The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad (1988)
Dir: David Zucker
This comes from ZAZ productions, the team responsible for many spoof movies of the 80’s and 90’s.
The big screen spin-off from the short-lived show ‘Police Squad’ that was only 6 episodes long. Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen) is a seriously accident-prone and disastrous cop, yet somehow manages to get results, leading him to be put at the forefront of an investigation into an attempt to assassinate Queen Elizabeth II. During his investigations he is pitted against sinister businessman Vincent Ludwig (Ricardo Montalban) and falls for his secretary Jane (Priscilla Presley), getting into all sorts of comical situations and handling them with trademark incompetence.
I’ve seen a good number of these spoof movies, Airplane, Hot Shots (parts one and ‘Deux’) and now this. I enjoy them all momentarily as I’m watching, but am never wowed by their genius with the exception of ‘Airplane’ that is impressive in how unceasingly it hits you with one joke after another.
This isn’t quite up there with ‘Airplane’ but it is still a huge amount better than the sorts of spoof films that are being churned out in recent years. There’s a rather brilliant opening that sees Drebin taking out an entire room of shady world leaders and dictators, apparently while he was just on holiday. Beyond that it really wasn’t something I’ll be hurrying back to watching, but as always these films are good for a laugh and there may be the rare gag that stands out as a brief moment of brilliance, but stringing lots of these incidents together doesn’t always make for a wonderful film.