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Hot Shots! Part Deux

Directed by Jim Abrahams. Starring Charlie Sheen, Lloyd Bridges, Valeria Golino, Richard Crenna, Rowan Atkinson.

REVIEWED By Marc Savlov, Fri., May 28, 1993

From one of the guys that brought you the Airplane! series comes another in what looks to be a highly profitable comedy series. As in the original Hot Shots! (what is it with Jim Abrahams and exclamation points?), young man Sheen is back as maverick Air Force pilot Topper Harley, only this time we're spoofing the Rambo films instead of Top Gun. Just like the recent National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon, ...Part Deux goes to show you can take a good thing --- or at least a mediocre thing -- and run it into the ground, again and again and again, until it's just so much mangled comedy. Sent to Iraq to rescue Desert Storm P.O.W.'s, a much-beefed-up Sheen and company encounter the usual unending barrage of good gags, not-so-good gags, and gags that just should've been killed at birth. Do I really need to explain the plot here? Is there really a plot? Does it matter? Of course not. The whole point of parodies like this is to beg, borrow and steal any and all plot situations from the films being parodied. Director Abrahams' crie de guerre of “No originality” is in full evidence as it should be. The only trouble is, too many of these jokes (and there are hundreds) are throwaways. Only one -- a scene involving both Charlie and father Martin Sheen which takes on the elder's role in Apocalyse Now -- seems truly, gloriously inspired. The rest of the film shoots along with the comic pacing of a rocket. Charles Rocket, unfortunately. Regardless, if you were one of the many who thought the original film was brilliant, you'll undoubtedly laugh yourself stupid over this one, too. Me, I think I'll go turn on the VCR and watch the Marx Brothers' A Night at the Opera. Again.
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