Airplane! (1980)













"Airplane!" is a comedy that shouldn't work. It's actors stupidly go bumbling around with cheesy dialogue riddled with puns and horrible visual monstrosities.
It centers around an airplane, hence the name.
Ted is an ex-military fighter plane pilot who's in love with one of the airplane's stewardesses Elaine. She's very soft spoken and naive but she can get the job done and follow orders, much like a "typical woman" should. This is added onto the already long list of offenses that "Airplane!" had piling up—the misogynistic phrases, the racist moments, the double entendres.
The gags made it feel like an American version of a Monty Python shtick. Every person that Ted sits next to kills themselves after hearing his story. During the first flashback, the lady sitting next to him hangs herself—then, at a new seat, a man runs himself through with a sword—finally, a man douses himself with gasoline and is about to set himself on fire when Ted is distracted and the man's suicide is prevented.
Elaine wants to leave Ted, she's not happy with their relationship anymore; but Ted is willing to fight for her. So at last minute, he buys a tickets for the plane that she's working on and heads to Chicago, hoping that this one trip will get her to change her mind.
But there's a problem on board, all the people eating fish are getting sick, violently sick. They're vomiting and sweating, loosing control over their flatulence, drooling, and having muscle spasms.
Elaine and her co-worker Randy rush to find a doctor. Then both pilots and the navigator pass out because all of them had fish. Elaine activates the auto-pilot which is just a blow-up man. While out of danger for the moment, they need to find a real pilot. News reaches the ground and soon the media is all over the story of the sick people in a plane destined to crash.
Ted can't fly the plane because of the horrible memories it would bring up from the war.
The ground crew is assembling a hasty team of experts that will help the plane reach the ground in one piece. Among them are a seasoned pilot, a hard-as-nails grounds specialist, and an obviously gay secretary. This adds another few layers onto our "offense cake".
"Airplane!" is ridiculous. It relies mainly on its fast-paced pun filled script to evoke laughter. From a random bar fight between girl scouts to a spoof of "Saturday Night Fever" in the same scene, this movie never holds back and never apologizes.
"Airplane!" is incredibly stupid, filled with over-acting and some jaw-dropping moments of horrid realization.
I wished I could say that I hated it, but Lord help me, I laughed a lot. "Airplane!", while offensive and beyond bizarre, is unquestionably funny.


Score: 3 and half stars out of 4

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