The 1988 movie The Naked Gun: From the Files of the Police Squad! is by far one of the best spoof films of all time, even though I’m not a big admirer of the genre, that part is factually correct. I find it to be immensely entertaining, with rib-tickling levels of comedy. The last time I saw it, I had tears of laughter dripping down my face throughout. Of course, the purpose of the sequels was to capitalize on the unexpected popularity of the first. Why wouldn’t you make money off one of the funniest movies ever? The Naked Gun was a studio executive’s fantasy, so a follow-up was inevitable. Nobody, however, anticipated it to turn out that way. The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear is funnier than the first film, but it lacks some of the substance that the original offered.
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The Movie Review
Together with his two partners, Lieutenant Frank Drebin is currently employed in Washington, D.C. Their responsibility is to ensure that Dr. Albert Meinheimer’s speech to the President of the United States goes off without a hitch.
Given that it touches on the nation’s energy agenda, his address may be extremely divisive for the entire world. Before the speech, Quentin Hapsburg uses a lookalike to kidnap Dr. Albert Meinheimer because he prefers the global industry of fossil and nuclear fuels to the environmental ones. Aside from this nefarious plot, Frank is still upset over leaving Jane, who is now a colleague of Dr. Meinheimer.
Frank Drebin naturally received a second outing after the popularity of the first movie. Much like before, the humor is essentially a mix of absurdism, parody, and ridiculousness which is delivered in much heavier doses than ever before. This gives the movie a fairly constant tone, but narratively it does a bit of a nosedive every once in a while. Of course, one will be watching this for the plot. The thing you need to know is that Drebin, like before, unearths a scheme that no one believes while also having troubles with his love life.
However, instead of the plot, you come to this David Zucker original to see this cast’s consistent delivery of laughably stupid jokes that are all done so with straight faces. Although there aren’t as many laugh-out-loud moments as I would have wanted, the jokes are generally funny despite being relatively hit-and-miss. I believed that the film’s sense of fun was somewhat diminished by the insertion of a lot of crass/adult comedy, which didn’t really help it. I’ve noticed in a lot of parody films when the crude content comes in large doses, it’s usually because the film lacks intellect.
The cast here is genuinely solid, from lead to side actors, everyone does a phenomenal job. Naturally, Leslie Nielsen is the only person who could play Lt. Frank Drebin. The rubber-faced legend in comedy was so natural as Frank, that I can’t help but see him as that character even in his other works. Priscilla Presley, the starring lady, looks to be the ideal partner for Leslie Nielsen. They interact nicely as a team, with lots of chemistry between them to keep the film engaging. George Kennedy, Robert Goulet, Richard Griffiths, and the rest of the cast in the movie do a great job of clowning around, keeping the consistency of the comedy to a maximum high.
Aesthetically, this film is well-produced and looks phenomenal for its time. It has a distinct style that it constantly carries along for the entirety of his runtime. The cinematography is not bad either, some of the shots are unique and look phenomenal, while others look kind of basic, but that is to be expected from a parody film. Meanwhile, the music isn’t too exciting, the sound effects are great and so is the voice and audio quality in general, but the music itself is very lacking so that took away from the overall experience.
I found it to be a challenge to evaluate Naked Gun films objectively without becoming distracted by all the minor details that I loved so dearly about these films. However, I must bow down to the writers of Naked Gun 2 ½. I understand that comedy scripts are the hardest to write, and I genuinely wonder how they were able to pack so much visual humor into an hour-and-a-half-long film. It does have downsides to it, but nothing too drastic to make this a bad film by any means.
The Naked Gun 2 ½ is a classic comedy romp for anyone to laugh with!
- A consistently funny film from start to finish
- The characters are amazing, and so well-acted with perfect comedic timing
- The overall visual style is pretty good!
- Stupendous comedy action and dialogue
- The story lacks a general direction and singular tone
- The music is underwhelming