Late to the stuffed beaver! A review of Naked Gun

Late to the stuffed beaver! A review of Naked Gun

Jane: I’ve heard police work is dangerous.
Frank: It is. That’s why I carry a big gun.
Jane: Aren’t you afraid it might go off accidentally?
Frank: I used to have that problem.
Jane: What did you do about it?
Frank: I just think about baseball.

English: Actor Leslie Nielsen 1982 in a first ...

I have a little sister named Leslie. As the older sister it’s in my job description to find exciting ways to torture my sibling and make her life as miserable as possible. Being aware of Leslie Nielsen‘s existence was a huge help to me growing up as he was the best example I had to prove to my sister that she had a uni-gender name and thus a lesser human being (is ambigendrous a word? I want it to be…). I tip my hat to him for, you know, existing. It’s just too bad that I waited so long to see his movies (I first saw Airplane! early last year) because I think he is incredibly funny.

Naked Gun is a spoof movie based on the short-lived television series Police Squad! and, as someone who obsessed over Dragnet as a little kid, I can definitely appreciate the satire. Since Police Squad! is available on Netflix (DVDs only), I definitely plan to check it out.

To enjoy this movie, you definitely have to have a goofy sense of humor. I could see a lot of people I know rolling their eyes at any mention of “Papshmir.” The jokes are very silly and quick, firing in rapid succession, and I found myself laughing at everything. Even the subtle humor like Queen Elizabeth passing hot dogs down a line of people at the baseball game cracked me up. Leslie Nielsen has the same impeccable comedic timing as he did in Airplane! and it was a nice surprise to find out that he sings the National Anthem a little better than Carl Lewis. And I was amazed to find out that Priscilla Presley wasn’t horrible in the movie. While she doesn’t deliver a ton of funny lines, I thought her interactions with Leslie were good and she was actually able to finish the movie without cracking (which is something I couldn’t do).

Face palm moment:
It’s really weird to see OJ Simpson doing anything besides trying on gloves. He doesn’t have a big part in this movie but I felt a little squeamish the few times I had to watch him in the hospital or at the baseball game.

Favorite part:
Although I laughed throughout most of the movie, there are three things that stand out– the scene where Drebin breaks in to Ludwig’s office and everything goes wrong, the villain’s death scene with the USC marching band (“my father went the same way”), and this little interaction:

Frank: It’s the same old story. Boy finds girl, boy loses girl, girl finds boy, boy forgets girl, boy remembers girl, girl dies in a tragic blimp accident over the Orange Bowl on New Year’s Day.
Jane: Goodyear?
Frank: No, the worst.

The “I missed that in pop culture trivia” moment:

Frank: Nice beaver!
Jane: [producing a stuffed beaver] Thank you. I just had it stuffed.

Regrettable tardiness scale (out of 10):
Naked Gun might be one of the most quotable movies I’ve seen since Late to the Movies started. Considering the fact that most of my regular movie quote go-tos are from incredible comedies such as It Takes Two and Knotting Hill, I’m most grateful for this movie. 10/10.


  • I LOVE the Naked Gun movies. I was actually just talking about watching them last week. Glad you enjoyed — although I am not the least bit surprised. I’d recommend the sequel too. The Naken Gun 2 1/2 I believe.

  • Nielsen becomes even cooler when you realize that he spent the majority of his career playing serious roles, mostly as “heavies” (thugs, villains, mobsters). The big joke of “Airplane” was that they took these actors typically cast as tough guys (Robert Stack, Nielsen) and allowed them to be utterly foolish–against type. Nielsen really had a gift for that type of humor… just shows that he was an actor with really good range.


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