"Grease 2" is "Grease" with a gender switch. This time round instead of having Olivia Newton-John as the new girl in school we have a new boy on the block in the form of Maxwell Caulfield. For Caulfield, who was born in Glasgow Scotland, this was to be his big break. He was chosen from thousands of young hopefuls to star in the sequel to "Grease", arguably the most successful musical of all time. To live up to the expectations set by the previous film this was a big ask for a young actor. His co-star was to be hot new Hollywood starlet Michelle Pfeiffer. The two were on the verge of overnight stardom, if only the film had of worked. "Grease 2" was a critical and financial disaster for producers Allan Carr and Robert Stigwood.
To reflect back on it today after more than 20 years "Grease 2" is like a breath of fresh air. The songs from the original have continued to get airplay throughout the decades but the songs from the sequel don't. Are the songs from the sequel bad? Well, I don't think so. In fact a number of them are very good. Sure, the "Grease 2" soundtrack is different; it has a slightly more modern feel, but nevertheless still manages to blend in well and succeeds in enhancing the 60's period flavour. In "Grease 2" the musical numbers are well choreographed and the performances are enthusiastic and vibrant. The standout out numbers would have to be, the dynamic opening soundtrack "Back To School Again", the bowling alley extravaganza "Score Tonight", the classroom number "Reproduction" performed with former teen idol Tab Hunter playing teacher and of course who can forget Michelle Pfeiffer belting out "Cool Rider" and the closing number "We'll Be Together" performed by the entire cast at the end of year Hawaiian luau.
One thing is for sure "Grease 2" is a showcase for a talented young cast. From the stars right through to the supports, the film is brimming with talent. Adrian Zmed is a standout as Johnny Nogerelli the leader of the leather-clad T-birds. It is interesting to note that Zmed has played the Danny Zucko role in numerous stage performances. Lorna Luft, the daughter of Judy Garland and half sister to Liza Minnelli is great as one of the Pink Ladies. Didi Conn reprises her role from the original as Frenchy. Old favourites Sid Caesar, Eve Arden, Dody Goodman, Connie Stevens and Tab Hunter demonstrate that they still have what it takes. Also, look out for "Breakdance" star Lucinda Dickey as a background dancer in a number of "blink-and-you'll miss-em scenes" and in a slightly bigger role Olivia's former husband Matt Lattanzi can also be seen singing and dancing. Although "Grease 2" has received a lot of negative criticism over the years, I still believe it is a good film. With its new look, new sound and new stars in the lead roles, "Grease 2" is loads of musical fun.