I know some Danny Zuko apologists. I’m trying not to let it interfere in our friendship. For the good of the world, I would like to publicly educate those freaks about why Grease pales in comparison to the sequel.
Using (something other than) the scientific method, I will pit Grease against Grease 2 and determine the winner (it’s Grease 2). This conclusion will be irrefutable. Not unlike climate change and evolution.
Let us not waste any more time.
CHALLENGE #1: OPENING NUMBER
You’re getting really smug already, Grease fans, I can tell. You think your animated title sequence that has little to do with the rest of the movie but happens to be set to a kickass song performed by Frankie Valli can’t be topped?
Here’s a still from “Back to School”, you pack of delusional dullards.
With a still this exhilarating, you can only imagine how dangerously fast the full number gets your blood pumping.
ADVANTAGE: Grease 2
CHALLENGE #2: BATTLE OF THE PINK LADIES
Are you aware that Grease 2 boasts MICHELLE PFEIFFER? Are you further aware that at one point she gyrates on top of a very tall ladder and teaches us how to spell “COOL RIDER”? Well, you are now.
What does Grease have, by way of Pink Ladies?
I admit, he’s impressive and I really loved him in 21 Jump Street and the Magic Mike movies but–no. No, wait. That doesn’t seem right.
Ahhhh….Stockard Channing. My apologies.
Hey! I love her! She’s great in everything. She’s strong, layered, tough…uh-oh. This is like a Pink Ladies-themed Sophie’s Choice.
ADVANTAGE: I…I’m not sure I can choose…MOVING ON!
CHALLENGE #3: LEADING MEN
I’m not going to argue that John Travolta can’t sing. He very clearly can. I’m not going to argue that John Travolta can’t dance. That man has the feet of angels. I’m just going to say this: John Travolta??? He has sullied his own Saturday Night Fever/Stayin’ Alive name for Scientology.
On the other hand, Grease 2 boasts this fella:
He’s handsome. He’s british. He’s inadvertently funny. And he’s a good guy on the outside with a bit of a bad boy on the inside. Did I mention he’s a COOL RIDER?
ADVANTAGE: This one doesn’t even seem fair. Michael Carrington takes it with nothing more than a flip of his floppy english hair.
CHALLENGE #4: MALE BONDING
I’ll admit I have a bit of a soft spot for Kenickie. I will also admit that “Greased Lightnin'” is one ear worm of a song. And who can shrug off something like this?
Now that I’ve got you thinking Grease is going to take this category, may I present you with “Prowlin'”…
This song has it all.
1. Johnny Nogerelli, played by the incomparable Adrian Zmed.
2. The silhouettes of sexy grocery clerks.
3. The lyrics, “You know what I like? I like a girl who’s really smart. Providing that she’s really stacked.“*
(*It should be noted that this is the pick-up line my husband used to woo me.)**
(**It should be further noted that I’m lying, but if he had used that pick-up line, we would have been engaged after only a month of dating rather than waiting a conservative three months.)
ADVANTAGE: We’re going prow-wow-wow-lin’ toniiiiiiiiight! Whooo!
CHALLENGE #5: THE MOST DANGEROUS CHASE!
My father firmly believes that every good movie needs a good car chase. Grease certainly has its drag race.
But does it involve a motorcycle?
Is there a harrowing event at the climax leading you to believe a beloved character has died?
At any point do you get to witness Michelle Pfeiffer hallucinate biker heaven?
I think not.
I rest my case.
ADVANTAGE: Grease 2.
CHALLENGE #6: CLOSING NUMBER
What do you think about the ending of Grease? That’s not a rhetorical question. I really want you to tell me about it…stud.
For me? Sandy’s transformation is kinda hot, yet mostly depressing. The moral of the story is: Girls! If you fundamentally change who are, you too can finally win over the school’s bad boy! He’s pretty thick-skulled, he’s emotionally immature, but you’ve got him! At least for as long as it takes to sing, “Awhombomaloomba-awhompbamBOOM!” (No, I’m not going to google how to properly spell those lyrics.)
Yes, “We Go Together” is a fun little ditty. Sure, it makes you believe that this core group of friends will always be together, but you have your hunches, don’t you?
And then Frenchie showed up on the first day of school in Grease 2 and I knew that song was a lie! I knew it!!!
Look, I’m not going to pretend that that “We’ll Be Together” isn’t a cheap rip-off of the original smash, but at least Grease 2 had the decency to distance itself from the original by tossing a year end luau in there.
And, quite frankly, “We’ll Be Together” is pretty hilarious. It makes me smile and cringe! It’s 50% fun!
CHALLENGE #7: WHAT ELSE YOU GOT?
For those of you who haven’t born witness to the beauty of Grease 2, there’s something you should know:
YOU’RE WELCOME, WORLD!
ADVANTAGE: Please. Grease never taught me nothin’. I mean anything.
I’ll cue up the movie. You bring your pink satin jackets and leather biker wear. Let’s do this thing.