“Of course I’m alright! Why, what have you heard?”

The late eighties tended to be short on satires. 

Satires were great, but people were getting sick of the same tired jokes that come with farces. 

Spaceballs” had great moments, but it didn’t have the heart that “Blazing Saddles,” “A Shot in the Dark,” “Young Frankenstein,” and “Silent Movie” had.    

One thing the 80s were not short on were action movies; a lot of them were a block of sharp drizzled with Velveeta. 

The target of this movie was “Top Gun.”

I am hesitant to admit, I watched “Top Gun” way more than I should’ve.  It came out around the same time that we had finally purchased a VCR and no one had ever shot fighter jets in a movie like that before.  The jet-fighting was pretty amazing!  I was still a little naive to understand that between the jet-fighting scenes, the movie was just corny at best.  Can someone please explain the volleyball on the beach?  … Please?

Now, it’s hard to believe it took five years to make a satire of “Top Gun.”  I mean it’s a movie that just lobs the material over home plate for the writer of “Hot Shots!” to hit it over the wall.

You have to mention Charlie Sheen first at this point in his life.  Outside of a #Great small role in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and “Major League,”  Charlie Sheen was more well known and praised for his work in his dramatic films (“Lucas,” “Platoon,” “Wall Street,” “Young Guns,” etc.).  He had gone on to make a number of different flops, two of which I really enjoyed: “Men at Work” with his brother Emilio and “The Rookie” starring alongside Clint Eastwood.  He needed a win and “Hot Shots!” provided it.

charlie

Charlie is at his best when he is able to  deliver ridiculous dialogue with the expectation of making it sound dire:

“I’ve fallen for you like a blind roofer.”

or

“My heart is falling down around my ankles like a wet pair of pants. My whole life, all I’ve wanted to do is fly. Bomb stuff. Shoot people down.”

This movie is full of great actors. Cary Elwes plays the Iceman role to counter Charlie and the underrated and often forgotten comic genius of Lloyd Bridges is on full display.  If you are skeptical about this movie because of the polarity that Charlie Sheen can bring, see it for the benefit of Bridges.  He is right up there with Leslie Nielsen and Walter Brennan when it comes to stealing a scene and has grand comedic delivery/timing.  

lloyd

I always think of “Hot Shots!” as the movie that gave Charlie a career.  He had a decent one before this one, but he found his true niche in farcical comedy.  There is something about his delivery of dialogue period, that makes us believe everything that he says; whether it be a drama or a farce–we buy it.  That is a rare gift and Charlie made a career out of farces over the next decade.

Like any farce, if you’re not in the mood or if you’re feeling pretentious, do us all a favor and avoid it.  If you need a laugh, watch this and the sequel back-to-back.  They’ll deliver.

Remember this:

“You can be my wingman any time.”

“Bullshit! You can be mine.”

Yes, “Hot Shots!” was able to make lines like that even funnier…and on purpose…

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18 thoughts on ““Of course I’m alright! Why, what have you heard?”

  1. It’s been ages since I’ve watched this. I wasn’t a big fan of Shot Gun and I think this one is much, much better (as you write, other than the flying scenes the original is… well, not that original). I couldn’t agree more with you on Lloyd Bridges (well and Leslie Nielsen and Walter Brennan. There are some supporting actors that make a movie). In fact I like the whole family, different as they are (although I have the feeling they all have a sense of humour). Charlie Sheen… Although he was good in some of the early movies, I agree with you that he found his niche in comedies (playing the straight and suave character, at least on the surface).

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  2. For its era Top Gun’s fighter scenes were awesome, no doubt about it. As well- I love the Bridges, all of them are awesome and unique actors, as are the Sheens – AKA Estevez’s. But, when you compare Top Gun with another all time fave -Blazing Saddles-, Saddles wins her all the way ;). I know it’s a personal opinion, and perhaps its me being a farmer, but nothing beats a western- comedy or other, for there is no such thing as a bad western. Just some better than others. 😉
    They are my weakness, I suppose because that was mine and my Fathers thing together. Even the old BW, Spag Westerns, there’s something to be said for sound tracks beating the actors lips to the punchline.
    I also like, that your judge of movies and there stars are about their actual abilities and diversities, not bringing in the personal aspect of their lives. So many times I have sat down to watch a movie and have had folks say ‘Oh their in it!? Do you know what they did at the bar or at home, Blah, Blah, Blah. Don’t give a red rats ass what they did off screen, I’m here to be wowed by what they can do on screen!
    I absolutely loved Young Guns, they were believable even for a ‘Brat Pack’, I think because they were friends off screen, it gave them the ability to better play off of one another. And hey who don’t love peyote. 😉

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    1. Yes. Blazing Saddles is king farce…and I enjoy the “Naked Gun” as well. I enjoy westerns too, I don’t know that they will be enjoyed much longer, that is a genre that is having a major fade in popularity. 😐

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      1. Yes it is rather sad :(. and a shame. Especially with all the new technology, they now have the ability to do some awesome work where westerns are concerned. Hopefully it will come back around in the spirit of everything old is new again! Or maybe that’s just my baby of the 60’s mentality.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. His deadpan delivery is gold. Remember his line as the valet in Loaded Weapon 1: “Got anything smaller?” when he’s making change for Samuel L. Jackson. He walks away and returns with “Got anything larger?”

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