The Scoop: 1993 PG-13, directed by Gene Quintano, starring Emilio Estevez and Samuel L. Jackson
Tagline: Oh my God. They have guns!
Summary Capsule: Emilio Estevez and Samuel L. Jackson team up to take down William Shatner. Or wait, Emilio and Shatner go after Jackson. Tim Curry vs Jon Lovitz. Does it really matter?
Yeti’s Rating: This movie is the Simba to Lethal Weapon 2‘s Mufasa.
Yeti’s Review: It’s Saturday afternoon. You’re hungover from the rotation of cheap beer and Bankers vodka shots the previous night. The roommates went to get Arbys to settle the stomachs for round two tonight. That leaves the most important job of the day up to you. Finding that gem of a movie to day drink the…day away. Well look no further my good man. Let me introduce you to the funniest movie that never made you laugh.
It was a similar situation I found myself in during sophomore year, finals week ’09. My buddy “Feels” (college is the last time it’s acceptable to have friends with douchey nicknames) and I happened upon a movie called Loaded Weapon 1. Unbeknownst to us, it would change our lives forever.
National Lampoons Loaded Weapon 1 was released in 1993 as a spoof comedy. Spaceballs did Star Wars, Young Frankenstein did Frankenstein, and Loaded Weapon 1 was our glorious mock Lethal Weapon. It had a story they probably stole straight from any cop movie from the 80s. An LA detective is killed for having a microfilm on how to make cocaine cookies. Two odd couple style cops team up to find the killer. Playing the Mel Gibson role is Emilio Estevez as Jack Colt. I’m not exaggerating when I say this is the best role of Emilio’s career. I’m in my twenties, I grew up with the Mighty Ducks. I don’t make these claims lightly. He is unstoppable in this film. If I had to give out Olympic medals for the best all time spoof actors it would go something like this:
- Gold Medal – Leslie Nielsen
- Silver Medal – Gene Wilder
- Bronze Medal – Emilio Estevez
His sole performance in this film vaulted him over Mel Brooks and Anna Faris (Lloyd Bridges fans are getting out their pitchforks). The level of commitment he has to every line of dialogue is astounding. It reminded me of Leslie Nielsen in his prime. Perhaps there’s an alternate universe where Emilio’s career didn’t die after D3 in ’96. It was definitely in the cards for him to own the spoof world for the next 10-15 years akin to Nielsen. Honestly, who was dominating that market? You had virtually no one during the late nineties. Anna Faris and the Wayans brothers put out some respectable material in the early part of the new decade. Instead we were left with Date Movie and the chunks of puke that came after (Is “chunks of puke” a saying? I’m attempting to make it one). Allow me to hop off his lap real quick so I can also praise his co-star.
The great Samuel L. Jackson takes the reigns as Wes Luger (their last names make me “lol”). Not surprisingly (at least not now) Jackson is laugh out loud funny throughout the full 90 minutes. Who back in 1993 knew how funny this guy was? I glanced at IMDB and could only find a small role in Coming to America.
Honestly, I’m surprised he didn’t stick to a career in comedy. A little flick called Pulp Fiction might have had something to do with that. There are a couple key scenes where Jackson has some one at gunpoint. Both might be the funniest scenes in the film. His dedication to physical comedy brings tears to my eyes. If this were Madden his stats would look something like this:
- Physical Comedy – 97
- One Liners – 94
- Balding Haircut – 99
- Agility – 63
He’s an all time great and I’m grateful for all the iconic performances he’s given us, but man do I wish he’d of taken more comedic roles. Together with Emilio, they form my favorite comedy duo ever. I’ve watched this film more times than I care to admit and not once does the pair become bland. I guarantee you’ll never see them on any of the Buzzfeed lists, but these two deserve respect.
Normally I would stop there. Estevez and Jackson DO make this a classic spoof comedy. What puts the film into untouchable territory is the massive amount of comedic talent other than the leads. From the villains to the smallest of cameos, this movie doesn’t disappoint. Let’s break ’em down!
Lovitz plays the “Joe Pesci in Lethal Weapon” role. He’s the loud mouthed (more whiney) guy that helps out our two heroes. Or tries to help them out. He usually gets shot at or taken hostage without either Estevez or Jackson caring much. He’s not as funny as his character in Rat Race, but it’s a delight to watch his misfortunes seemingly never end.
William Shatner And here we have the main baddie in our comical cop story. Shatner plays a hilarious version of the Colonel from the Rambo trilogy. Now that I think of it, he’s probably not much different than the Priceline Negotiator, but it’s still gold. Another actor who you wouldn’t think could pull off comedy back then. He’s masterful with the dialogue he’s given throughout, never blinking at how cheesy each line is. I can’t stress how important that is in spoof movies. He’s dedicated for every minute on screen. General Mortars you are one of a kind.
Tim Curry Tim Curry plays the right hand man to Shatner’s evil genius. As you can see from the picture, he has no qualms about going under cover. There are few voices more recognizable than Curry’s, but he puts a whole new twist on his golden pipes for this role. The way he emphasizes the “w” in “weapon” gets me every time. If I can give only one reason to watch this film, I’m going with Tim Curry. Pure brilliance.
Whoopi She doesn’t have many scenes (two or three), but she does have my favorite scene in the film. In the beginning of the movie, Tim Curry’s character visits Whoopi to get information out of her. Spoiler alert: she doesn’t survive the questioning. But the sequence between the two is comedic gold. It makes me miss pre-View Whoopi Goldberg. I mean come on…she went scene for scene with Swayze in Ghost!!! The lady can do it all. I look forward to her brief appearance every time I watch this.
I’d also like to list Phil Hartman, Dennis Leary, Cory Feldman, Kathy Ireland, Denise Richards, F Murray Abraham, Scotty from Star Trek, the two dudes from CHIPS, the principal from The Breakfast Club, the TMNT, and Charlie f**king Sheen. Too much gold.
So now you’re wondering, why the hell haven’t I heard of it? It can’t be that great. It’s clearly not successful. So what happened? The sad answer….I don’t know. For one, I was only five when this baby came out. Unfortunately I didn’t have the income to support it. Originally it was set to have a sequel. They even signed a deal for one before the first was released ( the tagline was “Oh come ON, you knew it was coming!”) but the poor performance squashed that. My theory? Look at what else came out in the spoof market in 1993. This and… THIS.
Look. I understand I may be exaggerating with how good it is. If it was as awesome as I made it out to be you’d have heard of it by now. All I’m saying is that you’d be hard pressed to find a better movie to watch while recovering from the night before. And that’s not the hangover talking.
Justin’s Rating: The Mighty Duck Avenger
Justin’s Review: Important movie lesson coming up, boys and girls, so I suggest taking out some paper and a pen and then realize that you’re way too easily led by commands from a complete stranger. The lesson is thus: how much you like a certain film is most often determined the first time you see it — and this judgment can be easily clouded due to certain factors (such as who you see it with, what kind of mood you’re in, whether a screaming baby is whizzing in your ear from three rows back, etc). A true movie buff will reserve permanent judgement on a film until he or she has seen a particular film twice. I know my opinion of certain movies have changed dramatically when I saw them again after a period of time (example: I loathed Dead Man On Campus the first time I saw it in theater, yet now I’ve come to appreciate its fine nuance of stupidity).
Why this lesson? Simple… I easily dismissed Loaded Weapon 1 when I saw it back in ’94 as yet another Airplane/Naked Gun/Hot Shots clone. Which, true, it was. But a mere week ago I gave it another chance, and discovered that a pretty nifty film yearned to tickle my funny bone (extra points to those that did not wince when you read “nifty” or “tickle my funny bone” in the preceding sentence).
Loaded Weapon 1 is a loose parody of the Lethal Weapon films with a few other homages thrown in. Wes Lugar (a pre-Pulp Fiction Samuel Jackson) steps into Danny Glover’s honked-off character quite admirably. Jackson just has the perfect timing and intonation for exasperated comeback lines. Emilio Estevez doesn’t fare as well as Jack Colt, a whinier version of Mel Gibson. It’s sad that this is as close to an action role as he’ll ever get (bar Judgement Day), but that’s what you get when you sell out to a kiddie series of hockey films. The two team up to fight an evil dude (William Shatner) who’s been hiding cocaine in girl scout cookies.
Expect a lot of the same type of humor as the Naked Gun flicks. This means, keep an eye on the background at all times and be quick to spot the many puns (one of my favorites was a collection of torture instruments that included Howard the Duck). Jackson and Estevez do all right together, but the rest of the cast is where the talent really lies.
Jon Lovitz is their annoying informant/sidekick, doing a much better job (in our opinion) than Master “OK OK OK OK” Joe Pesci. Have you been looking for a movie with lots of famous cameos? Look no further. Estevez’ brother Charlie Sheen has a bit part as a valet, Scotty from Star Trek is a coffee-machine cop, the CHiPs cops are seen in a second-floor shootout (including their motorcycles), and there’s Whoopie Goldberg, Kathy Ireland, Dr. Joyce Brothers, Denis Leary, Phil Hartman, and even Bruce Willis. Yah just can’t lose, here. Or maybe you can.
Part of this genre’s trademark is to bombard you with joke after joke after joke until you’ve either died of laughing asphyxiation or used the videotape to wipe your dog’s butt. It all comes down to what percentage of the jokes are genuinely funny (to use an example from Airplane!, Turkish Prisons are funny, countless literal puns are not). I think Loaded Weapon 1 has enough funny parts to carry a few scenes that seem to drag with fart humor.
- After multiple viewings I finally decided to look up what else Gene Quinatno has directed. It is with a heavy heart that I inform you his only post-LW1 directorial job was working on Dollar for the Dead (a TV movie, but with Emilio!). He did, however, write the screenplay for Sudden Death. Arguably the greatest Van Damme movie of the nineties. So there’s that.
- This was the debut film for Denise Richards. She was one of Dennis Leary’s harlot’s. What are the odds she goes around telling people, “I got my big break in Loaded Weapon 1. Christian Bale can’t even touch that”? I tell myself she does.
- There’s quite a few product placements in the movie. Ergh, well, not really product placements. But references to commercials at least. Off the top of my head I recall funny “Head and Shoulder” and “Athlete’s foot” bits.
- Love how the film has a “1” at the end even though there was never a sequel. It rivals the “Part Deux” in the Hot Shot franchise.
- Apparently Bruce Willis appeared in the film as a favor to his brother David Willis, who was a producer on the film.
- I have to imagine, when it came to Charlie Sheen and Emilio, it was the exact opposite situation.
- How many times Whoopi is shot
- That Shatner has reached a level of goofy that will send him to his grave
- Tim Curry is the 90’s stereotype of comedic villians
Colt: Who are you?
Jigsaw: I am you worst nightmare.
Colt: No, waking up without my penis is my worst nightmare.
Jigsaw: Okay, alright, so I’m not actually your worst nightmare. But I am right up there.
Colt: Give me a name!
Beckard: Weren’t your parents supposed to do that?
Capt. Doyle: Don’t be so fast to thank me on this, Luger, because you’re going to be naked on this one. It’s on the line for you. People are going to be watching. Now you blow it, you’re going down. You screw up, you’re going to be hung out to dry. You drop the ball, you’re going to be left twisting in the wind. If you embarrass this department, your pants will be dancing with figs. Is that clear?
Luger: Everything except for the “dancing with figs” part.
Luger: I don’t think York was a suicide. She was on to something.
Boss: On something is more likely. You know as well as I that this guy’s cookies were laced with cocaine.
Luger: No wonder I couldn’t eat just one.
Colt: It’ll take more than a few car bombs to scare us off.
Lugar: Not too many more!
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