Stars Jackie Gleason and Mac Davis come nowhere close to evoking the charming onscreen qualities of Paul Newman and Robert Redford. Combined with the slow pace and overdone exposition, The Sting II is mostly just a chore to watch.
Though screenwriter David S. Ward concocts as viable a story as he did in the original, the trouble is there is still an original.
Gleason plays the master con man out to make a big score with the help of fellow huckster Davis. The chief patsy is tacky nightclub owner Karl Malden while Oliver Reed does a less than distinctive turn as a mysterious gangster watching it all happen.
So much of the intricate plot is explained in dialog that the first half of the film often seems like someone reading an instruction book. Exception is Teri Garr, who provides what little life there is as a slick, seasoned trickster who becomes involved in the scam.
The second half picks up a bit as the plan goes into effect and this is where the performances come into play.
1983: Nomination: Best Adapted Score