With the success of the first McHale's Navy movie, it seems Universal were keen to follow up with a sequel.
This second movie has LTCOMD McHale (Ernest Borgnine) absent from the film; as well as Gruber (Carl Ballantine, which is not explained). However the crew of the PT-73 seem to take back-stage in this second movies as Ensign Parker and Captain Binghamton end up taking over for most of the film's length.
With everything now left to Ensign Parker (Tim Conway) to command, the crew sets off to Brisbane, Australia with Captain Binghamton (Joe Flynn) for a conference. After exchanging uniforms with the crew of a visiting Russian ship, the crew of the 73 disappear into town. Parker gets involved with the Russian crew, now in the uniforms of the 73 crew, who also go into town and end up getting horribly drunk in a downtown pub. Attempting to escape the clutches of the NKVD, who mistake Parker (now in Russian officer's uniform) for a Russian sailor, Parker and Christy get involved in a mix up with an Army Air Corps Lieutenant, who is the son of General Harkness, and ends up wearing his uniform. The Air Corps officer (Lt. Harkness) is knocked out by the accurate swing of Captain Binghamton throwing a shaving tackle at the Lieutenant, who is carted off to the Russian ship by the NKVD. Parker in the meantime, wearing the Air Corps uniform and mistaken as Lt. Harkness, stumbles through a number of mishaps that see him continually getting promoted.
Binghamton and Parker wind up in a C-47, with a jeep as cargo, and they both end up in the jeep; which falls out of the aircraft and is suspended by ropes, just as it flies over the Japanese fleet. The plane neatly deposits the jeep right in the midst of a conference pondering the possible location of the missing Japanese fleet. The movie ends with Binghamton seeing Parker sitting at the President's desk and thinking he's been promoted (again) to the top job.
I enjoyed this movie just like the TV series and the original movie, which was made a year before (1964). Both movies are in colour, whereas the TV series was filmed in black and white. For those of us who enjoy our McHale's Navy, this movie is great. It just needs to be re-released now onto DVD. As a late (2010) addendum, Madman Video in Australia has released both movies in a two-DVD pack to complete the change of all the McHale's Navy series now to DVD.