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5.0 out of 5 stars A great DVD package to remember Leslie Nielsen by, December 3, 2010
This review is from: The Naked Gun Triple Feature (DVD)
In the beginning, there was "Police Squad", a daffy, dizzy sendup of crime drama shows by the team of Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker. Debuting in the summer of 1982, it only aired six episodes and folded. Why? "Because you have to pay attention" was the response. Television was clearly the wrong venue for this type of "Airplane"-inspired spoofery. And so, "Police Squad" got a second life on the big screen...and renamed "The Naked Gun".
As with many of the "serious" actors who appeared in "Airplane", Leslie Nielsen was reborn a true movie clown...and he clearly loved his new job! The more straight-faced he delivered a one-liner or a sight gag, the funnier he was. Here, Paramount Pictures has done the smart thing & packaged the entire "Naked Gun" trilogy into one nifty case.
Starting with the first NG (1988), bumbling, clueless Lt. Frank Drebin proceeds to investigate a plot to assassinate the Queen of England during a visit to L.A., wreak hilarious havoc on baddie Ricardo Montalban's office, romance Jane Spencer (Priscilla Presley), and somehow save the day during a baseball game. "NG: The Smell of Fear" has Drebin lonely & heartbroken over his split with Jane. Meanwhile, an eco-villain (an effectively oily Robert Goulet) plans to sabotage an eco-friendly energy proposal for his own gain. "The Final Insult" has been deemed a notch or two below the first two films; maybe it was just too much of a good thing. However, it's still leagues funnier than other lame comedies trying to do the same thing. Drebin is retired & domesticated now, enjoying marital bliss (sort of: they're seeking counseling). But when a dangerous criminal (Fred Ward in a tour-de-force of all those old gangster movie roles) schemes to break out of prison & targets a major event as a terrorist act, Drebin relishes the chance to go undercover to unravel his plans. Some of the jokes we've seen & heard in the first two; the real draw is the climactic Academy Awards ceremony, which Drebin disrupts in hysterical fashion.
The supporting cast is inspired: Presley is surprisingly good as "straightwoman" to Neilsen's buffoonery; George Kennedy serves a similar role as Neilsen's superior; and yes, even O.J. Simpson deserves some credit as victimized Norberg, before Simpson fled (unsuccessfully) from the law in a white Bronco. But ultimately, these movies belong to Nielsen. To go through all the crazy moments in these films would be like writing a novel, so I won't bother.
Thank you, Mr. Nielsen, for all the belly laughs you gave me with these movies!
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