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Major League II (1994) is a sequel to the 1989 film Major League. Major league II stars most of the same cast from the original, including Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, and Corbin Bernsen. However, Omar Epps replaces Wesley Snipes as the character Willie 'Mays' Hayes. This film also welcomes some new faces to the team. David Keith plays Jack Parkman - a selfish superstar catcher who is looking to replace the aging Jake (Tom Berenger) as the starter. Takaaki Ishibashi of Japanesemarker comedic duo Tunnels is a new outfielder, Isuro "Kamikazi" Tanaka, who helps excite the team. Eric Bruskotter is the rookie catcher Rube Baker who is getting used to the MLB life.

Background

The film was directed by David S. Ward, who also directed the first installment of the Major League series, in addition to other films, such as The Program and Down Periscope. In addition to Sheen, Berenger, Bernsen, Epps, Keith, and Takaaki, Major League II has an additional cast of Dennis Haysbert, James Gammon, Bob Uecker, and Margaret Whitton.

The film touches on the follow up season of the Cleveland Indians successful season in the first film. Success has spoiled the team and many of its players. Roger Dorn has retired and purchased the team. New relationships are revealed that have affected play on the field.

The film was released in March 1994 and eventually gross over $30 million at the U.S. box office. The film and its sequel Major League: Back to the Minors were not as well received as the first film, which is considered by many now to be a classic. The film has many cameo appearances by current and former MLB players such as Steve Yeager. The film also has cameos by several entertainers such as Jesse Ventura and Randy Quaid.

The film was shot at various locations in Baltimore, Marylandmarker, Chicago, Illinoismarker, Cleveland, Ohiomarker, and Harrisburg, Pennsylvaniamarker. Various sports stadiums were also used in filming, including Memorial Stadiummarker, Oriole Park at Camden Yardsmarker and U.S.marker Cellular Fieldmarker (then called Comiskey Park) in Chicago.

Because the film was made between the Indians last season at Cleveland Stadiummarker and before the opening of Progressive Fieldmarker, (originally Jacobs Field) Oriole Park at Camden Yardsmarker was used. The producers felt that the Orioles' new stadium could stand in as a close likeness for the Indians' new home.

A year after this film was released, the actual Cleveland Indians team made it to the 1995 World Series, which it lost in 6 games to the Atlanta Braves. In the lead-up to Game 3, the first World Series game played in Cleveland in 41 years, the PA system played "The House Is Rockin," the song from the end of from Major League II. Incidentally, Bob Uecker (Harry Doyle) served as a commentator for the 1995 World Series television coverage on NBC.

Synopsis

Last season, the Cleveland Indians won the division title, but they were defeated in the ALCS by the Chicago White Sox.

The success of last season has changed the attitudes of the Indians. Pitching sensation Ricky "Wild Thing" Vaughn (Charlie Sheen) is now a bland yuppie concerned about his endorsement potential, causing him to lose the edge on his fastball. Home run hitter Pedro Cerrano (Dennis Haysbert) underwent a spiritual conversion, from aggressive voodoo to placid Buddhism, which affects his competitive spirit. Conceited player Roger Dorn (Corbin Bernsen) retired and bought the team from Rachel Phelps (Margaret Whitton). Aging catcher Jake Taylor (Tom Berenger) has also retired to become one of the coaches who work for manager Lou Brown (James Gammon). And Willie Mays Hayes (Omar Epps) is still as fast as ever, but he has added some power to his hitting and a sprained knee from performing stunts in his new movie. However, Dorn signs arrogant power hitting catcher Jack Parkman (David Keith) as an offseason free agent, and minor league catcher Rube Baker (Eric Bruskotter) makes the team out of spring training, despite his throwing problem.

The Indians get off to another slow start, as egos clash. The signing of Jack Parkman has put Dorn in a financially tough spot, so Dorn trades Parkman to the Chicago White Sox, the team that defeated the Indians in the playoffs last season, keeping them from the World Series. In return, the Indians receive Isuro Tanaka (Takaaki Ishibashi), a gifted left fielder.

Dorn, still short on money, sells the team back to Rachel, but is retained as General Manager. He reactivates himself on the roster. Rachel sees this as an opportunity to get revenge on the Indians for what happened last season, so she tries to find ways to make them have a losing season this time. When Lou has a heart attack, he gets Jake to take over as the Indians' interim manager. Baker and Tanaka aid Hayes and Cerrano (respectively) regain their competitiveness, and the Indians begin to win again.

Taylor leads the Indians to their second consecutive division title, and another shot at the World Series, if they can defeat the Chicago White Sox in the ALCS. The Indians take a 3-0 lead in the ALCS against the White Sox, but in the next three games Jack Parkman scorches the Indians forcing a Game 7. In Game 7, Vaughn finds the "Wild Thing," and retires Parkman for the final out, as the Indians would go on to defeat the White Sox and go to the World Series.

Cast

Rick 'Wild Thing' Vaughn (Charlie Sheen)
The star pitcher of the Cleveland Indians in the first film has lost his edge and has become more business-like and professional in both appearance and personality. His new girlfriend (Alison Doody) aids this transformation. Vaughn has lost his distinct haircut, endorses products such as Right Guard deodorant, and he even names his pitches, including his new, ineffective breaking balls. This change affects his game negatively and his old girlfriend (Michelle Burke) helps him regain his former edge. As before, his signature entrance is set to a hard rock cover of The Troggs' hit song "Wild Thing", performed by the Los Angeles-area punk band X.
Jake Taylor (Tom Berenger)
The aging catcher in the first film returns in the same spot he was in during the previous one, trying to make the team one last time. He indeed makes the team, but when questioning manager Lou Brown about his intentions to carry three catchers, finds out he made Brown's coaching staff. He becomes the leader of the club when the manager, Lou Brown, falls ill and is stationed in the hospital.
Roger Dorn (Corbin Bernsen)
The third baseman in the first film is now the new owner of the Cleveland Indians, having recently purchased the team from Rachel Phelps. He is unsuccessful as the owner trading away great talent and posting billboards in the outfield to save money and make the payroll. He ends up selling the team back to Phelps after he no longer can afford to manage the team, and he becomes the last man on the roster.
Pedro Cerrano (Dennis Haysbert)
The voodoo practicing slugger found peace within himself and the world thanks to his conversion to Buddhism and refuses to get angry at others for whatever mistakes they may make. When Isuro Tanaka is introduced to the team he helps spark Cerrano by constantly taunting him. He later finds a happy medium, wherein he introduces his Buddha and Jobu icons to each other, finishing with "Now I don't want trouble out of you two!"
Lou Brown (James Gammon)
Lou returns as the manager of the team, the same nonchalant person who gives in to no player on the team. He experiences a heart attack when yelling at players in the locker room and Jake Taylor takes over the managing duties while he is in the hospital.
Willie 'Mays' Hayes (Omar Epps)
Epps reprises the role that Snipes played in the first film. In the first film, Hayes was somewhat narcissistic and has only become worse. He has begun an acting career, he hits for power instead of speed, and has an entourage. He gets a leg injury during the season which keeps him on the bench. People begin to question the injury and a fight ensues between members of the team. It is after this that Hayes returns to old form. (Hayes' desire to be an action movie star may in fact be a reference to Wesley Snipes' inability to return for the sequel. After the original movie, Snipes went on to star in action movies like Passenger 57, Rising Sun, and Demolition Man.) In one scene of this movie, character Willie 'Mays' Hayes (Wesley Snipes) recreates Willie Mays' famous catch in the 1954 World Series.
Harry Doyle (Bob Uecker)
Doyle returns as quick-witted Indians radio announcer who enjoys drinking Jack Daniel'smarker whiskey while calling the games, often getting drunk during losing streaks. He constantly makes fun of the team and its actions with sarcasm, one-liners and occasional on-air swearing.
Jack Parkman (David Keith)
Parkman is a superstar catcher that the Indians acquired through free agency. He is very cocky and brash and not afraid of smoking cigarettes in the dugout during games. He believes he is the best player on the team and that everyone else are losers by choice or birth and is not afraid to reveal this to the media or other members of the team. He is traded to the Chicago White Sox during the season and ends up facing his old team in the ALCS.
Isuro Tanaka (Takaaki Ishibashi)
Tanaka is acquired in part of the deal that sent Parkman to Chicago. He speaks very little English and uses a dictionary to look up certain translations. He's full of energy and provides a spark for the Indians eventually, most notably Pedro Cerrano.

His name, Isuro, was unnatural as a Japanese name. Therefore, his name became Taka Tanaka in Japanese dubbed version after Takaaki Ishibashi's nickname. Taka appeared in the sequel. (see
Rachel Phelps (Margaret Whitton)
Phelps returns as the owner of the team. It is revealed during the beginning of the film she sold the team to Roger Dorn but she buys it back once the Indians begin to struggle. She is very interested in her original plan of relocating the team to Florida, so she indeed wants them to fail.
Rube Baker (Eric Bruskotter)
Baker is a new rookie catcher on the Indians. Baker is sensitive, and, at times, clueless. He is from small town Americamarker and is not accustomed to the major league baseball life. Jake Taylor is in charge of guiding his career. Baker is made the starter when Parkman is traded away to the White Sox. His problem involvs not being able to throw the ball back to the mound properly (this was based in part on the real-life problems that plagued former New York Mets catcher Mackey Sasser). This problem was solved with the aid of Playboy and a Frederick's of Hollywood catalog.
Nikki Reese (Michelle Burke)
Reese is an old girlfriend of Vaughn. She is in charge of a program for under-privileged children. She eventually helps Vaughn get his edge back and abandon his new look.


Rene Russo makes a cameo for one scene as Lynn, Jake's love interest from the first film. They are wearing rings to imply they have married in the time since the original.

See also



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