The Scoop: PG-13 1993, directed by Jim Abrahams and starring Charlie Sheen, Lloyd Bridges and Valeria Golino.
Summary Capsule: Topper returns to deliver a little one-man justice to the Middle East.
Justin’s Rating: Fly, chicken, fly!
Justin’s Review: Now, fussy critics, used to their tea and crumpets and lace doileys, really dislike parody and rapid-fire gag flicks as a matter of standard practice. We think it’s because laughter will kill them on contact, much like water and the Wicked Witch of the West. And if you think they hate those kinds of films, you can only imagine their sheer delight and ecstasy as they face a sequel. Heck, usually they don’t bother to even watch it, electing instead to glance casually at the movie poster and fudge a few details from their dusty review of Airplane II: The Sequel!
While most critics are well and good as a part of the natural food chain (resting comfortably between “mosquito” and “malaria”), the MRFH Army must take a firm stance against such blatant disregard for funny when it comes to the ilk of movie parodies and their ilky sequels. Yes kids, when you don’t know who to trust, trust us. Even when we disagree with each other. In which case it’s best to develop a nervous twitch and blame everything naughty you say in class as a “Clareism”.
Hot Shots! Part Deux continues a long-standing tradition of annoying me by putting excitable punctuation in the middle of sentences, and also taking holy and sacred subjects and treating them Marx Bros. style. These subjects of which I speak about, of course, are the honorable “war flick” and “action-fest”. Perhaps the sacrifices that Stallone and Schwartzenegger fought and died and rose again for one last blow for don’t deserve such shabby treatment, but we do need the hallowed grounds of movie wisdom to keep the world in proper perspective.
Yes indeed, whether you just generally dislike Saddam Hussein or want to see a guy beat up with gummi bears (PoolMan, this is you), there’s no reason not to embrace HS!PD as part of your daily intake of chuckles. Charlie Sheen, once again convincing me that his future lies in comedy and not anything remotely serious, returns as the ultra-macho Topper Harley. Despite being a Navy pilot in the first film, Harley is called back into service as a gung-ho (what’s a gung, and what’s it hoing for?) one-man army, sent to rescue the guys who went in to rescue the guys who got caught in Iraq.
HS!PD takes its slices of pie from a wide range of popular movies, most notably Rambo and Commando, but not forsaking the “what does this have to do with war-action?” titles like Lady and the Tramp and Basic Instinct. Perhaps its most shining moment came when Topper’s on a boat doing an inner-voice monologue a la Apocalypse Now, and suddenly Martin Sheen is on a boat going the opposite way actually doing the original lines from Apocalypse Now. More celeb cameos could learn a thing or two from this.
I’ve always been very partial to the second Hot Shots!, mostly because I saw it like four times in the theater and still haven’t run out of little details to notice and laugh about. A pretty decent supporting cast backs up Sheen as well, including Lloyd Bridges as the patchwork President, Ryan Stiles (Drew Carey Show) as a guy who really likes to blow things up, and the ever-terrific Miguel Ferrer as a man who rediscovers his love of movie slaughter. And hey, this is probably the only film where you’ll actually get a body count counter on the screen as the carnage proceeds.
Hot Shots! Part Deux was also the end of a great era of parody flicks, hailing back to the era of Airplane! While parts of Jane Austin’s Mafia and BASEketball occasionally rose to the occasion, we’ve degenerated into slip-shod crap fests like Scary Movie. Let us hope and pray that we see a rebirth of the intelligent dumb humor movie, and soon!
- Apocalypse Now parody, complete with Martin Sheen!
- Tug Benson: The Simple Solution signs
- The one president who falls down for no reason
- I want one of those Lincoln cookie jars
- The collateral casualties during the bloodsport match
- The worst motivational story involving a fairy tale
- Charlie Sheen remarks before a particularly energetic fight sequence, “I learned this one from Paula Abdul.” Paula Abdul was married to Charlie Sheen’s brother, Emilio Estevez, at the time of the film’s release.
- Lady and the Tramp parody, yes!
- I love the “shortcut” through a suburban backyard
- A good reason to be wounded, women start ripping off their clothes to bandage you up
- Presidents often go on rescue missions
- Richard Crenna plays Denton Walters. In the TV series “Our Miss Brooks”, Crenna played a character called “Walter Denton”.
- Richard Crenna spoofs his own role in the Rambo films.
- Ryan Stiles also appeared in the original Hot Shots!, but played a different character.
- Iraqi radio plays lullabyes
- The “Halarm”
- The Energizer bunny’s demise
- When you run out of ammo, just pick up a handful of bullets and throw them at the enemy. Trust me, you’ll win.
- The bullet that hits Ramona is still in its casing.
- There’s a ton of jokes in the end credits. And at the very end of the credits, a soundclip from the film is played in reverse. It says, “His boat has been demolished.”
- Charlie Sheen worked out for eight hours a day to build up his body, as he decided that he would have felt embarrassed at the film’s premiere if he had to sit amongst people laughing while looking at him on screen in a singlet.
Topper: Let the sun come out, you big, bad G.I. Joe!
Topper: We all have permission to make mistakes… it’s called “learning”!
Iraqi: Off to prison, American Satans!
Michelle: We want you to go in, Topper.
Topper: Why me?
Michelle: Because you’re the best of what’s left.
Topper: Do you have any idea what the critics will say? “Same warmed-over characters…”
Harbinger: I can kill again! You’ve given me a reason to live.
Harbinger: War… it’s fantastic!
Saddam Hussein: Now I will kill you until you die from it!
Ramada: I had to come. It was a sequel.
Tug Benson: [to the Japanese] It seems only yesterday that I was strafing so many of your houses. Today I’m asking you not to make such damn good cars.
Topper: These men have a supreme vow of celibacy, like their fathers, and their fathers before them…
Bad Guy: I can see you’re no stranger to pain.
Col. Denton Walters: I’ve been married.
Bad Guy: Ah.
Col. Denton Walters: *Twice*.
Bad guys: Oy!
Benson: We’ll do this the old navy way. First one to die… loses!
Topper: I want to see your parents and pat your dog…
Romana: My parents are dead, Topper, my dog ate them.
Topper: Colonel, who are they?
Col. Denton Walters: She’s CIA. The other man’s an extra.
Col. Denton Walters: We must get the men who went to get the men who went to get the men.
News Reporter: President Benson, where’s your first lady?
Benson: I don’t know. I’ve had lots of women. Lost my flower at the age of 15. I can’t keep track.
Topper: Of all the missions in all the jungles you had to walk into this one.
Topper: You’re joking.
Ramada: I’m not.
Topper: You’ve got to be.
Ramada: If I was joking I would say: “A horse walks into a bar. The bartender says, ‘Why the long face?’”
Ramada: Topper, I was so young, just a schoolgirl. He was an older man, so wise in the ways of the world. He used to come around the schoolyard, day after day. I so admired his persistence. Even the restraining order my parents slapped on him was no deterrent. He opened my eyes to the arts: music, clog-dancing, WrestleMania. His work has meant so much to so many. And I owe him everything, Topper. Everything.
Topper: I’m happy for you, kid. But if you think you can hurt me again, you’re wrong. I left my heart in my other pants.
Topper: Ramada, I do love you. I’ve tried to forget you but no matter what, your face is on the tip of my tongue.
If you enjoyed this, try:
- Hot Shots!
- Apocalypse Now