(1987)

Critic Reviews

46

Metascore

Based on 14 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
75
Boston Globe
Spaceballs has the happy air of a comic enterprise that knows it's going right. It just keeps spritzing the gags at us, Borscht Belt-style, confidently and rightly sensing that if we don't laugh at this one, we'll laugh at the next. And so we do. After a long dry spell, Brooks is back on the money with Spaceballs. [24 Jun 1987, p.33]
63
The movie's dialogue is constructed out of funny names, puns and old jokes. Sometimes it's painfully juvenile. But there are some great visual gags in the movie, and the best is Pizza the Hutt, a creature who roars and cajoles while cheese melts off its forehead and big hunks of pepperoni slide down its jowls.
60
The New York Times
Mr. Brooks's vision of ''Star Wars'' and its underlying silliness cannot help but wear thin. But Spaceballs has none of the aggressively unfunny humor that has marred some of Mr. Brooks's other recent efforts, and its spirits remain consistently high.
60
Chicago Reader
The film's low-tech styling is roughly the cardboard inversion of the cinematic machines it parodies, and Brooks seems less inclined than usual to push the overkill urges too far. Small compensations, I guess, but at least it's not the total washout you'd expect.
50
It's mostly forced humor all the way, a movie that rarely measures up to adequate kitsch. Aimed at younger audiences, Spaceballs misses its mark.
40
Empire
Subtlety had never been Brooks’ thing, but even blunt blows need to be well aimed, and while Spaceballs doesn’t exactly miss its targets, it certainly bounces off them embarrassingly.
25
Chicago Tribune
Brooks' own timing as a director doesn't seem up to its usual snuff. Light-years stretch out between the set-up of a gag and its payoff, and for a director who has always depended on the quantity of his jokes rather than the quality, the gap is fatal. When a character is introduced as "Pizza the Hut," and then shown as a melting mass of mozzarella and tomato sauce, the result is to turn a fairly clever pun into something thuddingly obvious and vaguely nauseating. [24 Jun 1987, p.3]
25
San Francisco Chronicle
Somehow, the funny stuff gets sucked into a kind of black hole in the center of the satire, along with all the comic debris. What should have been a surreal flight to the planet Lucas crumbles into a harmless collection of cosmic dustballs. [24 Jun 1987, p.52]
20
Variety
Mel Brooks will do anything for a laugh. Unfortunately, what he does in Spaceballs, a misguided parody of the Star Wars adventures, isn't very funny.
20
Spaceballs is actually a kind of comic black hole. All in all, the movie is about as funny as having coffee spilled in your lap. Except that there's no burn -- just that slightly embarrassing, uncomfortable, all-wet feeling.

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