Anthony's Film Review

Hot Shots! (1991)

Jim Abrahams of the Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker comedy film team gives us another funny spoof...

Hot Shots! (with an exclamation point for emphasis) is another one of those silly parodies brought to you by Jim Abrahams, one of the guys behind Airplane! and the first Naked Gun movie. After the insanely hilarious Naked Gun from 1988, there was no doubt that we'd have another movie like that one. In 1991, audiences were treated to a spoof of movies like Top Gun and Dances With Wolves. In my opinion, Hot Shots! is not nearly as funny as Abrahams's earlier films, but don't panic. It's still entertaining.

Charlie Sheen stars as a fighter pilot named Topper Harley. I could talk about some of his characteristics, like bravery and all that, but this is a comedy. There's no need to take character seriously. Same for the plot. All you're supposed to pay attention to in this movie are the numerous jokes, which are often subtle and/or placed in the background. For example, Topper arrives on the base, passing by an exercise drill where the men are chanting the lyrics to the theme song from The Brady Bunch.

I know I said characters don't matter, but I still need to mention two others you can expect to see: Lloyd Bridges as an admiral and Valeria Golino as Topper's love interest Ramada. All you need to know is that they're just as goofy as Topper. When I say goofy, I don't mean they act that way on screen. Rather, they keep a straight face and still manage to make the film even funnier in the process.

OK. You want to know about the movie's jokes? I'll just give you one more. This one is worth mentioning only because it's the weirdest joke in the whole movie. Basically, there is a lovemaking scene with Topper and Ramada. One of the things he does is run an object, like an ice cube, along her belly. Then it progresses to rubbing food items on her belly and (get this) COOKING them, because her belly is flaming hot (pun intended). Pretty soon, Topper is frying a whole meal on Ramada's stomach, giving her great pleasure. It's pretty funny because of how absurd it is.

Even so, Hot Shots! adds up to an average comedy, one that I still liked. If Jim Abrahams wanted to do a Hot Shots! sequel, he certainly had the chance, especially because the audience back in 1991 craved more of this type of comedy. It's a winning formula. After all, if Abrahams could conceive something downright weird like erotic cooking, who knows what else he could dish up? (Excuse this second pun. I couldn't resist.)

Anthony's Rating:

For more information about Hot Shots!, visit the Internet Movie Database.

In addition, check out my review of Hot Shots! Part Deux.


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