Wednesday February 10, 2010 15:40

Movie #0012 – Airplane! (1980)

Posted by Michael

Directed by: Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, Jerry Zucker
Starring: Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, Leslie Nielson
Third or Fourth Viewing

Synopsis: Disaster strikes on an airplane when food poisoning takes out all the pilots in this madcap spoof film.

I’ve been a fan of this movie for a while, though it’s been a few years since I’ve seen it — I was a bit afraid that it wouldn’t be as good (and as funny) as I had remembered it being. This is, after all, a movie that is regularly called one of the funniest films of all time. It’s easy to go into a movie like this, one that you remember loving but haven’t seen in a while, with overly-heightened expectations.

So, was it as funny as I remembered? Nope. Funnier. This is indeed a classic in the genre, and features a frantic, joke-a-minute pace that is often imitated but never duplicated. For the first ten minutes or so you’re basically wondering how long they can keep up the constant stream of legitimately funny gags, but it never lets up. The film has an oddball, anything-for-a-laugh mentality that could be disastrous if done wrong, but it absolutely works. In that way I’m almost not sure what to think of this movie — it is undoubtedly pretty great, and yet it has spawned so many like-minded, yet woefully inept imitators. Pretty much every crappy “______ Movie” spoof film probably wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for this movie (well, this and some of Mel Brooks’ films from the ’70s). But it’s hard to fault a film for being so good that it essentially spawns its own comedy sub-genre, even if that sub-genre is almost uniformly terrible.

I don’t have much else to say about this film, other than that it’s hilarious and you should watch it. And if you haven’t seen it in a while, watch it again.

Buy the movie at Amazon

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