The M.O.W.'s Movie Review of Hot Shots! (1991)

Rating of

Hot Shots! (1991)

Not as funny as the sequel
The M.O.W. - wrote on 10/22/08

Former US Navy fighter pilot "Topper Harley" (Charlie Sheen) is called back to duty, and he reluctantly agrees despite personal demons he has suffered since a freak accident that killed his father, "Buzz Harley" (Bill Irwin).

While preparing for his mission, "Harley" meets a lovely psychiatrist named "Ramada" (Valeria Golino), and begins to pursue her. The two eventually get together, despite her being involved with "Harley's" fellow squadron member, "Lt. Kent Gregory" (Cary Elwes), who lost his father in the same incident that "Harley" lost his.

As the squadron prepares for their mission, the mission is being sabotaged by an aerospace firm's representitves who are there to allegedly supervise the mission.

Let me say first that, in my opinion, the second movie in this franchise is a lot funnier. Like the second movie, this one is full of jokes that just keep flying at you, but I noticed that I wasn't laughing at much as I was when I saw the second one awhile ago.

I really didn't feel great chemistry between the cast, and only a little chemistry between the focus of the movie, Golino and Sheen. I felt that the focus was put on the various jokes more than anything else.

Like I said earlier, this movie is packed full of sight gags, jokes and just about any other kind of joke there is. However, unlike the second movie, I only had some chuckles and mild laughing outbursts. I don't know if it was because I was still waking up since I watched this movie at 7:30 in the morning, or the jokes weren't all good to produce a good laugh.

The special effects in this film was only slightly fair. It was quite obvious that models were used in the air battles. Even sounds added in for comedic effect were obviously added in during post production.

The cast itself, despite what little chemistry there was between them, was really good when it came to the comedy. How anybody could act so serious when the jokes are happening around is beyond me. I would get so distracted when I start to see something ment as a joke, I would start cracking up.

One standout performance was from the late Lloyd Bridges, who has done similar movies in his career. He easily has one of the wackiest characters in the entire movie, but his performance is done so seriously that it's easily one of the most memorable in this movie.

I was not too impressed with the soundtrack. A couple of songs were used for comedic purposes that produced a chuckle, but I can't really recall more than one song in the the entire movie.

One thing the writers forgot was the subplot of the aerospace firm that wants to replace the current jet fighters with German-made ones. Yes, there are a few scenes to advance the plot, but not enough for it to mean anything at its climax. In fact, it is put so far on the backburner as the "Harley"/"Ramada" love story is being developed, I completely forgot about it.

I would say that you should wait until you find this one on television, or the Free Movies section of your On Demand service. I can only recommend this one if there is nothing else on television.

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