Top Secret!

5 out of 5

Directors: ZAZ

Mm. Have you seen this one? Watch it again. A dreamy Val Kilmer makes the best movie of his career, existing in that unique ZAZ universe that came with Police Squad and Airplane!. American Nick Rivers is an Elvis-y star who gets a gig overseas and is then unwittingly mixed up in the French Underground, operating in Germany to stop some kind of German plot to, uh, take over the world. But as with other Zucker, Abrahams, Zucker productions, while the plot is far from meaningless, it still is primarily a springboard for every joke they can think of, every minute – verbal puns, sight gags, weird stuff, wildly inventive stuff, spoofs, slapstick, who cares. Comedies lost this special blend of innocence and inventiveness, a willingness to get weird and stupid and yes, maybe a little crude (…the anal intruder…) without devolving into flat out base humor or pointless references. There’s not too much else to say – if you liked any of the team’s previous films, you’ll be on board for this. If you haven’t seen this in a while, re-watch it. Moreso than Airplane!, Top Secret shows off some truly amazingly genius sequences – the underwater scene kills me every effing time – and you might be surprised by how solid of a film this is in terms of sets, pacing, and scope… plus, of course, all the hilarity. And if you like Scary Movie you can eat it and open your eyes to what it actually means to make a spoof.

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