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Laramie Movie Scope:
Naked Gun 2

Another silly slapstick comedy

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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July 17, 2003 -- ``Naked Gun 2'' is about what you would expect from the makers of the original Naked Gun and Police Squad.

If you liked ``Naked Gun'' and ``Airplane,'' you will like this movie too. It is cut from the same silly cloth. The formula for these films, if you are familiar with them is simple, throw as many sight gags, puns and one-liners as you possibly can at the audience and some of them will hit the mark.

``Naked Gun 2'' is the kind of movie that punishes you if you don't concentrate on it. If you eyes or your attention wanders, if you blink, you'll probably miss a joke.

A couple of examples, one scene has our hero, Leslie Nielson, sitting in a bar with many outrageously sad, broken-hearted characters. A woman sitting on the piano is singing an outrageously bad blues song. As the camera pans across several men sitting sadly at their tables along a wall, you begin to notice the pictures mounted on the wall behind them, the Titanic, the Hindenburg disaster, Michael Dukakis.

In another scene Nielson and co-star George Kennedy walk through a crime scene and you begin to notice the chalk outlines of victims on the floor. The audience roars when one of the chalk outlines turns out to be in the shape of an Egyptian hieroglyph.

Leslie Nielson is a modern day Inspector Clouseau, a detective seemingly without a brain who stumbles along until miraculously the case is solved despite his best efforts. That part hasn't changed since the days of Jerry Lewis comedies. Admittedly, some jokes in the movie are tasteless and vulgar. One scene has the First Lady, Barbara Bush hanging from a balcony in her underclothes. Another has a paraplegic thrown unmercifully over a rostrum and his pants pulled down while Nielson tries to erase a supposedly false birthmark on one buttock using a rotary sander.

Obviously, this is not subtle or tasteful humor in all cases, but there are some hilarious scenes in the film, some funny spoofs of other movies and of the police genre. This is strictly a hit or miss film. It is too bad the producers could eliminate some of the more stupid, tasteless, racist and sexist gags, but you have to take those with the truly inspired comedy.

Still, found myself laughing more than I was groaning at the bad jokes. This film rates a C.

Click here for links to places to buy this movie in video and/or DVD format, the soundtrack, books, even used videos, games and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)