Hot Shots! (1991)

Directed by Jim Abrahams
Written by Jim Abrahams & Pat Proft
Narrated by Charlie Sheen, Valeria Golino, Cary Elwes, Lloyd Bridges, Jon Cryer


Anamorphic: Yes.

My Advice: Rent It.

Crack pilot--as in a pilot that is good, not a pilot that is on crack, you understand--Lt. Topper Harley (Sheen) is being brought back into the fold, for a top secret mission that the Navy needs performed. He had dropped out of sight since he no longer believed in his own flying abilities. But now he's needed more than ever, and to complete his mission he'll have to deal with an benevolently insane admiral (Bridges), a dickhead rival (Elwes), an Evil Industrialist TM (Efram Zimbalist, Jr.) and a psychiatrist (Golino) that can use her navel as a springboard. Trust me, it makes sense eventually.

This film belongs to that genre of flicks that I always refer to as "Very Silly Movies". And while Hot Shots doesn't rank up there with its forebears, Airplane! and Top Secret, it manages to keep the jokes firing at such a rapid pace, that some of them are bound to destroy the funnybone. The aforementioned vaulting olive scene I still recall fondly as being the pinnacle of the entire experience. Sheen is sufficient to send up Cruise, Golino is fundamentally hot and Elwes puts another nail in the typecasting coffin that has seen him playing pricks since time immemorial. Ah well. But the bottom line is that the film is actually a decent amount of fun.

As far as features on the disc go, you get a somewhat-amusing self-important featurette discussing the making of the film from the standpoint of...well, it's called The Making of an Important Movie, so it doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out the angle they're coming at it from. It's at least a different spin on the cookie cutter featurette we're used to seeing: sure it's a lot of scenes from the film that you've already seen if you've watched the feature and actors regurgitating their role in the flick--but at least from the aspect that they're discussing something classified and very substantial--it can be worth a chuckle at times. Granted, it goes on for too long, but they do have more than your standard amount of behind-the-scenes stuff, so I guess it doesn't get docked anything.

The film is funny enough for a viewing, but unless you're a big fan of the genre, you might want to abstain from plonking down the coin. But do at least rent the thing.

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