Major League II (1994)
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The boys are back for the next season, this time Rachel has sold the team to Roger and he is in charge. The boys have all changed though, mainly Rick, who has lost his "wild thing" edge. The boys this time want to make it to the world series, but that's going to be hard since most of them have taken their fame to their heads. Rachel buys the team back and the boys finally decide to get themselves together and get to the world series!
Major League 2 is a good comedy if you just let go of the first one, I know that most don't want to since the first was so original and a great comedy as well, but just give it a shot as it's own movie. It has some really funny moments that I loved a lot. This movie at least deserves to have a better rating than a sorry 4.7.
The original film focused more on the story of a bunch of has-beens and never-will-bes trying to have "one last good day in the sun" playing for the struggling Cleveland Indians. This sequel follows similar ground, with most of the players having gained large egos from their sudden success and not caring much about the game anymore. "Major League II" seems to like to jump quickly through the story, however, so you don't get as much of a sense of what's on the line for the team like you did in the original.
The film starts with some new characters (like a new and arrogant catcher) that provide some pretty necessary tension, but soon gets rid of them to make way for broader characters (like the Japanese outfielder). Perhaps the most irritating is the brilliantly misused Randy Quaid, who plays a die-hard fan that turns coat on the team when they start to lose. The odd part about his appearance is that his character behaves and acts like a returning character, yet there was no sign of him in the first one. He even hangs out with the die-hards from the first film (remember the three man wave in the stands?), but he is totally unfamiliar that he's almost unnecessary.
The return of former-turned-current team owner Rachel Phelps is unncessary and seems like a rehashing of the tension created by her presence in the first film. He appearance midway through the film (combined with alot of other mid-mark plot changes) makes it seem like the writers and director changed their minds on the story halfway through making the film and tried to weld it all together into something cohesive.
There are alot of great lines in this film though and some truly funny parts. I think the major problem with this sequel is that it follows the superb original. If you were to watch it without constant comparison to the first, it is a pretty entertaining film and better than alot of other sequels. But I guess it must be hard to follow-up something so great that wasn't really trying to be in the first place.
I could tell from the beginning of the film that director David S. Ward, also director of the first film, really wanted to get everyone back to do a great sequel. Rene Russo and Wesley Snipes, big names in the first film, are now absent. Snipes is replaced with Omar Epps, who is decent, but not as funny as the way Snipes portrayed the character of Willy Mays Hayes.
The plot: The Indians open up next season confident because of their big surprise last year. But some changes have been made. Rick "Wild Thing" Vaughn (Sheen), the team's star player, has quit sporting his bad boy image and now has a cleaner act. Jake Taylor (Berenger), the Indians catcher, still has serve knee problems and is on his last leg (no pun intended). Roger Dorn (Bernsen) retired from the Indians to later buy the team from Rachel Phelps. And the team's oddball player Pedro Cerrano (Haysbert) has converted to Buddhism and is way more of a relaxed player.
Major League II is more or less a remake of the first film with some new little perks. The screenwriter didn't want to experiment with much so the film is just the Indians struggling at the beginning of the season to become respectable players by the end once more. When it comes to baseball movies there isn't a whole lot of originality. The end will surprise virtually no one.
The character I still find hilarious is Lou Brown (Gammon). As well as the character of the Indians announcer Harry Doyle (Uecker) who has a major alcohol problem throughout the season while announcing the games. Absolute hilarity in both of these actors.
One character I grew tired of fast was Isuro Tanaka (Takaaki Ishibashi). His on screen actors are utterly atrocious and just unfunny especially when he gets into fights with Pedro Cerrano. The obsessed, fair weather Indians fan played by Randy Quaid is nothing but annoying as well.
Several things drag Major League II in the gutter, but it still is a fair sequel. I feel that this is a beginning of an end though. I feel this is the best sequel to Major League we're going to get. It's sad. But most likely true as I've heard nothing but average to poor reviews of Back to the Minors.
Director David S. Ward wants to get Berenger, Sheen, and Snipes back for a third film but I find that highly unlikely. Berenge has gotten too old and probably lost interest. Good luck getting Sheen to put a pause on his Two and a Half Men drama to do it, Snipes is in prison till 2013, and Gammon is dead. Major League III, if it will happen, is highly unlikely. That is no error. Ward wants the film to be titled Major League III, even though chronologically it's Major League IV.
Regardless, I feel Back to the Minors will conclude the series good or bad. It looks like Major League II will be the best Major League sequel out there. This could've all been avoided if we just left the film alone where it was; a funny and clever baseball comedy.
Starring: Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Corbin Bernsen, Dennis Haysbert, Omar Epps, David Keith, Margaret Whitton, James Gammon, and Bob Uecker. Directed by: David S. Ward.
In my opinion, the biggest flaw was that it was supposed to be the `very' next year, but in reality the movie was filmed five years later. This really showed with some of the characters. Rick Vaughn (Charlie Sheen) was a rookie in the first film, but he's obviously not a kid anymore in this one. When Jake Taylor (Tom Berenger) first stepped out of the taxi at the beginning of this movie, he looked so much older that it was stunning. And Margaret Whitton (Rachel Phelps) had aged so much and gained enough weight that I literally didn't even recognize her at first. All of this just took a while to get accustomed to, not to mention Willie Mays Hayes now being played by a different character. They just casually slipped that in there like we weren't supposed to notice, but I never really could accept this as being the same character that I loved so much in the first film.
As far as the comedy, it's a bit more slap-stick than the original. The character of Rube Baker (played by Eric Bruskotter) is likeable, but borderline goofy. Also, Roger Dorn's character (played by Corbin Bernsen) has transformed from an egotistical bad-boy to a wimpy cry-baby. I had trouble believing that was the same character as well.
But all of that aside, I still liked this film pretty well. It just took me a while to adjust to the changes. I enjoyed it better the second time I watched it, once the initial shock had worn off.
Charlie Sheen, Corbin Bernsen, Tom Berenger, James Gammon, Margaret Whitton and Bob Uecker reprise their roles with relish. Well, Berenger probably could have phoned in his part. Added to the mix are Omar Epps, David Keith and Takaaki Ishibashi.
Batter up and take your cuts. This is fun to watch back to back with the first gathering of baseball cut ups.
The film flows effortlessly and seamlessly from beginning to end and there are none of those badly played/cut/directed/whatever scenes or really dull spots that reminds you it is "just a film". For this reason it is one of those films I can watch again and again with enjoyment.
"Major League II" is the best of the trilogy, and is an absolutely hilarious baseball film for those who know the game well, and know how truly outlandish this movie is. Outlandish, however, in a good way.
First let me tell you that "Major League II" is a cult classic amongst young baseball players on Long Island. It's like an unspoken understanding, until someone speaks. For example, a pitcher might come in out of the bullpen to face a couple of batters, perform poorly, and then immediately get yanked out of the game...
Cue someone on the bench saying, "Nice game." Others on the bench will instantly begin laughing, and then talk about another scene they think of from "Major League II." The "nice game" line is a reference to manager Jake Taylor taking Roger Dorn out of the game following his only at bat of the season...a hit by pitch. Taylor sends Dorn in there to lean into one during a crucial situation in the ALCS, and Dorn reluctantly obliges. After a hilarious "oh God!" and tumble to the ground, Dorn temporarily refuses to be relieved by a pinch runner.
He eventually gives in and is greeted by Taylor, who pats him on the butt and says, "Nice game." Of course there are other classics like: "He'd need a rocket up his a$$ to get to that one!"; Jack Parkman mimicking Taylor's bad knees during the preseason; "I think I'll call it the 'Masterbator'; 'Kamikaze' Tanaka's many amusing contributions; 'Wild Thing' Vaughn's "that's enough for today" after five pitches in Spring Training...and more.
Look, with "Major League II," you can't take it seriously. The baseball action sequences play smoothly, but the managerial decisions and player antics are silly. Just take this film for what it is...
The funniest baseball movie of all time, and quite simply, the best.
In this installment, things just happen for no reason. For awhile the Indians are bad, for no real reason. Then suddenly they get very good. Why? Who knows.
Until we get to the final games, the humor is lame to downright disabled. Bob Ueker's character becomes an embarrassment, as does the Japanese player from Toledo. The movie just meanders along, going nowhere.
There was talent involved in the making of this movie, but not in the writing of this script. Couldn't they have found a script doctor to make this better?
Most of the original crew is back, except for Willie Mays Hayes' sudden transformation into Omar Epps (who tries too hard to be Wesley Snipes). Roger Dorn now owns the team, Jake Taylor is a coach and both Pedro Cerrano and Rick Vaughn have gone soft. The premise of the movie is basically the same as the original "Major League." The team was good at the end of last year, starts out lousy and now is trying to get to the playoffs again.
I won't go into the ridiculousness of a catcher who can't throw a ball back to the pitcher being on a Major League roster or a right fielder who practices yoga-type exercises in the field during play. Like I said, I wanted to like this movie but I just couldn't.
"Major League II" is a rehashing of the original with the same basic plot and less comedy. I still get fired up about the Indians rise to a contender in "Major League," but by the end of "Major League II," I found myself not caring how this team did at all.
4 out of 10.
Yes, this is more sanitized. You won't hear the "f" word--which is contained in my favorite line from the original: "Strike that motherf**ker out!" But it's quite raunchy for PG standards. And it's not the least bit watered down.
Many of the beloved characters return. Omar Epps replaces Wesley Snipes as Willie Mays Hayes. Maybe Wesley would've been funnier reprising his role, but Omar does a fine job. We also have the great Cuban ballplayer Pedro Cerrano (Dennis Haysbert), whose voo-doo antics clash with the Buddhist antics of the new Asian ballplayer (don't ask me the actor's name). There's a very funny scene where Pedro introduces his voo-doo doll to the the Asian guy's Buddha statue: "Jobu, Buddha. Buddha, Jobu. Now I don't want no trouble out of you." The Asian guy is also hilarious: You have no...you have no...(looks in dictionary) manners! You have no manners!" And how can we have a kick-ass sequel without the return of Charlie Sheen as Rick "Wild Thing" Vaughn?!!! Of course, in this one Wild Thing is not so wild to start with, as he meets a posh girlfriend (Allison Doody) who teaches him all about improving his image for the public, which means dressing him in a suit and forcing him to shed the "biker dude" persona. No way! When Wild Thing finally returns to his old ways (don't worry, I'm not giving anything away) you just want to jump up and cheer like you're at the game yourself and sing along to "Wild Thing." The coach (James Gammon) returns and has a funny subplot in which he passes out from a heart attack, getting sent to the hospital and not being allowed to watch baseball since doctors feel it'll be detrimental to his health. So he listens to the big game through a portable radio. The final scene with him in the hospital is hilarious and he has a memorable line, which I unfortunately can't give away since it's at the very end. In the booth, we have Bob Uecker who once again supplies his hysterically funny commentary on each game. Adding to the initial cast, we have Eric Bruskotter as the new catcher, who's very funny as the stereotypical hick who keeps bios of "Playboy" centerfolds hanging on his walls. Adding to the crowd, we have Randy Quaid as an obsessed baseball fan who loses his faith in Wild Thing after his big transition: "Wild Thing! You make my butt sting! You make every-thing...embarrassing!"
The plot is predictable. Don't expect any surprises. But the lovable characters and grand slam comedy helps rise above its shortcomings. Not to mention the exciting baseball footage.
If you fell in love with the first one, you'll fall in love with the sequel! Take me out to the ballgame!
My score: 7 (out of 10)
A pale imitation of the first movie. Major League was funny, engaging and exciting and the baseball was reasonably realistic. On the other hand, Major League II feels very clichéd and contrived. Engagement is limited – there's really no story to carry you along, it's just a (dysfunctional) team playing baseball. Furthermore, the baseball is sometimes quite farcical, and not realistic.
There are some very funny moments – e.g. the Rick Vaughn 87-take commercial was side-splittingly funny – but the humour is generally less intelligent and mostly on the cheap side.
If you approach this movie from a drama perspective, rather than solely a comedy one, you will see that it addresses what motivates (and hinders) big-league players, not only in baseball, but in all professional sports.
Of important note was; the effect that romantic partners can have on the individual's performance, the role (and prevalence) of psycho-therapy as a much-resorted-to tool in the player's arsenal, the need for money as impetus-to-perform and the need to just be a a part of baseball (Jake Taylor's eventual concession to go from player to coach).
Other psychological aspects that affect a player's performance were illustrated in Major League II: For Pedro Cerrano, it was finding that "sweet spot" (and right time and place) to balance inner peace with passion. For Rick Vaughan, it was to live every moment like it could be his last.., and to forget about tomorrow.
The skull-duggery and chicanery in M.L.B. were not shied-way-from in this movie: The general manager still had a vendetta against the team and wanted it to lose (probably for financial reasons). The loud-mouth lout in the grandstands (played by Randy Quaid) was not toned-down by the director. The disgusting, vile hate that spews from some "fans" mouths is even worse that that displayed by Quaid.
A brilliant-if-exaggerated example of the psychological role in athletic performance is that characterized by the catcher (Rube Baker, played by Eric Bruskotter): He needed a distraction to prevent him from thinking (and worrying) too much when he threw the ball back to the pitcher.
Athletes use these devices all the time, and many infielders have lost their fear of the ball with similar psychological tactics.
Vaughan decided to allow passion back into his life, and was all-the-better for it. Taylor accepted his limitations (and his value), and stayed in the game. Lou Brown found a way to listen to the playoff game, after all, even though it could have cost him his life. Dorn got his last at-bat. I wish they had given Hayes a bigger role in the movie, he perhaps learning a mnemonic to break a batting slump.
The funny parts kept Major League II entertaining, but anyone who knows baseball can realize that this movie is much, much more. James Gammon as the team's manager was the ideal casting choice, and his short scene when Tom Berenger visited his home is one of the most memorable baseball scenes I have ever seen in a movie.
Cerrano's care for the pigeon he momentarily harmed was touching, even if ill-timed. The good heart of this movie was confirmed as the bird took flight again.
I did not really appreciate seeing Euker as an arrogant drunk, because I think he's a great guy and was a great announcer. I would like to have seen some class from him, but I understand he had to handle the lines he was given.
I would have liked Major League II to have gotten a little deeper inside Vaughan's head...Just a couple more scenes where perhaps Nikki, perhaps the shrink, perhaps the kids.., help Rick find out why he started hedging his bets in life. When he intentionally walked the utility player to get to the slugger Parkman, we knew he was again "throwing his A game".
Without becoming melo-dramatic or insisting on turning the movie into a serious baseball drama, David Ward and R.J. Stewart gave us something of lasting value.
Historically, I have been critical of baseball movies: The Rookie and The Natural being my favorites. If you watch Major League II just looking for goofy antics, you'll probably rate it poorly.., or maybe your eyes are just getting old.
It's not a bad movie, but it does have "meh" written all over it.
The first movie ends with the Indians finally making the playoffs for the first time in 40 years. They went onto being swept by the White Sox in the ALCS so the enemy team of this movie is now the W.Sox. The Indians big free agent pickup in the off season was a guy named Jack Parkman who while a great player ends up being a real prick and causing dissension in the clubhouse. Ricky Vaughn is also more concerned about his public image then being the bad boy he was previously. After Lou Brown has a heart attack that means Jake Taylor takes over as the teams manager. And yada yada.
The movie isn't bad by any means but it doesn't seem to have the same magic and spark that the first movie had, I could watch the original ML a million times and never get tired of it.
Disclaimer: I have not seen the first one. I highly suspect that I would be annoyed by this one if I was a big fan of the first one before watching this.
The Indians are back in what is suppose to be the next year but was filmed 5 years later. That for one throws the movie because Vaughn/Sheen aged a lot in between the 2 movies as did Jake/Berenger. Now the movie is a disappointment from beginning to end. First off the movie is rated PG, PG!!! the orginal was rated R. So they went for the family aspect which I can understand but not cool when your a filming a sequel to an original with enough F bombs in it to make Joe Pesci apreciate it. So going in I knew that it wasn't going to up to par. Plus Epps coming in and taking over the role of Willie Mays Hays for Snipes was a bad omen. Harris also did not come back for the sequel. Other than that everyone came back for it, Jake was in a non player role. Plus there was a few new guys. Rube-a funny down home red neck who can gun anyone out but can't trow the ball back to the pitcher. Tanaka-A guy who can't speak any english but has great heart, and some really funny scenes w/Cerrano. Jack-the cocky catcher who no one likes. Dorn is back but as the Owner, for a short while. For people not on the team you have Randy Quaid in a good role as the heckler in the outfield, very funny.
As for the movie, it just doesn't have "IT" the way the first movie did when it just sucks you in. Right from the beginning w/the flash back scenes (I remember seeing it in the teater w/my brother and he hated it right from that point on) it just didn't have the same feel. The baseball scenes are done well, plus it was filmed at Oriole Park (my team!wahoo). The movie just never gets on a good pace plus this was when movies were getting away from this type of feel. For one thing we have Vaughn who in the first movie is a thug from the streets now he has sold out for his 7 figures because he doesn't want to burn himself out throwing nothing but fastballs. Don't get me wrong I liked the movie but just for what it was. It's a decent little baseball flick that Universal just tried to cash in on the first one being a cult hit. The drama from the first one isn't there and the formula is exactly the same as the first. With the exception of them trading their best player to the White Sox (who beat them in the ALCS after the first movie). They get to a point then need to win to get into the playoffs. This time though the Indians are playing for the ALCS not just for a playoff birth and it's against the White Sox who are now their big rivals because they beat them in the ALCS last time. So there is a 7 game series where of course we just see clips of the first 6 games and it comes down to the final 7th game...
The 7th game is well put together but falls short of the excitement of the first game. Of course the game pokes along with just about everything being the same except it comes down to the bases being loaded and Vaughn coming in to pitch agains Jack who they traded away. I've said it before in the review the drama just wasn't there. I liked the movie but that is just because it's a baseball movie so i'm biased in that aspect. I'd give it 2 out of 4 stars.