to work but Steve, an insurance salesman, forces her to stay at home with their bratty kids. This was before Women's Rights and Laurie wants her independence.

Speaking of independence, her little brother is a college hippie radical. The campus is part of a violent protest and he calls Laurie to bring his driver's license, without which he can't leave the campus and might be shipped off to war.

It's quickly obvious the entire purpose of this segment is the predictable character arc of both Laurie and Steve (who eventually has to rescue her): the cops are bad and the students are good. The only thing truly worthwhile here is the music – the rest is an overly preachy agenda, proving that hippies aren't very interesting characters: they all look the same, have similar motivations, and don't stand apart from each other.

Actually, one hippie does stand apart...

Candy Clark's 1966 "Winter of Love" segment is bit more entertaining. Her jerk musician boyfriend is cheating and the ever-smiling bleach-blonde Debbie accidentally winds up hanging out with a rock band: touring a cowboy bar and other venues throughout a comically hectic day and night.

Aesthetically, the use of multi-screen (popular in 1960's films like MEDIUM COOL and THE THOMAS CROWNE AFFAIR) attempts to dress up a non-story.

The best story has Terry "The Toad" Philips in Vietnam. The visual gimmick is seeing everything through what looks to be a grainy 16 millimeter film stock (liken to news reels), with only a box filling the inside of the screen with black surrounding it.

Toad and the former lead Pharaoh Little Jo, played by Bo Hopkins, hang around the muddy barracks or fly around in Hueys, dodging death at every turn (the film opens with helicopters soaring to the song HEAT WAVE). But Toad just wants to go home through being injured and he just can't catch a break, literally.

The copters look cool and are reminiscent of APOCALYPSE NOW, the blockbuster that came out the same year, 1979. Perhaps George Lucas, who executive produced this sequel written and directed by Bill L. Norton (director of GARGOYLES), wanted a piece of what he missed out from the Francis Ford Coppola Vietnam War venture, which he was originally connected with.

The use of Motown hits (circa 1965) works well during the Vietnam story, jovially contrasting with the bloody battles while the cinematography captures the deep dark green colors of 'Nam. The theme song of John Wayne's THE GREEN BERETS also serves as a caustic anthem for the anti-war proceedings.

Most of the storyline is more befitting M*A*S*H than APOCALYPSE NOW: it's all about Toad first trying to find a shortcut home and then teaming with a Gung Ho Lieutenant (James Houghton), who eventually realizes war is a living/breathing hell: something Toad knew all along.

Last but not least is the John Milner drag racing story, taking place on and off the crowded and colorful California race grounds. Milner is a good driver but can't get a sponsor, and has to win a few quick jaunts in order for corporate-backed teams to take interest.

Here's where the best (and really, the only) love story resides. Gorgeous blond model Ana Bjorn plays a naive foreign exchange student named Eva from Sweden… no, Iceland… that hangs around Milner like a lost puppy.

The drag strip races aren't very exciting since the sleek speedsters for a total of five seconds before crossing the finish line, lacking the freewheeling spontaneity of the hot rods in the original. Plus, Milner doesn't have his entire reputation to lose this time. His character, although very likable, is somewhat pointless throughout, especially since we know his hours are numbered.

But this is still the second best story, ending with JM's famous yellow Deuce Coupe cruising down the midnight highway towards a pair of oncoming headlights – his death immanent.

In many ways this is an unnecessary sequel but it's nice to see the characters together again, even though they're mostly apart. The soundtrack (highlighted by Donovan's "Season of the Witch" followed by Cream, The Grateful Dead, a live appearance by Country Joe and the Fish and concluding with Bob Dylan's "Like A Rolling Stone") stands out more than the actual film, and the acting makes it a more than worthy viewing.

So while this visual experience is basically an "eight-foot ballerina," there are times she can actually dance.
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Lucas Altman
SanDiego28 September 2000
If "American Graffiti" had never been made and if Robert Altman made this film today, "More American Graffiti" (or whatever it would now be called) would be heralded a critical success and a classic. Much like Altman's films there are lots of characters each in their own little stories, but linked by some common event. Altman would have to throw in a reunion dance (or at least references to it), whereas Lucas had the original film's memories. Perhaps that is the problem. This film depends too much on our memories of the original, and at the same time, abandons most of the original film's flavor. "American Graffiti" was like watching a firework rocket rise into the sky and beautifully explode, while "More American Graffiti" is like having to keep track of its individual streamers falling in every direction, and disappearing just before they hit the ground. Nice to look at, if you can, but not as impressive as the explosion. If the missing element that ties each of the characters together in this particular film had been provided this would have been a neat little non-Hollywood follow-up (separate New Year's celebrations didn't even come close to a common denominator). The film would have stood on its own, but without it, it cannot. The most obvious problem of course is that the first film already told us what would happen to each of the characters. Though this technique has been copied pointlessly by other films, in "American Graffiti" it worked because the audience needed a score card for all the characters and some sense of conclusion. Once this closure technique was used there was no going back and made any sequel anti-climactic. This is the feeling I have with most Altman films by the way, that I am watching a sequel to a much better film. "More American Graffiti" ultimately is enjoyed for it's parts as opposed to it's whole. Lucas edits what he has in a marvelous way and half the fun is watching the film present itself. In contrast to the original which seemed to look like a home movie at times, we are quite aware this is a movie, staged, and with big time Hollywood stars (ala Altman). It was nice to see each of the stars/characters return a little bit older. Non-critique note: I liked the appreciation Harrison Ford had for Lucas by doing this film, apparently an appreciation Dreyfuss did not share. If money or time was an issue (and I am sure it was) taking a smaller role like the equally in demand Ford would have been a nice gesture by Dreyfuss.
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An almost worthy follow-up
RiffRaffMcKinley31 March 2007
Face it-- how could there be an equal sequel to a movie like "American Graffiti"? The answer: there could not be one. Especially, it would seem, "More American Graffiti," a follow-up bursting with asinine visuals and headache-inducing split-screen editing. If this seems like a negative review, think again. The thing is, "More" is not a worthy successor, but it comes as close as any could ever dream of doing. It may seem somewhat pointless given the fact that the futures of all four of the original's main characters are revealed in that film's final moments, but there's just something undeniably fun about this tale of hippies, burnt draft cards, and a suddenly invisible Wolfman. Those of you who have a burning hatred of sequels, stay away from this one-- it will only infuriate you. However, if you want "C-" entertainment so bad you don't care from whence it comes, try "More American Graffiti." Now... baby love, my baby love....
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a worthy follow up
greene5154 August 2011
'More American Graffiti' is a worthy follow up to it's predecessor 'American Graffit' Back again for this episodic slice of sixties nostalgia is Paul Le Mat as Drag racer John Milner and his racing exploits and the cute subplot involving the 'Swedish girl'

Bo Hopkin's and Charles Martin Smith's Exploits in Vietnam and Smith's recurring methods to get sent home are hilarious but ultimately tragic.

Ron Howard's marriage which is verging on break up amid the draft burning riots.

the ever likable Candy Clark's exploits as a go-go dancer in San Francisco and her 'Trips' Look out for Harrison Ford as a quick Cameo as a Traffic Cop.

From a technical standpoint 'More American Garffiti' is an interesting film as the film 'experiments' with Aspect Ratio's for instance the Vietnam sequences are 16mm 1.37 : 1 Candy Clarks San Francisco exploits are a mixture of 2.35 : 1 with 'Woodstock' like split screen effects. Ron Howards scenes are 1.85 : 1 it is an admittedly distracting effect but it makes for an interesting viewing.
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