Sunday, July 26, 2009

Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult

Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult; Parody, USA, 1994; D: Peter Segal, S: Leslie Nielsen, Priscilla Presley, Fred Ward, Anna Nicole Smith, George Kennedy, O. J. Simpson, Kathleen Freeman, Ellen Greene

Lieutenant Frank Drebin and Jane decide to get married, but since they can't have any children, they get into an argument and separate. But other problems occur when the police sends Frank to retirement, but he discovers imprisoned terrorist Rocco Dillon is on to something. Disguised as an inmate, Drebin gains Rocco's trust to spy on him. When they escape from prison, Rocco brings him along to his hideout where he introduces his mother and girlfriend Tanya. He plans to plant a bomb during the Oscar ceremony, but luckily Drebin is able to stop him and make up with Jane.

Based on TV series "Police Squad", the first two "Naked Gun" films were directed by David Zucker, but when he refused to also direct the 3rd film, at first it seemed that new director Peter Segal won't be able to achieve and repeat the same result. However, it turned out he was the best possible replacement: "Naked Gun 33 1/3" is a dynamic comedy with imaginative jokes, fast pace and excellent Leslie Nielsen, as well as Fred Ward as the villain, whereas not even Anna Nicole Smith isn't bad in her role. The first half of the film is quite repetitive, banal and lax, yet once Drebin enters the prison, the second half quickly returns to the right track, putting the rhythm up a notch non stop, until it reaches the highlight in the absolutely brilliant Academy Awards ceremony, where Drebin makes a delicious chaos among the stiff participants. Some of the lines that ridicule the pompous-elitist tone of the Oscar nominees perfectly sum up the mentality of the organizers: for instance, the announcer speaks about the nominees for best actress: "Shannen Doherty for "Basic Analysis", one woman's triumph over a yeast infection, set against the background of the tragic Buffalo Bill season of '91", or "Mary Lou Retton for "Fatal Affair", one woman's ordeal to overcome the death of her cat, set against the background of the Hindenburg disaster". These, and such ideas like "Mother Theresa's life filmed as a musical", redeem the film for many mistakes in the beginning and show an inspired finale that's probably the funniest of all three films.


No comments: