Back in 1980, writers-directors David Zucker and Jim Abrahams created a new genre of comedy with the classic spoof “Airplane”. They were enthusiastically trying to make you laugh the loudest and more often possible with non-stop gags, slapstick, puns, goofs and movie parodies, with the help of the deadpan white-haired actors that would become their allies of choice, Lloyd Bridges and Leslie Nielsen. They went on to make a bundle of laugh-packed movies, from “The Naked Gun” to “Hot Shots”, and more recently “Baseketball” and “Mafia”. But other directors tried to impersonate their signature style, sometimes even casting Nielsen like in “Spy Hard” or this film, “Wrongfully Accused”.
Nielsen plays Ryan Harrison, a famous violinist who is framed for murder by a one armed, one-legged, one-eyed barman and terrorist sisters who are planning to assassinate the secretary of the United Nations. Ryan will have to escape both the cops and the terrorists and prove his innocence to the world. Do I really need to go on? Plot obviously doesn’t have any importance in films like this. It’s all about gag after gag after gag. This is far from being the best movie of the genre, but writer-director-producer Pat Proft still did a decent job. I mean, he tries so hard to make you laugh that it’s got to work once in a while! He crams tons of potential chuckles in his film, with spoofs of “The Fugitive”, “Braveheart”, “Clear and Present Danger”, “Titanic”, “Casablanca”, “North by Northwest”, “The Usual Suspects”, “Anaconda”, “Baywatch”, the Mentos commercials, “Lord of the Dance”, “Mission: Impossible”… And then there’s the ridiculous visual jokes and constant tongue-in-cheek dialogue, the satire of movie conventions and of course, Leslie Nielsen’s always enjoyable deadpan delivery. This isn’t an original film, nor a smart or particularly memorable one, but it did make me laugh a fair amount of times and it sure entertained me. I’d say it’s worth a rent.