“What kinda name is “golf” anyway? Sounds like a sound you make when you’ve got something caught in your throat.”
The Scoop: 1988 PG, directed by Allan Arkush and starring Jackie Mason, Robert Stack and Dan Aykroyd
Tagline: The shack is back!
Summary Capsule: It’s the exact same plot of the first movie, only dipped into a comedic toxic waste barrel and left to rot and mutate under the hot sun
Justin’s Rating: It chafes when I watch!
Justin’s Review: Out of all the hooplah, backlash, spite, venom and fightin’ words slung at 1988’s Caddyshack II, the most damning thing I can label this film with is “hypocritical”. I mean, I really don’t get the whole richies-vs.-slobs thing that went on in the films that decade, where the bad guy in comedies usually was a stuck-up, arrogant, and – most importantly of all – wealthy jerk, and the hero was a jive-talking slacker who saw things the way they really were, man. The 80’s ate this sort of thing up, regurgitating this conflict in films over and over again, which makes absolutely no sense when you stop to think that (a) these movies are made by Hollywood studios, who (b) are in the money-making business, and (c) are pretty much all more like the wealthy jerk than the cool slacker.
So rich guys make movies about rich guys getting their comeuppance… why? Well, because the middle- and lower-class were their primary demographic for this sort of low-brow fare, and thus: pandering! So even when the slackers win in the end, Hollywood gets the final laugh, and rich folks go home rubbing their hands together all evil-like while poor folks trade a few bucks for vicariously getting revenge on what they see as their arch-nemesis.
Also, it’s a pretty crappy film, but you already knew that.
Caddyshack II reminds me of that Simpsons episode where Mr. Burns is making a film and demands Steven Spielberg, who is unavailable. “Then get me his non-union Mexican equivalent!” Burns yells, which culminates in the hiring of Señor Spielbergo. Caddyshack II is almost entirely populated by the non-union Mexican equivalents of the original’s Rodney Dangerfield (replaced with Jackie Mason), Bill Murray (Dan Aykroyd), Ted Knight (Robert Stack) and Michael O’Keefe (Jonathan Silverman). Only Chevy Chase, riding pointless cameos down to his career grave, returns as a sober reminder of what kids might look forward to if they don’t work hard in school.
The only good thing I’ll say about Caddyshack II is that if it was released as a standalone movie back in the 80’s, it still would have bombed, but would’ve also avoided much of the vitriol spewed at it. Caddyshack is one of those sacred, holy films that’s admired to pieces by a generation or two before me, and that crowd saw this half-born abomination slithering from the womb of decaying screenwriters and collectively lost their poop. It’s bad, sure, but a lot of films are bad; it’s only that it somehow sullies the good name of a beloved film that it has been sentenced to sequel hell, where they must endure an eternity of critics taking cheap potshots at it from their lofty perches.
The story is more or less like the original. There’s this country club, see, where everyone’s rich and snobby and treats caddies like indentured servants, but lo! One day a rebel yell is heard (More! More! More!) as a slacker takes up residence, irking the snobs to no end, until pointless and slapsticky confrontations ensue.
Jackie Mason, who, if anything, is far less funny than Rodney Dangerfield (a comedian I outright despise), brings his working class millionaire attitude into a blue blood Old Money environment, and that’s about it for dignity from both sides. He’s only trying to fit in because his daughter – for reasons unknown to this script – is trying to become “one of them” and has an inability to discern that she’s neck-deep in Yuppies and about to drown due to stupidity. There’s a lot of hoo-hah about Mason’s building project and a historical garage, but we’ll quickly fast-forward to the part where the movie spirals out of control, which is somewhere around the point where he buys the club and turns it into an unbelievably tacky golf-themed amusement park.
Apparently, this is the only country club in a 50-mile radius, because the snobs don’t just leave, but ratchet up the hostilities by hiring Aykroyd to assassinate Mason. Now, I love me some old-fashioned 80’s Aykroyd, but whatever he was trying to do with his creepy high-pitched voice and slow-tracking conversational tones was about as far from funny as one could get without going full-fledged serial killer. Toss this together with a gopher puppet (something that wasn’t amusing the first time they trotted that out), and you get a couple hours of rotten product. It’s boring, it’s predictable, and what’s more, it’s been done, and much better too.
Kenny Loggins, I’m not alright any more, and I think it’s time you worried about me. Can you give me a lift home?
- Okay, I will say one kind thing about this film: the theme song, “Nobody’s Fool” by Kenny Loggins, is pretty kickin’.
- Rodney Dangerfield was going to come back to play Al Czervik again for this movie, but rejected the role because the writers (Harold Ramis and Peter Torokvei) would not let him tweak the script.
Chandler Young: What is your background?
Jack Hartounian: My father was Armenian. My other was half Jewish, half English, half Spanish.
Chandler Young: That’s three halves.
Jack Hartounian: Oh, she was a big woman.
Chandler Young: Interesting club. what would you call that?
Jack Hartounian: Twelve gauge.
Peter Blunt: Golf, golf… what kinda name is “golf” anyway? Sounds like a sound you make when you’ve got something caught in your throat.
If you liked this movie, try these:
- Happy Gilmore
- One Crazy Summer