Anthony's Film Review

Top Secret! (1984)

A goofy and silly spoof of spy movies, guaranteed to make you laugh all the way through...

Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and David Zucker are at it again. As writers, producers, and directors, the ZAZ continues to make comedy movies that are funny because of frequent weird nonsensical jokes that are just too silly to ignore. The jokes are THE reason to watch their movies. The plot only functions as a scaffold to tack on as many jokes as possible. So when you watch a ZAZ movie, just put your brain aside.

While Airplane! spoofs airplane disaster movies and the television series Police Squad! spoofs cop shows, Top Secret! is the ZAZ's spoof of World War II spy movies. It stars Val Kilmer as an American surf rock musician named Nick Rivers, who comes to East Germany to perform a show. As this is happening, there is a German spy plotline that soon collides with Nick's path.

The only thing you have to know about the story is that Nick gets caught up in the world of espionage, only because a beautiful woman named Hillary crosses Nick's path. For me to summarize more of the story is to spoil any surprises (not that they are huge surprises). Plus, like I said, the plot is pointless in a ZAZ movie anyway. Instead, I shall quickly comment on the jokes in the movie.

All I can say is that the gags are definitely funny. Not just funny. They're QUITE funny. And I especially love the ones that are totally unexpected, including a view of a street with giant mice, a map that turns into the video game Pac-Man, and a man falling from a bird statue. One of the funniest scenes involves a shootout against German soldiers, because there are lots of funny jokes that are a real distraction from the threat of death. And if you think that's funny, just wait for the climax, which includes some hilarious bits with a fake cow and the goofiest underwater fight scene you will ever see in a movie.

Top Secret! is another good comedy from the ZAZ, and it's one that turned out to be funnier than I expected. The trio did a great job with giving us enough jokes to make us laugh, and Val Kilmer, I admit, did a pretty decent job as a comic actor. As a result, I definitely laughed a lot. All in all, this comedy movie should not be marked "Top Secret" or "For Your Eyes Only," but instead be declassified for the eyes of all comedy film fans.

Anthony's Rating:

For more information about Top Secret!, visit the Internet Movie Database.


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