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The Naked Gun Two 1/2: The Smell of Fear

Rated PG-13, 85 min. Directed by David Zucker. Starring Leslie Nielsen, Priscilla Presley, George Kennedy, O.j. Simpson, Robert Goulet.

REVIEWED By Kathleen Maher, Fri., July 5, 1991

Genius. Visionary. Intellectual. These words apply to no one involved in this film. However, there aren't many words that can adequately describe the best comedic work of either David Zucker, director of The Naked Gun series, or Leslie Nielsen, the star. They have defied all that is tasteful, understated or, for that matter, coherent, to make their films what they are: gleeful exercises in excess and adolescent humor. For that they are to be respected. There is much that is funny in this latest version, you've probably seen most of it in the trailers. There are wonderful bits that make me laugh out loud or worse, drive me to annoy my friends with lengthy explanations of sight gags. I've learned my lesson, I won't try that here. Yet, the ratio of laughing states to non-laughing states is relatively low. Too low to qualify this movie as one of the more successful efforts of the warped imaginations that brought us Airplane and Top Secret. Those films were made by Zucker in conjunction with his brother Jerry Zucker and Jim Abrahams. They also made the short lived, but very funny TV series Police Squad, which provided inspiration for the Naked Gun series that Zucker has bravely decided to direct himself. What he's got going for him is Nielsen, who is Frank Drebin, super cop and moron. Drebin's task this time is to save the world from evil energy czars in league with John Sununu to thwart the powers of good, solar energy and recycling. What's missing is absolutely nothing. No joke is passed up or thrown away. There just might be a little too much.
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