Too often, sequels to popular films simply rehash the original film; call it the carbon-copy syndrome. Grease 2 suffers from no such malady, having almost nothing to do with the original film. Sure, it focuses on teens at Rydell High, the imaginary school from the first film, which starred John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. But other than a few of the teachers, all of the characters are new and so are the songs--and more's the pity. By the time Grease hit the big screen, it already had had almost a decade as a theatrical musical, more than enough time to hone its mock-rock & roll score. But this sequel, which stars among others a then-unknown Michelle Pfeiffer, Maxwell Caulfield, and Lorna Luft (Judy Garland's daughter), has music that's neither fish nor fowl, neither rock nor Broadway. Meanwhile, the plot is a reversal of the first film, in which a cool guy fell for a square girl. In this one, the square is newcomer Caulfield, who catches the eye of tough girl Pfeiffer and her Pink Lady gang. The appearance of such pseudo-stars of the '50s, like Tab Hunter, is supposed to lend a nostalgic kick, but let's just say that Grease 2 slides almost instantly into obscurity. --Marshall Fine
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