There’s no secret that Caddyshack 2 stands as one of the worst sequels ever made, but despite what anyone has said in the past, including my own opinion, this movie isn’t as bad as many might want to think. My own opinion is that when stacked next to the original movie, it does fall short in a few ways since the unfortunate fact that a sequel has to work so much harder to match and overcome the first movie is a constant that can’t be ignored. But the fact that some sequels do overtake the original movie is an exception, not a rule. Caddyshack 2 wasn’t designed to overtake the original movie, as it was a continuation that had very little continuity and was meant to write another chapter in the history of the Bushwood Country Club. About the only real connection to the original movie, apart from Bushwood, was Ty Webb, who had less than ten minutes of screen time in this movie. It might not sound like this is leading up to a great explanation of why this movie was better than people thought, but the truth is that a lot of people went into this movie expecting it to live up to the same standard as the original.
That wasn’t about to happen. Not only did the first movie rely heavily on more talented stars, and fewer of them, but there weren’t any real expectations of greatness from the audience. Caddyshack 2 didn’t have a high bar to reach, but while it didn’t reach that bar, it scooted under it with a cast made up of many individuals that had were still well-known, even if some of them were fit for TV and others didn’t live up to the reputation that they’d already developed. Dan Aykroyd was one such individual that many fans knew could be great since he’d already done so much up to this point. The same could be said for Chevy Chase, even though his role was kind of amusing. Randy Quaid was definitely over the top, but in a way that was comfortable for his character, and Jackie Mason was, well, a bit flat at times, but was still quirky and different from the actors in the first movie.
There is a belief that people might have built up the first movie in their minds without remembering what the movie was really like. As the first serious attempt at directing by Harold Ramis, it’s fair to state that Caddyshack felt all over the place since it appeared to be trying to encompass the overall life of a caddy while at the same time trying to focus on Danny Noonan at the same time. It didn’t work as well as people thought, but Caddyshack was still a funny and well-liked movie. Caddyshack 2 was a product of its time, and on top of that was doing what it could to recoup the story after losing Rodney Dangerfield, who was supposed to be the star of the movie. Jackie Mason wasn’t a total flop, but his style of comedy and his delivery were somehow a bit off for this movie. But stating that the movie didn’t come together isn’t entirely fair since it focused more on the actual story of the Hartounian’s and their desire to belong to Bushwood while keeping every other supporting character where they needed to be.
Is anyone hearing that? Caddyshack was fun, it was great, but it felt loose and disorganized by comparison, while Caddyshack 2 found a story to follow and did so with a greater amount of structure and with plenty of supporting characters that helped to keep the movie on track and not spinning off into a few different directions that would have likely repeated the same mistakes of the original movie. This is why Caddyshack 2 is better than people give it credit for since it stuck to its core story and let everything happen around it, while the original movie left people wondering who was the real focus at times. There’s plenty of room to debate this idea since quite a few people have been adamant over the years that Caddyshack 2 has the distinction of being one of the absolute worst sequels of all time.
But if one looks at the movie with the understanding that it became its own movie, independent of the first movie, they might find that it didn’t do that poorly. Whether it’s the fickle nature of fans or the critics that tanked this movie, it’s fair to say that it wasn’t just the acting, the number of actors, and the plot that felt, to many, that it was more or less a parody of the original. But while it’s not the best sequel of all time, it’s definitely not the worst, and thinking that this movie did several things right is easy once a person sees it from a different perspective.
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