Hot Shots! Cover Whilst Iraqi front-man, Saddam Hussain, was president of Iraqi-land, did you know that he also had a small stint as an actor as well? Yeah. Honest to Kebab. I saw him make a brief cameo in a remake of 'Wind in the Willows', and star in this film Directed by Jim Abrahams; and Co-Starring: Charlie Sheen, Cary Elwes, and Lloyd Bridges. It was made in 1991, and lasted for whole 82-minutes.

Hot Shots!

Ocko-Chaka. Nikka-Nokia. Bongo-Bingo. Asparagus. Bo-Bo-Patel. Or in other words: Don't you find that the U.S. Air Force have a rather lapse attitude towards recruitment nowadays?  

Just take a look at Rear Admiral 'Tug' Benson's (Lloyd Bridges) gaggle of misfits for example. Lieutenant Kent Gregory (Cary Elwes) has a chip on his shoulder the size of a small Elephant. Lieutenant 'Wash Out' Pfaffenbach (Jon Cryer) is as visually accurate as a blindfolded Ray Charles. And Lieutenant 'Topper' Harley (Charlie Sheen) is said to have 'Parental Conflict Syndrome',all because his high-flying father bit the bullet in a rather brash incident, many-many years ago.

Honestly! Kent's physiologist girlfriend, Ramada Thompson (Valeria Golino), deemed 'Topper' with this condition when they met in her office. It was a couple of day after they shagged at her home, and a day before Lieutenant 'Dead Meat' Thompson met with a nasty accident up in the sky.

Yeah! 'Dead Meat' does actually become dead meat! And the Air Force blames it on 'Topper' too. Poor lonely, misguided, and very sexually ambitious, 'Topper'. All because he wanted to get his end away with the local shrink.

Still, it could be a lot worse I suppose. Commander James Block (Kevin Dunn) could have entered into an unscrupulous pack with a couple of schmucks to build more airplanes for his squadron, inadvertently kicking up a right stink in the process?


But then again, that's most probably why what next transpires begins when a gaggle of misfits have to fly off on their next mission together. As airplanes take to the skies - an origin turns out of be full of lies - Saddam gets the bomb - and please remember: Oka. Chaka. Tito. Germaine. Tom-Tom!

Now if I had to place 'Hot Shots!' somewhere in between two other spoof-type films of its genre, I would have to place it somewhere in the between the 'Airplane' series of films, and the 'Scary Movie' series of films.

Alright. I know what you're thinking to yourself: Does that make it a good film or a bad film? Right? Well, in my own opinion, it makes it a 'so-so' film with good bits to it, plus bad bits to it too. And, of course, you know what I do when something like this happens, huh?

It's advantage / disadvantage time.

Lloyd in Hot Shots!

(1) Every single member of the cast was great. No. Better than great. Smashing. Mainly because they didn't try too hard to be funny, they're all naturally funny. Especially Lloyd Bridges. (2) As much as it was hard to find at times, this film did actually tell a story. Personally speaking, I find that it's this aspect which saves this comedy from being mediocre; by telling a tale, and saying it like it is. (3) No matter how much I will moan about this movie, without a shadow of a doubt, it is still funny. I loved watching the characters straight-laced attitudes in contract to what they were actually saying. This is the key that turned the lock for me.    

(1) One of the main pitfalls this film fails to avoid; is that it feel outdated because it referencing movies of 'a certain era'. Granted, the majority of gaffs were fairly 'general' in retrospect -- like the Superman or Rocky homage's for example. But I'm afraid to say that this wasn't always the case. (2) The best of spoofs always manage to amalgamate the comedy to progress the plot-line a step or two in the right direction. Nope. Not so this time around. At best, the jokes acted as segways where the overall narrative was concerned, and only aided it on occasion. (3) In my eyes the bad-guys were never imposing enough to the main protagonists, coming across as 'mere filler' within the scheme of things. No. Not threatening enough. Not even for a comedy.

Martin in Hot Shots!

Meaty Goodness in Hot Shots!
Now are you fed up with reading bullet-points, dear reader? If so, tough titty, next I'm going to present to you with my bullet-pointed filmic-facts. (1) '20th Century Fox' released this $26 million dollar comedy on the 31st of July, 1991, eventually making back $181,096,164 dollars at the box-office. It was a hit. (2) Apart from its studio-based scenes, some of this movie was shot on location in California. Such as: Hope St, Mojave Airport, Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Hollywood, March Air Force Base, Los Angeles, Red Rock Canyon, Ridgecrest, and San Diego. (3) Did you know that the aircraft carrier seen in this film is actually a wooden deck built on the edge of a cliff at a deserted Marine-Land facility? Moreover, it was shot at an angle that made the deck look like a ship at sea.  (4) If you look very closely at his ID badge whilst he is in Ramada's office, you'll notice that Topper's first name is Sean. (5) According to Valeria Golino, she caught the olive popping out of her bellybutton all by herself. No trick photography was needed. (6) Although they did not know it at the time, Charlie Sheen, John Cryer, and Ryan Stiles, would all work together again years later on the sitcom 'Two and a Half Men'. (7) I kid you not, this comedy spoofs the following films: Only Angels Have Wings [1939], Gone with the Wind [1939], Flying Tigers [1942], Stalag 17 [1953], The Taming of the Shrew [1967], The Godfather Part One [1972], The Man with the Golden Gun [1974], Marathon Man [1976], Rocky [1976], Superman I and II [1978 and1980], Eyewitness [1981], An Officer and a Gentleman [1982], The Right Stuff [1983], Nine 1/2 Weeks [1986], Critters [1986], Top Gun [1986], Platoon [1986], Full Metal Jacket [1987], The Fabulous Baker Boys [1989], and Dances with Wolves [1990].  (8) When Charlie Sheen's character remarked about learning how to fight from the singer, Paula Abdul, maybe this is because she was once married to his brother, Emilio Estevez, in real life, Ha!

The Cast of Hot Shots!

All in All 'Hot Shots' was very watch-able film. It told a story. It made me laugh. And apart from its pitfalls, it still made up for this dip with its overall spoofed demeanor. Don't you agree, obligatory YouTube video clip?