Major League II is a 1994 comedy film produced & directed by David S. Ward (Major League, The Program, Down Periscope, & King Ralph). It’s a sequel to 1989’s Major League with most of the main cast returning. It was written by R.J. Stewart (The Rundown, Xena: Warrior Princess, Remington Steele, & Perfect Crimes). It was produced by Gary Barber (G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, The Lookout, Unbreakable, True Romance, Freejack, Howling V: The Rebirth, Trial by Jury, Bad Moon, Young Guns II, Stay Tuned, & White Sands). Omar Epps replaced Wesley Snipes in this film. A follow up sequel “Major League: Back to the Minors” was made in 1998. The budget was $25 million & it grossed $30,626,182 at the box office worldwide.
In the previous season, the Cleveland Indians won the division title by beating the New York Yankees in a one-game playoff but got defeated in the ALCS by the Chicago White Sox. The success of last season has changed the attitudes of the Indians. Pitching sensation Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn (played by: Charlie Sheen from Major League, Platoon, Wall Street, & Young Guns) has become a media sensation & he is now more concerned about his public image than his pitching, causing him to lose the edge on his fastball. Home run hitter Pedro Cerrano (played by: Dennis Haysbert from Major League, Heat, 24, & The Unit) becomes a Buddhist & adopts a more carefree style as opposed to the angry player that he was before. Center fielder Willie Mays Hayes (played by: Omar Epps from Higher Learning, House, In Too Deep, & Scream 2) has become a Hollywood actor & now considers himself a power hitter. Aging catcher & team leader Jake Taylor (played by: Tom Berenger from Major League, Eye See You, Sniper franchise, & The Big Chill) is dealing with injuries to his knees. Rachel Phelps (played by: Margaret Whitton from Major League, The Best of Times, 9½ Weeks, & Ironweed) sells the team to Roger Dorn (played by: Corbin Bernsen from the Major League franchise, The Dentist 1/2, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, & L.A. Law) who has retired as an active player to take the job.
He signs Oakland Athletics all-star catcher Jack Parkman (played by: David Keith from Firestarter, White of the Eye, An Officer and a Gentleman, & Daredevil). Minor-league catcher Rube Baker (played by: Eric Bruskotter from Major League: Back to the Minors, Starship Troopers, The Fan, & Crimson Tide) joins the team but needs serious help with his game. Manager Lou Brown (played by: James Gammon from Major League, The Iron Giant, Silverado, & Wyatt Earp) informs Taylor that he is keeping him on as a coach rather than a player. Parkman starts all kinds of trouble for the squad then he’s traded to the White Sox due to lack of funds. Japanese import Hiroshi “Kamikaze” Tanaka (played by: Takaaki Ishibashi from Major League: Back to the Minors, Sukiyaki Western Django, & Ultraman series), a gifted left fielder is sent to the Indians. Dorn sells the Indians back to Rachel Phelps. Rachel keeps Dorn on as the Indians general manager & his first order of business is to re-activate himself as a player. Phelps bought the team back as revenge for ruining her plan to move the team to Miami. The players & the team finally start getting back to normal after struggling. They work together & make a run for the playoffs. They have to go against the White Sox & their former teammate Jack Parkman. Can the Indians finally win it all????
Major League II is a solid sequel despite being toned down a little bit compared to the original. Not a fan when they take Rated R franchises to PG, it just doesn’t feel right at times & watered down. Major League went from Paramount to Warner Bros for this follow up, they were trying to cash in & make as much as possible for a more acceptable rating I guess. Most of the original cast & major characters return here except for Wesley Snipes. Rene Russo has a small uncredited cameo. I thought the script was hilarious & I liked how everyone was dealing with something different in this. It’s very similar to the first film for the most part, it’s just more friendly to kids this time. These are some of my favorite baseball movies of all time. Besides comedy, it has some nice dramatic moments to balance everything out. This is one of the best roles & performances from Charlie Sheen. He could do this character in his sleep, Wild Thing is just so natural to him so it doesn’t honestly require much acting from the star. David Keith is a great villain in Major League II, you love to hate Parkaman. He is egotistical & not a team player at all. The supporting cast for Major League II which includes Dennis Haysbert, Tom Berenger, James Gammon, Corbin Bernsen, Margaret Whitton, & Randy Quaid (Major League) is top notch. This gave this comedy a huge boost of quality for the overall production because the chemistry was amazing with this crew. If you are into screwball comedy, baseball, or sports films then you need to check out this franchise because it’s so much fun & always entertaining. RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation & extra from Sony Pictures! This 1080p (1.85:1) transfer is a huge upgrade over the older DVD from Warner Bros. As expected, this catalog title looks very solid on home video but do not expect reference quality here. I love the atmosphere with this one. All the baseball material looks better than I remember here. The English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is good & it has it’s moments where it gets your attention but it’s not the type that’s going to blast through your home system. It’s definitely better than all the previous home video releases & probably the best it ever will be to be honest. All the dialogue is very clean, all the baseball action is elevated, & the music has a nice boost to it. It also has English SDH, French, & Spanish subtitles. The only extra on the disc is the “Theatrical Trailer”. This is from Sony Pictures made on demand line but it’s actually pro pressed. It’s available everywhere right now including MovieZyng.com, CHECK IT OUT!!!!