Plot: As a dense fog blankets the West Coast, a number of flights are sent to alternate destinations, a routine procedure, but in this case, one that leads to a horrific mid-air collision. A small plane crashes into a larger commercial flight, killing the pilot and his navigator and in essence, dooming the over one hundred passengers, with no one on board to complete the flight. The head stewardess Nancy (Karen Black) is able to radio the tower and be given some basic instructions, which allow her to keep the plane in the air, but landing will be another concern. As time passes, tensions grow on the plane and the situations grows darker, but can the tower officials hatch a plan to bring those on board down to earth safe and sound?
Entertainment Value: The original Airport had a fun premise, but was weighed down under a lot of exposition and filler, but this sequel takes a leaner, more kinetic tact and is an absolute blast to watch. The main inspiration for Airplane and often mentioned when the worst, but most fun movies are discussed, Airport 1975 follows disaster movie tropes, but also has immense camp value and intentional humor. The ensemble is smaller this time around, but it works better since these folks are more colorful and in some cases, downright outlandish. The cliches flow like wine and the film leans on stereotypes and genre conventions, but to such a slavish extent, it turns into high camp and can be often hilarious to watch. The simplified narrative keeps the pace brisk despite a lack of kinetic action, but the finale adds some good tension and lets the movie glide in for a wacky landing, so no worries there. If you want a serious disaster movie, Airport 1975 might not be the ideal choice, but if you want to see a remarkable cast in an unintentionally ridiculous movie, give this one a shot.
Although this sequel reduces the sheer volume of stars involved, it compensates by giving us more colorful, game cast members. I mean, we have cinema icons Gloria Swanson and Myrna Loy in a ludicrous disaster movie, that is beyond bad ass and is such a cool casting coup. George Kennedy also returns as the franchise player for the Airport series, while Linda Blair, Erik Estrada, Jerry Stiller, Sid Caesar, Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., Normal Fell, and numerous others provide memorable, often humorous roles on the supporting cast. But the focus is on Charlton Heston and Karen Black, as this movie takes a more personal, narrow narrative approach. Both perform quite well and Black brings a lot of charisma to the role, with her scream queen experience paying off in conveying fear and terror here. Heston is Heston, fun to watch and his overly serious, sincere performance just adds to the wackiness. Last but never least, we have the legend himself, Larry Storch on the cast lineup.