The Naked Gun (1988) (PG-13)
When you reach the point in "The Naked Gun" where two people retire to the bedroom to make love, announcing that they are advocates of safe sex; and then dress in full body condoms and grope each other, the audience is reminded that this movie is brought to us by the same people who made "Airplane!"
Ah, so much sense is made now.
As outlandish as it is impossible, "The Naked Gun" has a little slower pace than "Airplane!" did. Opening on the world's most notorious terrorists, deciding on how to deal the coup de grace to America, the bad guys are interrupted by a world famous cop, Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen). Frank is a blundering idiot, not knowing the devastation he causes. When he pulls up to the police station, rear-ending the car in front of him, he causes the airbags to go off in his car, which gets knocked out of park and careens down a hill unbeknownst to him. Getting surprised by his own car, he pulls his gun and fires at the automobile before instructing that all the names of the people present be taken down as witnesses.
Drebin has a way of shifting the blame without shifting the blame. He doesn't realize that he is so harmful to everyone around him. One of the best gags in the movie has Drebin accidentally destroying a priceless pen with water and stabbing an expensive pet fish to death at the same time.
The Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker team is less forceful here which is probably due to the fact that only David Zucker directed the movie.
A cop named Nordberg, played by O.J. Simpson of all people, stumbles onto a group of bad guys and almost uncovers a terrorist plot before his pumped full of bullets. But he's still alive, yet Frank's presence in the hospital means that Nordberg's life is in further danger.
The gags here are more filled with bathroom humor, including Frank going to the bathroom while micro-phoned. An audience gets a full earful of everything done in the restroom. Another gag has Frank feeling up statues, not purposeful, as he dangles on a ledge.
The sexual innuendoes are plentiful, the farts are many, and the puns never stop.
Perhaps the best way to describe "The Naked Gun" would be to not describe it at all. Clearly, the trio behind making this movie are of the same philosophy "Sullivan's Travels" was based on. Comedies do the heart good. This is not a smart movie masquerading as a farce...no, it is a farce and a darn funny one at that.
Some moments of the film stretch out too long, but "The Naked Gun" likes to beat its jokes into the ground; but when it works, it works so very, very well.
Posted by Micah Jones