The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this film is a series of pratfalls, sight gags, and bawdy jokes, all of which should delight teen boys (and their fathers). The movie's violence -- Nordburg gets shot at repeatedly, and Frank's safety is constantly in question -- is so over the top that you can't take it seriously. Characters talk about having safe sex (and are later seen wearing full-body condoms). When trying to get off a ledge, Frank first grabs a woman's breasts and then pulls the stone carving of a penis off a statue. For older teens, the language and jokes are nothing new and shouldn't be disturbing.
What's the story?
Chock full of campy humor, THE NAKED GUN follows Police Lt. Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen) as he investigates an assassination plot against the queen of England, who will soon be visiting Los Angeles. His search takes him to the offices of business bigwig Vincent Ludwig (played campily by Ricardo Montalban), into the arms of Ludwig's assistant, Jane Spencer (Priscilla Presley), and into harm's way. But where Frank goes and who he meets isn't as important as the crazy gags along the way. Just a few examples: Frank's a horrible driver, constantly running into things and letting his car ride off the road. When he meets Jane, Frank follows her to a library, where he looks up at her on a ladder and says "Nice beaver." Cut to a shot of a stuffed beaver being handed down. Later, when the couple consummate their attraction, they strip naked and don full-body condoms. And when Frank attends a press conference, he leaves his mic on in the bathroom, letting everyone in the room know what he does in the stall.
Is it any good?
If you're at all squeamish about toilet humor, pratfalls, or sexual innuendo, avoid The Naked Gun. It's rife with all of the above -- in fact, it's a nonstop series of jokes that will have your inner 14-year-old boy rolling on the floor laughing.
And f you don't have an inner 14-year-old boy, pay attention to the plot twists that are surprising a couple of decades down the line. Pre-murder trial O.J. Simpson plays a well-meaning cop who's constantly getting hurt. And, the film starts with the meeting of "rogue nations," as Ayatollah Khomeini proclaims, "We must conceive of at least one terrorist act that will show all the world that the United States, the Great Satan, is but a paper tiger, a weak nation, a weak people, a people ripe for destruction." Those words seem even more ominous now than they did in the midst of the Cold War.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about why this brand of "dumb humor" is appealing. Why do they enjoy it?
Talk about how the film is a spoof on current events of the 1980s. Is the insight still relevant today? Are the jokes still funny?