Saturday, May 02, 2020

The Naked Gun (1988)

There are some movies that are best left in the year they originated.  It’s not that they necessarily reflect or define that year.  It’s more that they’re a product of that year and don’t really age that well.  I remember liking The Naked Gun when it first came out.  Having watched it again recently, I find that I’m not as amused.

The movie starts with Lieutenant Frank Drebin breaking up a conference of world despots in Beirut.  Once back in Los Angeles, he learns that his partner, Nordberg, has been injured trying to take down a heroin operation.  What follows is a series of more dated humor as Drebin tries to stop an assassination attempt on the Queen of England.

The best example of the humor is the summit of world despots at the beginning of the movie.  There are six leaders, including Fidel Castro and Mikhail Gorbachev.  None of them are in office anymore and I don’t know that most high-school graduates would have any meaningful recollection of any of them.  In fact, I think Gorbachev is the only one still alive, but none of the names would be found in the current-events section of the newspaper.

Stopping the assassination is an uphill battle for Drebin, since no one believes the criminal is the criminal.  He’s a respected businessman who plans to use hypnosis to get someone else to commit the actual assassination.  All Drebin knows is that it’s a member of what was then the California Angels.  So, he has to search every member of the home team to see who has a gun.

This movie is by the same group that brought you Airplane! and Top Secret!.  The humor is going to be in the same vein, like having a character named Pahpshmir.  It’s something I’d recommend renting rather than buying for most people.  Even among those who saw the movie in theaters, I’d recommend seeing if you can watch it streaming on Netflix first.

1 comment :

Alex Diaz-Granados said...

This is the type of movie that, as you suggest, is best watched as either (a) a rental or (b) on a basic cable channel rather than adding to one's Blu-ray or DVD collection. It's dated, sure, but even when it was "current," I never thought, "Hey, this would make a fine addition to my VHS collection!"