THE NAKED GUN 33 1/3 1994
Lt. Frank Drebin has finally retired. Now that he's settled down and married goofy Jane Spencer, he plans to lead a quiet life. But before long, Frank's old buddies talk him into joining the force again. This time the bumbling buffoon will go undercover and live among terrorists. Soon he'll be snooping carelessly, sleuthing unwarily and stooping more severely than ever before.
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The title even spoofs the endlessness of franchises these days. But the sad part is, it really does feel like the 33rd installment and only a 3rd of a movie really playing. Yes, this one goes back to it’s “drab” roots in my opinion. It could very well be the change in directing but the film seems as though it’s just spoofing itself and that doesn’t work.
The Story: The draggyness returns. And I don’t mean men in women’s clothing. I mean the tangential gags that deter from the main story. The story this time is about a haphazard bomb plot for the academy awards. It’s really reaching now. The story about afterlife of a career is a pointless one. The spoofs of normal day life aren’t as funny as the genre ones. And once you think Frank is thrust back into police work, he’s undercover. Aka he’s still Frank Drebin doing normal day things and now he has his badge and gun. Whoop dee do. Now I can’t fully hate on the film, there are some redeeming moments. But be advised, they’re few and far between. The flash back stuff is slightly interesting, but once we’re into the prison stuff, you might as well lay down and fall asleep.
Acting: Nielson is back to square one. And I mean that in a bad way. His straight faced overly dramatic tough cop routine doesn’t seem to really shine as bright as it did. Pressley’s storyline of her working as a lawyer breaks continuity and really doesn’t make for any great plot advances. In fact, there’s just some sexist jokes towards woman that even I don’t find funny – and I’m one pig headed reviewer.
Cinematography: The first film had no attempt at good lighting and shot design. The second film had a spoofy approach. This film is a serious approach. Which really doesn’t work as well as something like acting or production design. The look of a comedic film has to be appealing so that I’ll be happy to laugh. Not realistic so I’ll be bored.
Production Design: I don’t know if the budget was cut, or if it was all blown on the Oscar’s ceremony at the end – but the design really isn’t as strong as it was in the 2nd film.
Score: The music as a score is alright. The difference of this film and the other two? Commercial pop hits used in montages. There’s something about Nielson doing grocery shopping to Huey Lewis and the News singing “It’s hip to be square” that makes me want to punch him in the face. Almost like a AV nerd making two movies and then the wrestling team jock directing the 3rd and mocking the AV nerd. It just doesn’t work for the comedy.
Special Effects: Nothing too special yet again. Gunshots and an explosion here or there.
In closing: Sad that the franchise closed on this chapter, but it’s also a blessing. I think the title itself was a last minute “Yeah…we’re done here” revelation to the film makers. There’s not a whole lot worth seeing. It’s barely spoofing anything outside of the opening scene – that may be the best part of the whole movie to be honest.
….oh, and remember how I mentioned the installment of bimbo actresses trying to act stupid instead of trying to act (my Review of Naked Gun 1)? Well here’s where it all started.