Dick Steele, Agent WD-40 is assigned by his Director, to stop the evil General Rancor from destroying the world. WD-40 believed Rancor was dead and he teams up with the hot K.G.B. Agent Veronique Ukrinsky to find Rancor and save the world.
Topper Harley, a top gun fighter pilot, is recalled to serve on the SS Essess. Topper's mission is to destroy Saddam Hussein's nuclear plants. Unfortunately, Topper is psychologically imbalanced and is sure to crack under pressure. Written by
No classic but so much better than spoofs of today - 66%
I'd first watched this many, many years ago as a teenager and thanks to Film Four, I was reacquainted with it tonight. Of course, it isn't as funny as I remember but that's the thing with these spoofs - with the large number of gags on screen, there should be something to make you laugh. And sure enough, "Hot Shots!" does have several moments to make it worth your while. But due to its pedigree with classics like "Airplane!" and "The Naked Gun", it does suffer by comparison. Luckily, it isn't as bad as recent spoofs like "Meet The Spartans" so the chances are, you'll enjoy this.
Before finding the benefits of a web-cam and Tiger Blood, Charlie Sheen used to be an actor. Here he is as Topper Harley, the US Air Force's best pilot recruited back into the fold by Lt. Commander Block (Kevin Dunn) to assist in a top secret mission to destroy a nuclear weapons facility. But Topper has baggage - his father was an equally talented loose cannon, responsible for the death of one of his colleagues which is something Topper feels he is bound to repeat. But feuding with fellow pilot Lt. Gregory (Cary Elwes), Topper begins to fall for his therapist Ramada Thompson (Valeria Golino). But will his feelings wreck the mission or is it the underhand attempts at sabotage that may cost the lives of the team?
Like most spoofs, there is a machine-gun regularity to the gags whether there are spoken or visual. Sadly, not all of them hit the mark. There isn't a sense that you can't take your eyes and ears off the screen like you get with "Airplane!" where a momentary lapse in concentration means you miss some hilarity. Another issue I have is that the funniest actor on screen, by some margin, is Lloyd Bridges as the insane Admiral Benson. Giving the late Leslie Nielsen a run for his money is no easy feat but Bridges perfectly captures the straight-faced lunacy that the spoof genre requires. Sheen, Elwes and Golino simply can't match him but this movie still has enough to carry it through.
Maybe it's because I'm older now but "Hot Shots!" isn't as good as I remember. The jokes aren't as funny and the visual gags seem a little unimaginative but there are still some moments to enjoy. I also like the fact that it tries to spoof "Top Gun" which, if we're honest about it, kinda ran like a parody anywhere. Despite its age, "Hot Shots!" remains a comedy that most fans of spoofs will enjoy. It's no classic but considering how most spoofs these days are about as funny as a fifty mile hike, it remains a strangely amusing spoof of almost any military action flick you could mention. And if you're too young to have watched this the first time around then maybe it will do you some good to see Sheen before he became a rock god from Mars with Adonis DNA. This film is winning but isn't it an open goal anyway?
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