From the brother of the director of Ghost comes a comedy with mostly all new jokes.
Star Wars. Indiana Jones. Back To The Future. These movies are some of the most famous trilogies ever assembled.
Now with the completion of this one milestone we add another name to the list: The Naked Gun.
Well, maybe the Naked Gun films don't belong in that category. However, they are pretty darn funny, and Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult is no exception. For this final feature in the series, David Zucker bowed out as director and turned over the reigns to newcomer Peter Segal (Tommy Boy, The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps). What developed was a typical laugh-a-second comedy that included such "naked" newcomers as Fred Ward (Tremors) and Anna Nicole Smith (uh…I know she's been in at least a few "Grumpy Old Men," *wink wink*). All three movies are now on DVD courtesy of Paramount Home Video. Follow along as I now review the final installment to this thrilling saga!
Facts of the Case
Has it finally happened? Can it be possible? Has Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen) retired from the police squad?!?
Sadly, the answer is "yes." After years on the police force, Drebin has decided to step down from his job to enjoy his newfound life of marital bliss. He and Jane (Priscilla Presley) have settled into a little cottage built for two. When his old police chums show up to say hello (played by George Kennedy and O.J. You-Know-Who), they are shocked to see him cooking brownies and cleaning house. Can this be the same man who is in the "Guinness Book of World Records" for killing the most drug dealers on the job?
However, retirement doesn't last long as Drebin is soon pulled into a new case that includes no less than terrorism at the Academy Awards! Mad bomber Rocco Dillon (Ward) is preparing to do anything and everything to make sure that the Oscar ceremonies this year are an unqualified "hit." Drebin is soon deep undercover to infiltrate the lunatic's plans. Heading into a local prison, Drebin attempts to become friends with Rocco, even staying with him at his hideout featuring his busty girlfriend (Smith) and his obnoxious mother (Kathleen Freeman).
Can Lt. Drebin once more save the day? Will the Oscar telecast this year be a "bomb"? And when can we expect to see Airplane 3?
I guarantee that you're going to laugh during Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult. For only $24.95 you'll not only get laughs, but also guffaws, chortles, and giggles. But that's not all! If you act now, I will also throw in a chuckle absolutely FREE with your viewing of Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult! How can you beat that offer?
Obviously, I did some major laughing during Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult. I am a big fan of the Zucker brothers' brand of comedic entertainment. I feel that the world just might be that much better if we all sat down and watched Airplane! a few times as a collective. Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult had more laughs per square inch of film than most comedies have in their entire running time (including a very funny opening scene parodying Battleship Potemkin and Brian DePalma's The Untouchables).
The key factor for the Zucker brothers' movies is to always be throwing jokes at the screen. Most of them are great. Some of them are good. A few are not as funny. However, as my father once told me, "Son, throw enough crap on a wall and some of it is bound to stick." Luckily for the Zucker brothers, their jokes are all pretty adhesive. Once again the plot comes secondary (or even less) to the jokes. Director Segal shows that he has what it takes to direct this kind of material. Years later he'd go on to do the funny David Spade/Chris Farley flick Tommy Boy. Here he gets the chance to hone his craft using such material as prison showers and sperm donors as comedy fodder.
By now everyone playing along knows exactly what to do in this series. Leslie Nielsen must have a patent on the character traits of Lt. Drebin. He has perfected his deadpan delivery to a science. Priscilla Presley is funny as Jane, Frank's long-suffering wife who looks as good at 50 as she will at 100. I have this feeling that when she passes on, Presley's corpse will be the best looking one in history. George Kennedy and O.J. Simpson are great as Drebin's pals, and for those of you already groaning, I shall dispense with any O.J. jokes. The new supporting cast has also been trained well: Fred Ward had already performed comedy in such films as Tremors and Tim Robbins' political comedy Bob Roberts. Here he plays a grizzled convict with genuine glee. Then there's Anna Nicole Smith, whose breasts look as if they require their own zip code. Sex with her must me like smoking a firecracker: afterwards you'll be dead, but it'll be a fantastic show!
Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. Much like the first two films, this DVD looks very good. Paramount has done a very nice job making this (and the other two films) look good as new. Though there were some slight troubles with the picture in spots (i.e., a small amount of edge enhancement and grain), but overall this is a very well done transfer. Colors were bright, blacks were solid. Muchos excellante!
Audio is remastered in Dolby Digital 5.1 English, as well as Dolby Surround 2.0 in English and French. Though this is not going to knock your socks off, the new 5.1 mix is a lot of fun. There were points during the film that directional speakers were engaged, especially during the prison riot scene. Dialogue, effects, and Ira Newborn's musical score were all crystal clear. Also included are some English subtitles, though I think that this type of comedy might lose something with the use of subtitles.
Just like the first two Naked Gun discs, Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult also includes a commentary track. This commentary includes director Peter Segal, producers David Zucker and Robert K. Weiss, and Michael Ewing. Like the previous commentary tracks this one is filled to the brim with all kinds of behind-the-scenes anecdotes and enough laughs to make it well worth your time. The other feature included is an anamorphic theatrical trailer.
The Rebuttal Witnesses
The only thing I have to say is that Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult is maybe just slightly below the first two films in the series. Even so, it's still a very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, extra funny movie with a cherry on top.
Except for maybe the wrath of God or a semi-truck slamming into you at 94 MPH, what's to stop you from picking up this third film in the series if you've already got the first two? Probably nothing. Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult is a great buy for fans of this series, and paramount has seen fit to include a funny commentary track as well as decent audio/video portions on the disc.
Free to go! And Lt. Drebin, please, about that whole retirement thing…never say never again!
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