Anthony's Film Review
Spy Hard (1996)
An average spoof movie, but at least Leslie Nielsen is in it...
Although it is obvious from the title that Spy Hard is a spoof of other movies, the subject of the spoof probably deserves a bit of clarification. For one thing, it's not a parody of Die Hard, so you won't see anything like action in an office building. It is certainly a take on spy movies. Now, this is the kind of spoof that's been done many times before, such as with the TV show Get Smart and the James Bond spoof Casino Royale in 1967. As a result, Spy Hard might feel as if the jokes have been done before.
It is true, but I still found it mildly funny. The beginning of the movie spoofs James Bond in an interesting way. The opening credits does what the Bond movies do: play a song while displaying silhouettes of women. The singer here is Weird Al Yankovic, who's pretty amusing, and the visuals are a take on the Bond movie Thunderball where silhouettes of naked women are swimming. However, some of them are rather plump. It all leads to the finale of the song where Al holds his voice for a long time, after which something funny happens.
Leslie Nielsen plays a spy whose name (Dick Steele) didn't make me laugh but at least his persona was. He's the same kind of character previously seen in the Naked Gun movies: a man who does goofy things while still keeping a straight face. He could be receiving mission objectives, getting out of dangerous situations, and wooing a beautiful woman while making us laugh at the same time. Speaking of beautiful women, the female ally here is Nicolette Sheridan as Agent 3.14 (another funny name that didn't make me laugh, but that doesn't mean I didn't like the character).
So what kinds of jokes can you expect to see in Spy Hard? Well, let's see. There's a lovemaking scene that is represented by footage of a rocket taking off before crashing. During a scramble from point A to point B, the two main characters ride a bus driven by Ray Charles (who, in case you're not aware, is blind). Other gags include an appearance by wrestler Hulk Hogan and a parody of the movie Sister Act (the one with Whoopi Goldberg as a nun). Overall, the jokes generated several soft chuckles out of me.
I could be giving this movie a marginally negative 5/10, but I was amused enough. Leslie Nielsen might be losing his touch in this movie, but not so much that I would say that he sucks in this movie. He doesn't. That's why he still saves this movie. Of course, if this is part of a downward trend for Nielsen, then this movie might be a good place for him to stop. He's a great comic actor, but now would be a good time to think about retirement. Spy Hard is funny, but on an average level.
For more information about Spy Hard, visit the Internet Movie Database.