The Naked Gun


Comedies aren’t easy movies to make, or to review. You could have the best director in the world, a great story and a wonderful cast, but if it ain’t funny, it’s pointless. How can you make people laugh? Each person is amused by different things. I find Jim Carrey, the Farrelly brothers and Mike Myers extremely hilarious, but some other people might not. Jim Abrahams and the Zucker brothers thought that the best thing to do would be to constantly throw the most gags possible. This way, it doesn’t matter if a joke misses, because before you know it, ten others hit. And it’s coming from everywhere: spoofs, innuendo, puns, slapstick, throwaway gags, satire…

The film opens in Beyrouth, where all of America’s enemies are plotting acts of terrors. But don’t you worry, we’ve got a man on the caste, Lieutenant Frank Drebin, an aging cop with a tendency to shoot first and ask questions later. He’s not too bright, and he’s pretty clumsy, but he sure is an hilarious character! You have to credit Leslie Nielsen and his always enjoyable deadpan. It’s amazing how he’s able to keep a straight face no matter what stupid thing is happening. The plot has him investigating a gang of heroin smugglers after his buddy Norberg (played by OJ Simpson- trust me, it’s awkward but funny to watch a 2-time murderer in a comedy) is beaten and left for dead by these damn dirty thugs. The job will lead Drebin to a rich business man who’s financing an attempt to assassinate the Queen of England, and to his sassy secretary, played by Priscilla Presley.

But then again, why do I bother writing about the plot? A film like this is all about the comedy. The story is just an excuse to try and make you laugh the loudest they can. And it works! I first saw the film as a second-bill at the drive-in, and I had never laughed so hard. Of course, I was in grade school, and now it’s not quite as funny since I’ve seen the film so many times, but it still makes me laugh a lot. I love how the filmmakers will do anything to get a laugh, no matter how stupid it is. The dialogue is particularly ridiculous, but the constant avalanche of sight gags is a lotta fun too. Over the last ten years, some movies have made me laugh even more (notably “Austin Powers” and anything by the Farrelly brothers), but “The Naked Gun” is still very effective.