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

The Naked Gun

Youve read the ad, now see the movie!

Rating: 8/10

Running Time: 85 minutes

UK Certificate: 15

Lieutenant Frank Drebbin (played, of course, by Leslie Nielsen) first popped up in 1982’s little-known but fan-bloody-tastic TV miniseries ‘Police Squad!’. The formula wasn’t particularly complicated: spoof every old cop show under the sun, load it with sight gags and glaring innuendos, and Robert’s your father’s brother – you’ve got yourself a comic masterpiece. This, peeps, is the big-screen version, three times the size of a half-hour episode and very nearly as funny. This is ‘The Naked Gun’ (or ‘The Nekkid Gun’, if you happen to be Justin Timberlake).

Things kick-off in Beirut, where Frank’s dishing out knuckle sandwiches to various enemies of “The American Way” (Gorbachev, Arafat, they’re all there). But before long we’re back in the land of the stars and stripes where, as you’d expect, there’s big trouble going down. An evil genius by the name of Vincent Ludwig (a bewildered-looking Ricardo Montalban) is behind a dastardly scheme to bump off the Queen (Jeannette Charles, as always) during one of her many flying visits to a Dodgers baseball game (nothing unusual about any of that, is there?).

So, disposable (and not particularly important) storyline in place, it’s up to our Frank leap to old Queenie’s rescue before it’s too late. If you’ve seen ‘Airplane!’, ‘Police Squad!’, or any of writer-director David Zucker’s other projects, you’ll know exactly what to expect here. Hang the plot, this is about squeezing as many laughs into an hour-and-a-half as is humanly possible – and ‘The Naked Gun’ delivers.

Look out, while you’re at it, for the “nice beaver” gag – which simultaneously manages to be one of the most obvious AND funny gags in movie history. Now THAT’S writing!

It's Got: O.J. Simpson getting battered senseless – on at least five separate occasions.

It Needs: To be seen again and again and again and again. And again.

DVD Extras Disc 1 in ‘The Complete Naked Gun Collection’ box-set includes just the basics – a trailer and a group commentary from David Zucker, co-producer Robert K. Weiss and host Peter Tilden. DVD Extras Rating: 2/10


The best movie ever made with the words “Naked”, “Gun” and “The” in the title – no arguments.