Lest anyone think horrendously bad spoof movies was a result of the trailblazing of the Wayans clan, there was an ugly little flare-up of them in the early nineteen-nineties, largely responding to the surprising success of the Naked Gun films. Yes, friends, there are times when being a film critic is pure misery. This review was written for The Pointer, the student-run newspaper at my undergraduate institution.
One of the difficulties in creating a Naked Gun style parody film is throwing jokes at the audience as if fired from a machine gun, so there’s not much room for flat, unsuccessful gags to be noticed. If you’re not laughing constantly, you’re going to take a minute to think and realize just how absurd this all is.
When a movie filmed in this style of visual puns and non-stop one-liners contains almost no funny jokes, it can make for a nearly unbearable viewing experience. Case in point: Loaded Weapon 1.
A parody of action movies, especially the immensely popular Lethal Weapon films, this production from National Lampoon is eighty-eight hellish minutes of missed opportunities, uninspired sight gags, and idiotic humor.
In the film, the buddy cops (Emilio Estevez and Samuel L. Jackson) are trying to stop a group of criminals planning to smuggle drugs in “Wilderness Girls” cookies. Jackson does the best he can with the boring jokes he’s given, but Estevez sinks the film further with his leaden comic delivery.
It seems as though the writers aren’t even trying to make the audience laugh. Villain William Shatner sticking his face in a fish tank and coming up with a piranha in his mouth is about as funny as it gets.
Loaded Weapon 1 is a depressing example of the stiff, unfunny films that currently pass as comedies. I’m not exactly sure what this weapon is loaded with, but it sure isn’t laughter.