Caddyshack II

caddyshackIIA lunkhead comedy, Caddyshack II simply recycles the same jokes and basic idea of the first Caddyshack. As such, it’s surprisingly painless, although the level of tastelessness gets rather heady at times.

Like the first film, Shack II is set in a snobbish country club. Head snobs Robert Stack and Dina Merrill are appalled at the sudden presence of Jackie Mason, a self-made millionaire who has joined the club only to please his daughter, who wants to fit in with the polo-shirt crowd.

Mason’s character, aside from embodying a vague ethnicity, also indulges in the sins of bad clothes, bad manners, and bad one-liners. A friend pulls the daughter aside and asks, “He’s not your real father, is he?”

The movie asks us to believe that Mason eventually buys the country club, and turns it into an oversize putt-putt golf course, with windmills and hockey rinks. (It also asks to believe that Dyan Cannon, who plays a club aerobics instructor, would be attracted to Jackie Mason.) Naturally, this enrages the blue bloods just that much more; they put out a contract on Mason’s life.

Dan Aykroyd does a cameo as the soldier of fortune who’s hired to kill Mason, and Chevy Chase, who was in the first Caddyshack, has a slightly larger role as the owner of the club. Both do familiar shtick. Randy Quaid turns up as Mason’s obnoxious lawyer, who believes that the problem with golf is that there’s not enough physical contact in it.

It’s all lowbrow and gross, with the expected comic thrust being the humiliation of rich people – not that there isn’t plenty of room for jokes about various animal body noises. And speaking of animals, the destructive gopher from the first movie is back, bearing a peculiar resemblance to Chevy Chase.

Jackie Mason, who is riding the success of his Broadway one-man show, The World According to Me, slips in his brand of Catskills humor, which sometimes cries out for a drummer to supply the rim shots. Sample: Stack tells Mason how to ride a horse: “Just hold on tight, grip with your knees, and let the animal do all the work.” Mason: “Sounds like my wedding night.” Ba-dum-bum.

First published in The Herald, July 31, 1988

That last joke was pretty good. Sorry, Jackie, all is forgiven. If I’m reading IMDb right, this was the last big-screen feature directed by Allan Arkush, a former Roger Corman guy who did Rock and Roll High School and a huge amount of TV since. 

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