Major League II
1994, PG, 105 min. Directed by David S. Ward. Starring Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Corbin Bernsen, Omar Epps, Dennis Haysbert, James Gammon, Alison Doody, Michelle Burke, Margaret Whitton, Bob Uecker, Randy Quaid.
REVIEWED By Marjorie Baumgarten, Fri., April 1, 1994
You've got to know something is terribly wrong when Bob Uecker's performance is amongst a movie's few high points. This sequel is a far cry from the original Major League which was a reasonably funny spoof of the professional sport of baseball. Major League II is a slo-mo replay of last season's game. It uses all the same elements and throws them out on the field without an iota of strategy or game plan. It's hard to believe that the same writer/director, David S. Ward, was at the helm of both these projects. Major League II reunites most of last season's team. The premise is that during the off-season the players all got soft, so the trick will be for them to pull together as a lean, mean team once again. Inexplicably, many of these characters lost, well… , their characters during the off-season. Charlie Sheen's Wild Thing ballplayer has let success and endorsements go to his head and is now chauffeured around in limos instead of riding up on Harleys. He has tossed over his true-blue best gal for a superficial personal manager/girlfriend and traded in his killer pitches for ineffective showmanship with fancy names. The voodoo worshipper (Haysbert) has now become a Buddhist and the player (Bernsen) who bought the team at the end of last season sells it back to its original owner when he starts to lose money. None of this hangs together terribly cohesively. It's like every character was given a little bit of business to act out in order to fill up the time. Randy Quaid manages to fill up a lot of time as the obnoxious fan from hell shouting epithets at the players from the stands. There are a few good moments: Sheen doing umpteen takes of a deodorant commercial, a wickedly funny spoof of a bad action movie Omar Epps' character starred in during the off-season, James Gammon fooling the nursing staff where he's hospitalized into believing that he is watching Masterpiece Theatre on TV instead of listening to the championship match on a transistor radio. But these moments are rare godsends in a movie that's otherwise a dull no-hitter.