Naked Gun 33 1/3

Here's another threesome: Leslie Nielsen and the twin peaks of Playmate Anna Nicole Smith. A cheap gag, to be sure, but this second chip off the Naked Gun block follows the hallowed tradition of wallowing in stupidity. It even shares a Crying Game spoof about a babe with a penis from Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, which indicates how low it will stoop. Still, it's hard to hate a sequel whose ad copy contains the line "Mostly all new jokes."

Is this threepeat up to snuff in delivering laughs? No way, but it's also no matter. Even when the comedy loses momentum, Nielsen's Frank Drebin, now retired from the LAPD, remains a treasured lunatic. He's forced back on the job, much to the chagrin of his lawyer wife (Priscilla Presley), when a terrorist (Fred Ward, acting wonderfully silly) threatens that most sacred of institutions: the Academy Awards.

Director Peter Segal spends a great deal of energy staging the climactic free-for-all of bullets and pratfalls at the Shrine Auditorium, where Lt. Drebin mingles disastrously with stars of the caliber of Pia Zadora, Vanna White and Weird Al Yankovic. No fair giving away the good jokes, which are scarce enough. But the finale of The Bodyguard – which took the Oscars seriously – was funnier.

From The Archives Issue 680: April 21, 1994
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