Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult (1994)

"Like a midget at a urinal, I was going to have to stay on my toes." -
Leslie Nielsen

NAKED GUN 33 1/3: THE FINAL INSULT is hilarious. Period. Fans of the
series are advised to wear protective undergarments as these further
exploits of Lt. Frank Drebin may inspire fits of uncontrolled urination.

But seriously folks, the film is just as funny as the first GUN sequel
in which Babs Bush got hers. This time it's Oscar-bashing and not a
moment too soon!  Leave it to former Police Squad detective Lt. Frank
Drebin (Leslie Nielsen) to come out of retirement to help stop a
terrorist (Fred Ward) bent on bombing the Academy Awards.

Once again, the gags are non-stop and NAKED GUN 33 1/3 spoofs everything
from "Beavis and Butthead" to "The Brady Bunch." Blink and you'll miss a
mention to STAR WARS or STALAG 17.  More obvious are the references to
recent films like THELMA AND LOUISE and JURASSIC PARK.

There's also an obligatory 70's flashback, a great sperm-sample bit, and
an untouchable UNTOUCHABLES send-up that Sergei Einstein should've lived
to see.  Joke for joke, it's the best stupid laugh-fest since HOT SHOTS!

The downside is that the series is showing signs of strain.  Technical
credits are weak, from editing to production design. The cast is a
loss-- neither Presley nor Simpson nor Kennedy is very funny. As the
villain, Fred Ward is hardly a worthy successor to Ricardo Montalban or
Robert Goulet. And the line between Nielsen's dandy deadpan and boffo
buffoonery is mighty thin these days.

The irony, of course, is that the NAKED GUN films have *never* been as
funny as the TV series that inspired them. "Police Squad!" ran for
exactly six episodes in 1980 and was promptly canceled. The original
adventures of Lt. Frank Drebin were just as funny as the creator's hit
film AIRPLANE!, but viewers couldn't handle the lack of a laugh track.

On the Zucker/Abrahams/Zucker hierarchal scale of hilarity, NAKED GUN 33
1/3 ranks about the same as NAKED GUN 2 1/2 and both HOT SHOTS!  films.
But they all pale in comparison to AIRPLANE!, "Police Squad!," and,
even, TOP SECRET!  With Priscilla Presley, George Kennedy, O.J. Simpson,
Kathleen Freeman, R. Lee Emery, Rachel Welch, Anna Nicole Smith, and
Mary Lou Retton.  (Rated "PG-13"/89 min.)

CREDIT LINE:  Stay through the credits!  They read like a Letterman

BOTTOM LINE:  Hilarious and just as funny as the second GUN sequel.  The
series may be showing signs of strain, but the jokes still work.  Laugh
'till you cry.

Grade: B

Copyright 1994 by Michael J. Legeros

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