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Naked Gun, The

Reviewed By Ryan Arthur
Posted 01/12/99 10:28:39

"Say...nice beaver."
4 stars (Worth A Look)

One of the better parody films, but still lightweight.

Leslie Nielsen has come a long way, I guess. He's been acting since the 1950's in numerous films and television programs. But he never really achieved the noteriety he has now until he started doing movies with the Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker team. Now he's basically stuck in that mode, doing lame spoof after lame spoof (Wrongfully Accused, anyone?).

The Naked Gun: From The Files Of Police Squad! came about in 1988 and grossed something like $78 million, spawned two sequels and countless imitators.

You can find most of the jokes in the original series Police Squad! from 1982, but that's not important. Nevermind that the star was 62 years old and just as well known for a role in Forbidden Planet as he was in Airplane!

Point is, it's still pretty funny.

Oh sure, some of the jokes are groaners. But compare this film to the more recent parody movies, the Wrongfully Accuseds, the Dracula: Dead And Loving Its (featuring Nielsen), and it's actually not so bad.

There's something about a movie that casts Ricardo Montalban as the bad guy and doesn't play up the Khan comparisons, or that has Reggie Jackson attempting to kill Queen Elizabeth that makes you smile, at the very least. You also get a good look at one O.J. Simpson, continuing to prove the best acting he ever did was trying to put on a pair of gloves in a California courtroom.

Yes, the story is thin, and the acting is spotty, but dammit, it's funny. Sight gags, tons of verbal jokes, you name it. It's funny without being vulgar, stupid but sweet at the same time.

It's not gonna change your life, but it's still funny enough to rent on a Saturday night.

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