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Wick's Review

Created Feb 07, 2015 12:47AM PST • Edited Nov 07, 2017 01:23PM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Great 4.0

    Still LOL funny after all these years, The Naked Gun’s inspired lunacy retains its comedic potency.

    Leslie Nielsen’s obtuse police detective played off a rogue’s gallery of evil archetypes, from the Ayatollah and other 1988 Axis of Evil bastards, to a local crime lord, earning legendary status for himself in the offing.

    ZAZ, the Kentucky Fried geniuses behind the movie, also made Airplane!. “Surely you must be joking.”

    Their shtick in Naked Gun was to place hard-bitten police characters into cliche movie conventions that get taken too far, cleverly, and that come at you in rapid-fire sequence. It works, again and again and again.

    The only ding against this reliably funny flick is the presence of O.J. Simpson in the cast. Not to worry, he basically has an extended cameo. While in several scenes, he’s always a punching bag, which seems right.

  3. Very Good 3.5

    Leslie Nielsen became a major star late in his career as Lt. Frank Drebin in Naked Gun. His character and several others originated in the short lived Police Squad! TV series. Nielsen’s square, obtuse and deadpan dick turned him into an iconic leading-man even as he approached his Social Security years.

    Solid Supporting Cast
    • Priscilla Presley as the cliche love interest: Elvis’s Queen was in her 40s when making Naked Gun, but still played the younger woman to Nielsen’s 60-something. She’s lovely and funny.
    • Ricardo Montalban plays the heavy in flawless deadpan fashion.
    • George Kennedy as Nielsen’s equally thick Captain
    • O.J. Simpson as Nielsen’s comically injured partner Nordberg
    • Susan Beaubian as his grieving wife
    • Nancy Marchand as the royally peeved Mayor of Los Angeles
    • John Houseman as the driving instructor, in the last role of his legendary 50 year career
    As Themeselves
    • “Weird Al” Yankovic
    • Reggie Jackson
    • Jay Johnstone
    • Ron Luciano
    • Curt Gowdy
    • Jim Palmer
    • Tim McCarver
    • Mel Allen
    • Dick Enberg
    • Dick Vitale
    • Dr. Joyce Brothers
    • Jeannette Charles as Queen Elizabeth II: mostly she just has to wave, occasionally do the wave.
    • David Katz as Arafat
    • Robert LuJane as Gaddafi
    • Charles Gherardi as Ayatollah Khomeini
    • Prince Hughes as Idi Amin
    • David Lloyd Austin as Gorbachev
  4. Male Stars Really Great 4.5
  5. Female Stars Very Good 3.5
  6. Female Costars Good 3.0
  7. Male Costars Very Good 3.5
  8. Great 4.0

    Naked Gun is an outstanding film, comedy or otherwise. Zucker, Abraham and Zucker, aka ZAZ, the Kentucky Fried geniuses, nailed it. The opening scene – a cherry on top a police car going places unmentionable – brilliantly sets the tone for the whole funny movie.

    The film regularly sets up comedic prizes – e.g., Montalban’s Ming Vases – creating all the more anticipation.

  9. Direction Really Great 4.5
  10. Play Really Great 4.5
    • “She was giving me a look I could feel in my hip pocket.” – one of countless great lines
    • Variety headline: NIX PIX SHPLIX QUEEN
  11. Music Good 3.0
  12. Visuals Very Good 3.5
  13. Content
  14. Risqué 2.2
  15. Sex Titillating 1.7
  16. Violence Fierce 2.3
  17. Rudeness Salty 2.5
  18. Surreal 2.7

    Highly Surreal

  19. Circumstantial Supernatural 3.3
  20. Biological Surreal 2.7
  21. Physical Surreal 2.1


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