28 March 2011 | StevePulaski
Almost strikes out, but saved by a few minor perks
Major League II is a lost cause at best. It's one of those films you know will have a sequel, but you don't want there to be a sequel. You want the film to leave off on a good note and not be inhabited by sequels of lesser quality. Instead, Major League did what was predicted and made a sequel that is (a) PG and not on par with the original and (b) doesn't include all of the original actors.
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.