MOVIE REVIEW: “Airplane!” stars Robert Hays (Superhero Movie, Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey), Julie Hagerty (What About Bob?, Just Friends), Leslie Nielsen (Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!, Dracula: Dead and Loving It), Robert Stack (The Untouchables [TV series], Beavis and Butt-head Do America), Peter Graves (Mission: Impossible [TV series], The Night of the Hunter), Lloyd Bridges (High Noon, Sea Hunt [TV series]), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (D2: The Mighty Ducks, BASEketball), and Jonathan Banks (Breaking Bad [TV series], Beverly Hills Cop). It is directed by Jim Abrahams (Top Secret!, Ruthless People), David Zucker (Scary Movie 3, Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!), and Jerry Zucker (Rat Race, Ghost ). Ted Striker (Hays) is in a tight spot when his longtime girlfriend, Elaine (Hagerty), doesn’t want to be in a relationship with him anymore. Elaine is part of an airplane cabin crew and decides to leave Ted by starting a new life wherever she lands. So to get her back, Ted gets a ticket for the flight that Elaine is on. It is going to be a rough ride however when the flight goes into chaos with almost everyone getting food poisoning, including the airplane pilots!
The one genre that is incredibly hard to review, no matter what movie it is, is comedy. Every genre can tie together in the sense of how a story is planned out: sci-fi, romance, action, drama, adventure, etc. But when it comes to comedy, the writers could care less about what the plot is because what they are mainly trying to do is get a good laugh out of the audience. And that is what’s portrayed in “Airplane!” A classic to several, this movie definitely boasts a good laugh factor. I laughed all the way through no matter how bad some of the jokes were. No matter what generation watches this, it will always generate good laughs which is definitely a great asset. I will admit, there are some jokes that only someone growing up in the late 70’s to early 80’s would understand, but there aren’t too many of them. The jokes that these writers love toying with is literal ones. About 95% of this film is literal with everything they say. For example, some people were talking about how everyone was doing on the plane. One of them were concerned about the pilots so they asked “and the cockpit?” To reply to that, the other person said “Oh, it is the front of the plane where pilots fly it, but enough about that-” That is what I had to deal with for over an hour…. Even though I would get frustrated at how literal it was, I couldn’t help but laugh every time. This film has several scenes to talk about amongst friends and is enjoyable to say the least. When mentioning how funny this film is, I will also say that the writing of these jokes are pretty genius because I would have never thought about most of them. Now onto the cons. Because of how they purposefully made the jokes stupid and literal, it is really hard to hate on them because it was intentional and they got their way. But there are some things I must mention. The first would be the flashback scene where Ted meets Elaine. Although it offered great laughs, the scene lasted longer than it should’ve. There were so many jokes to cram into one scene that they took their time to execute them all, resulting in a scene that over-stayed its welcome. The last con that really comes to mind is how some jokes are repetitive. There are quite a bit of them, and some are rather funny being mentioned more than once, but there are others that can get annoying. I won’t say what they are in case those reading this haven’t seen this. Oh no, here it comes….the rating. Like I mentioned before, rating comedies is hard and this one is no exception. It goes back to when I said that the writers purposefully made this movie to make no sense, so really if I gave it a bad score, that would mean they wouldn’t have succeeded in what they planned to make, which isn’t what happened. Ugh, this is hard. Comedy is in its own realm. With all of that in mind, I have come to my conclusion (which took me longer to think than for you to read). Those of you who read the score may say “surely you can’t be serious”, to which I will reply “I am serious, and don’t call me Shirley.” In the end, this film is flat-out funny and will keep you entertained throughout. Of course I scoffed at how stupid some things were, but it was all intentional to make me laugh and it worked. I recommend this to anyone who is looking for a good, classic comedy. FINAL SCORE: 94%=Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: