The Naked Gun - From the Files of Police Squad!
Incompetent cop Frank Drebin has to foil an attempt to assassinate Queen Elizabeth II.
The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear
Lieutenant Drebin discovers that his ex-girlfriend's new beau is involved in a plot to kidnap a scientist who advocates solar energy.
The Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult
Frank Drebin comes out of retirement to help Police Squad infiltrate a gang of terrorists planning to detonate a bomb at the Academy Awards.
David Zucker--of the Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker creative troika behind Airplane! and television's Police Squad!--directed this 1988 feature film based on the latter show. Leslie Nielsen returns to his old TV role of Lt. Frank Drebin, the deadpan idiot with a detective's badge. The reinvention of the failed series as a theatrical feature seems to have inspired everyone involved to make a pretty funny movie, and the jokes gather a momentum that lasts until the final act. Ricardo Montalban is a perfect foil as a villain whose aquarium is being invaded by Drebin during routine questioning, and George Kennedy is delightful in a self-parodying part as an earnest but obtuse lawman. There's a hilarious bit when Drebin--wearing a live police wire while going to the bathroom--can be overheard over the loudspeakers at a speech given by a flustered mayor (Nancy Marchand). Yes, that's O.J. Simpson as a detective who ends up on the wrong side of numerous Drebin blunders. --Tom Keogh
Naked Gun: 2 1/2 - The Smell of Fear
It's more of Leslie Nielsen's Lt. Frank Drebin, the bumbling cop from the old Police Squad! television series. This time, Drebin uncovers a plot--led by supervillain Robert Goulet!--to sabotage America's energy policy. The jokes don't stick as well as those of the first film (Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!), but there are some very funny slapstick moments, including several involving former First Lady Barbara Bush (played by an actress, of course). --Tom Keogh
Naked Gun: 3 1/3 - The Final Insult
The usual way of the world is that sequels amount to thinner and thinner carbon copies of the original. But not in the case of Naked Gun movies, which only seemed to get funnier with each new entry. This third episode in the series finds Lieutenant Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen) retired from his police squad and married to the woman of his dreams (Priscilla Presley). But he is pressed back into action to infiltrate a group of terrorists who plan to blow up the Oscars. The filmmakers make hay with spoofs of prison films and, particularly, of the Oscars themselves, in an award-show send-up that includes such real-life stars as Raquel Welch and Pia Zadora--and Drebin being mistaken for Phil Donahue. The takeoff on the dreadful production numbers that always drag out the Academy Awards will have you howling. --Marshall Fine