Jim Abrahams

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, /10

Jim Abrahams collaborated with Zucker at Kentucky Fried Movie, Airplane! (1980), Top Secret!, Naked Gun. Airplane! is a demented comedy that opens in an airport, as the passengers are preparing to board a flight. A cab driver parks the his taxi on the sidewalk and rushes inside to say goodbye to his sweetheart, the flight attendant, who has decided to leave him because he is a consistent loser. In the meantime, the captain receives an urgent call from a surgeon telling him that the hospital found the heart for a little girl, who will need to be as relaxed as possible the whole flight. While the crew is getting ready in the cockpit, a black worker wipes the windscreen and opens the hood to check the oil. The cab driver buy a ticket and boards the plane, despite a fear of flying that dates from a failed mission in the war. Finally, the plane takes off (with A spoof from Casablanca, a girl running after the plane on the runaway and waving goodbye to her boyfriend). The crew gets a little confused because the names of two members are Roger and Over, but the plane successfully reaches high altitude. A spoof of Saturday Night Fever shows how the cab driver conquered the flight attendant, thanks to his Travolta-style acrobatic moves (while he was telling the story, the passenger next to him was so bored that she has hanged herself). The flashbacks about the love story between the cab driver and the flight attendant offer more opportunities for parodies, while in the plane all sorts of mishaps take place. Suddenly, the passengers start getting sick, and it is soon obvious that a case of food poisoning is causing more and more of them to vomit. Thankfully, there is a doctor on board, except that he is the looniest of doctors. When the captain also falls sick, there is noone to take over, because the rest of the crew is already unconscious. The flight attendant issues the alarm, which is received by a diligent and efficient flight controller. The doctor convinces the cab driver to take the captain's seat, and the flight controller provides an expert who can direct him during the landing operation. The landing is successful, the ambulance can take care of the child (except that it runs into a car accident right away), and the two lovers can kiss each other love forever.

Hot Shots! (1991) is a slapstick comedy, a parody of Top Gun. Hot Shots is to war films what Naked Gun 2-1/2 was to police films: an irreverent trashing of the cliches of the genre. The main story is fairly dull. What makes the movie entertaining is the countless jokes that dot the action.

The young and introverted hero, Topper, lives in an Indian reservation. An envoy from the army comes to ask him to rejoin the army. He accepts and ride his motorcycle back to the barracks. Along the way he races with a pretty girl who is riding a horse. The camp is run by a dumb commander and Topper has to face a the hate of another pilot, Kent. Topper meets the girl of the horse, who happens to be the psychiatrist, Ramada.
The psychiatrist knows Topper's secret: he was expelled from the air force when he endangered another pilot. Ramada knows that Ramada meets Kent at a night club, where she is also the chanteuse (parody of Bogart and Bergman in Casablanca and of Michelle Pfeiffer in Baker Boys). Topper walks in and plays the piano for her, but this causes the jealousy of Kent, who was her old lover. Ramada and Toper make love (a parody of Kim Basinger, whereby Topper cooks breakfast on her smoking belly).
Rich, cynical individuals are plotting to make the mission fail, although they masquerade themselves as patriots. After the grotesque death and funeral of another pilot (the commander shoots the platoon because he thinks they are attacking the country instead of saluting the dead), they decide that Topper is another sure loser and convince the commander to keep him on the mission, even if the men do not want him, because he is a danger. The pilots attack Iraq and Topper is the hero who blows up the nuclear plant. Kent makes peace, the evil plotters are punished, Ramada is his.
The commander is probably the best character of the film. Noone else is as inept.
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