Loaded Weapon 1 (1993)
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There are a lot of verbal and sight gags, cheap shots and sleazy comments, impossible to catch them all in one viewing. That's maybe the only negative: too many sex jokes which is why this is rated PG-13 (and could easily be "R"). Emilo Estavez, Samuel J. Jackson, Jon Lovitz, Tim Curry and William Shatner all show their comedic talents, as does supermodel Kathy Ireland.
All-in-all, a fun 80 minutes, especially when you are familiar with all the movies they are making fun of in this film.
When you don't have terribly gifted writers and/or actors you have to rely on throwing in as many jokes as possible in order to try and get more laughs. And a surprising amount of them are actually very funny (albeit extremely silly, and stupid).
Favourite bit: when Estevez and Jackson are driving in their car and suddenly realize they're being followed - by two guys wearing ski masks, sitting in the backseat of the car.
If you know what you're getting yourself into, Loaded Weapon is an underrated little gem. If nothing else, it's fun to see Sam L. Jackson before he became a "serious" actor. [7/10]
Ironic, then, that I find most spoof movies enjoyable, at the very least, because they're all really, really stupid. There's more quality in "Airplane!" than, say, "Hot Shots!", but both films are enjoyable, because you have to do absolutely no thinking whatsoever. All you have to do is laugh a few times. And with the millions of jokes (okay, hundreds) per film, you're sure to find at least a handful of things worth laughing at.
"National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1" is one of my favorite spoof flicks. Why? It's stupid, silly, funny, and one of the most enjoyable films available to see. Yeah, it's stupid, like I already said. But it's loads of fun, too. And I don't care if critics bashed it when it came out -- it's still a very fun movie.
Everything gets lampooned in this: "Lethal Weapon" to "Die Hard" to "Silence of the Lambs" to "CHiPs." And, alongside "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World"; "Austin Powers in Goldmember"; and "The Player," it has some of the most cameos/stars to date. Get this: Emilio Estevez, Samuel L. Jackson, Tim Curry, Jon Lovitz, William Shatner, Denis Leary, Erik Estrada, Dr. Joyce Brothers, Bill Nunn, Kathy Ireland, Corey Feldman, J.T. Walsh, Paul Gleason, F. Murray Abraham, Bruce Willis, Phil Hartman (R.I.P.), Whoopi Goldberg, Charlie Sheen (Emilio's half-brother)...am I missing anyone? Mel Gibson, Danny Glover and Joe Pesci would have completed this cast. I wonder if they rejected cameos.
Wes Luger (Jackson) has been assigned a new partner, the loose canon Jack Colt (Estevez), who lost his dog long ago and is now mentally unstable. Luger lost his partner (Goldberg), too, and the effects of the past often catch up with him, so far that he finds it impossible to fire a gun without shaking violently and spastic-like.
General Mortars (Shatner) is planning a devious scheme of running drugs through a Girl Scout cookie-type company, and Colt and Luger try to thwart his plan and save the day before it's too late. Meanwhile, they come to appreciate each other -- while lampooning everything in sight.
The most puzzling thing about "Loaded Weapon 1" is the fact that, if you look at most user comments on the Internet Movie Database, they're all quite positive. It has a low standing at 5.3 stars, yes, but the user reviews for the film are pretty decent. A lot of people found the film "funny for what it is." I do, too.
Spoofing a spoof is kinda pathetic, I'll admit. "Lethal Weapon" always was more tongue-in-cheek comedy than anything else. Even as a hard action film it was always winking at the other films of its genre. "Wayne's World" isn't exactly a drama of epic proportions, either, come to think of it. Even "Basic Instinct" is a hard film to spoof, if you take a moment to reflect -- it's never exactly horribly serious. Just sleazy. (I won't ruin how "Loaded Weapon 1" pokes fun at the famous Sharon Stone interrogation scene.)
Yet, in my honest opinion, "Loaded Weapon 1" does a pretty darn good job of spoofing everything in sight. Estevez is a good Riggs-type who pines for his lost dog (not a wife, mind you, but a dog). Jackson -- who's usually great -- is decent as the Murtaugh-type character, although he is shoved aside by the screenplay to make room for Estevez. (Whose brother was just as good in "Hot Shots!", although I think this is a funnier film.) Lovitz, hair bleached (impersonating Joe Pesci from the "Lethal Weapons"), comes across as an irritant sidekick who appears out of thin air only when the plot needs him -- which I suppose was the point. (Was "Loaded Weapon 1" assuming that Joe Pesci's Leo Getz character was an irritating co-star placed in the film as nothing more than an easy plot device? Probably.)
And in one of the simplest -- but also one of the most effective -- scenes, we get the famous bathroom bomb sequence from "Lethal Weapon 2" told in an entirely fresh perspective. Here's how it goes: The door to Jackson's house is wide open. Estevez walks in and calls him. "I'm up here!" is the response. Estevez walks up the stairs, gets to the bathroom, opens the door, sees Jackson on the toilet and says, "What are you doing?" Safe to say, he's doing exactly what it looks like. His blunt reply is one of the highlights of the film. (Let's face it, that scene from "LW2" was destined to get poked fun at some time or another -- I'm just glad it got spoofed in this.)
All spoofs run the risk of being very hit and miss. The best ones (Airplane, Naked Gun) simply have more hits than misses and keep the gags none stop. Here the ratio is slightly more hits than misses, but not by much. The plot is irrelevant, suffice to say that, as well as spoofing buddy cop movies, it also has specific spoofs that work reasonably well (although the Basic Instinct one has lost a bit with time). The film manages to have a slow start but still be funny, even if many of the jokes you will know from other films of the genre). I love these silly spoofs so I was laughing but if you're not really a fan of spoofs then you might struggle with this one.
The cast is pretty good and is crammed with so many famous cameos I wondered how they did it! Jackson was looking for a bit of variety after several acclaimed roles with Spike Lee and he found it; he shows a good comic touch and he delivers his lines really well - I doubt he'd do this type of film now though. Estevez spoofs Mel Gibson really well and he too isn't afraid to send himself up. Lovitz is almost as annoying as Joe Pesci and does a good impression, while Ireland is nice to look despite not having that many laughs and the fact that she cannot act for sh*t. Curry and Shatner ham it up something awful to good effect and are funny. The sheer volume of cameos (of quality) is amazing and almost all of them bring laughs. Charlie Sheen, JT Walsh, F Abraham Murray, Denis Leary, Phil Hartman, Bruce Willis, Whoopi Goldberg (although she'll appear in a window these days), Paul Gleason, Joyce Brothers and a blink and you'll miss him Christopher Lambert - very impressive line up really!
Overall this is not one of the best spoof around but it does stand out as one of the strongest of the National Lampoon series (especially nowadays!). It is very hit and miss but the majority are hits and they come fast enough to cover the gaps. Silly references or silly dialogue delivered straight - it made me laugh and that's why I've seen it several times. Not great but funny, and all you probably want when you sit down to watch it.
My score: 8 (out of 10)
Emilio Estevez is Jack Colt, a gun-happy cop on the edge who has been walking a thin line between sanity and alcohol-fuelled psycho since his dog ran away. Samuel L. Jackson is Wes Luger, a Detective with only a few days before he retires. His former partner Billy York (Whoopie Goldberg) is killed and he demands to take the case even though his superiors think it was suicide.
And so Colt and Luger get involved in a remarkably silly plot with cocaine disguised girl scout cookies. The evil General Murturs (William Shatner thoroughly enjoying himself) and his henchman Mr. Jigsaw (Tim Curry) plan to lure Colt and Luger into a trap before they foil his next major drug deal.
There are loads of cameos and even more in-jokes than you can shake a stick at. What makes Loaded Weapon better than most other heartless spoofs is that every line of dialogue is delivered perfectly and every scene has it's own special moment (if not more than one). From the hilarious opening in the mini-mart to pretty much any scene with Jon Lovitz (spoofing that horrible Joe Pesci character) there is loads to enjoy. Every aspect and cliché of this unfortunate sub-genre is exploited and made fun of, even the musical score plays a vital part in the humor of some scenes.
Some of the most quotable lines of dialogue include:
'Half today. Half tomorrow. Half on delivery.'
'I'm Detective Luger, this is Detective Colt. These are our wallets.'
'You came!'-'That's personal!'
'Ooware eez tha meecro-feelm?'
'Don't thank me. I'm just a cop doing his job.'
'I'm your worst nightmare.'-'No waking up without my penis is my worst nightmare.'
And of course...
Unfortunately a decent knowledge of the Lethal Weapon films is required to get most of the jokes in this film but it's so funny that it's worth suffering through them first. It's a shame that they never made a sequel but never say never eh?