Sunday, August 12, 2018

Hot Shots

Movie Name: Hot Shots
Year of Release: 1991
Director: Jim Abrahams
Stars: Charlie Sheen, Cary Elwes, Valeria Golino, Lloyd Bridges, Jon Cryer, Kevin Dunn, William O'Leary, Bill Irwin, Bruce A. Young, Heidi Swedberg, Kristy Swanson
Genre: Comedy
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 6
Watch it on Amazon

Director Jim Abrahams made a name for himself as part of the directorial group, where he worked in tandem with Jerry and David Zucker (the ZAZ acronym). This group was responsible for the classics "Airplane", "Top Secret" and "Police Squad"/"Naked Gun". By the early 90s Jim Abrahams had also ventured as a standalone director, with the films "Big Business" and "Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael". "Hot Shots" was a return to his spoof and more slapstick roots, focusing this time around in poking fun at the machismo of Tony Scott's successful "Top Gun". The film follows the story of Topper Harley, a young hotshot pilot, who has been suspended from the army's pilot program following some reckless behavior. With a new captain in place, Topper is recruited back, in order to test a new program being established, all the while battling his family issues, mostly derived from the unfortunate accident that ended his father's career, himself a pilot. In order to assist him with this journey, is the beautiful therapist, Ramada Thompson, who has been involved with one of Topper's rivals. As they go through the events leading to the main exercise, strange occurrences pop up, leading all of them to the suspicion that something else may be going on.
"Hot Shots" drinks heavily from the same fountain which made "Airplane" such an irreverent and funny film. The film pokes holes at the whole young macho mythology behind "Top Gun", while using different lines of the screenplay to also stage the hilarious nonsense that has always dominated the ZAZ films. Even if the film doesn't hit all the spots that "Airplane" managed to successfully put in place, it's still a film filled with hilarious moments, from the spoof of Adrian Lynne's "9 1/2 Weeks" to Steve Kloves' "The Fabulous Baker Boys". The cast is uniformly game for all the events taking place, from Charlie Sheen, Cary Elwes, Valeria Golino and the always fantastic Lloyd Bridges. A fun film worth revisiting.