The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988)

7e021-the_naked_gun_posterWhen you hear the names Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker (Airplane!, Top Secret) you automatically know there are boatloads of zany sight gags, puns and parodies to be had. Although weaker than the previous films, thanks to another bang up job by Leslie Nielsen, this police drama parody is still a lot of fun.

After single handedly beating up on the United States biggest enemies, Lieutenant Frank Drebin (Nielsen) returns to the L.A. precinct to investigate the case of a heroin ring and the brutal injury of his colleague Nordberg (O.J. Simpson). Drebin gets the obligatory briefing from his superior (George Kennedy) and the necessary gadgets for the mission. The case brings our hero in contact with the villainous Vincent Ludwig (Richardo Montalban) as well as his alluring assistant (Priscilla Presley). Drebin and Ms. Spencer’s relationship soon becomes sappily romantic (cue I’m Into Something Good) with hot dogs, movies and jaunts on the beach.

The rest of the case involves car chases, fires, incriminating documents, the arrival of the Queen and of course California Angels Baseball. That’s right. The Queen is to be assassinated and what better location than a baseball game? It is Drebin’s responsibility to stop the attempt at all costs and he makes quite a mess of the game (like he did with everything else), but he does get the job done. His methods are far from orthodox to be sure but he gets the girl and the bad guy pays for his misdeeds. Nordberg certainly is lucky to have such a loyal partner, maybe.

This comic trio pushes the wackiness as far as it can possibly go, oftentimes with mock seriousness and overdone tropes that get made fun of. For instance Drebin gives us voice-over narration, Spencer is very much a femme fatale at first and the story is your not so typical procedural format. Unexpected cameos by Weird Al, Jay Johnstone, Reggie Jackson and a whole host of professional announcers are certainly memorable. Furthermore the uproarious baseball sequences with “I Love L.A.” playing were certainly a hit.  This is a comedy classic from the files of the police squad and I cannot help but enjoy it.

3.5/5 Stars

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