Saturday, 9 July 2011

I haven't felt this awful since we saw that Ronald Reagan film.

No 368 - Airplane!
Director - Jim Abrahams, Jerry Zucker and David Zucker

You have to give this film a fair bit of credit.... it really goes in all guns blazing and for just under 90 minutes we're subjected to an almost ceaseless barrage of gags. Airplane!'s real triumph though is the sheer breadth of these jokes. Desperate to be funny to everyone, the pulls out all the stops with an amazing range of jokes: from visual to verbal, surreal, cheap or very intelligent, there really is something for everyone.

The film plays with all the cliches of 1950's disaster films, as a passenger has to land a crashing jumbo jet. Liberal use of flashbacks allows the tone to flick away from the Disaster movie genre and give the gag writers a bit more leeway.

The film is the epitome of hit and miss, and it is really quite dated now - especially in the way the film treats other races, women and homosexuals. There is a bit of a nasty streak through some of the humour which I didn't entirely like, but most of the time the film just revels in being silly.

I don't really know what else to say. I will always find the scenes in the cockpit hilarious. Either the misunderstandings based on names, or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar breaking character or the creepy paedophilic subtext of Captain Oveur. However there are also little gags which rest too much on cliche and lazy preconceptions. The OTT camp Johnny seems too weird, and his frequent outbursts just began to piss me off really.

I don't want to sound too preachy, I fucking LOVE Airplane. I've seen it a fair few times and it still makes me properly laugh out loud in moments - and you have to respect it for one major discovery.

The man who moved from being all serious to becoming the king of pissing about on film. A bloody hero really.
And Airplane sort of led the way for film parody and scattergun humour being let off all over the place.
Which means we have it to blame for the inexplicable rise of Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer.

which is a shame

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