Hot Shots (1991) and Hot Shots, Part Deux (1993) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

These are two marvelous parody movies from writers Jim Abrahams and Pat Proft. Abrahams also directed.

I guess you could say that Abrahams is the master of this genre.

With the exception of Blazing Saddles, he's been involved in pretty much all of the funniest parodies and genre spoofs ever conceived. Here are his writing credits:

  1. Jane Austen's Mafia! (1998) (written by)
  2. Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult (1994) (television series Police Squad)
  3. Hot Shots! Part Deux (1993) (characters) (written by)
  4. Hot Shots! (1991) (written by)
  5. Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear, The (1991) (television series Police Squad)
  6. Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!, The (1988) (television series Police Squad) (written by)
  7. Top Secret! (1984)
  8. "Police Squad!" (1982) TV Series (episode "Substantial Gift (The Broken Promise), A")
  9. Airplane! (1980) (written by)
  10. Kentucky Fried Movie, The (1977)


Hot Shots - none - Kristy Swanson and Valeria Golino are seen in their bras. The best T&A is Golino in a white shirt, no bra.

Part Deux - Brenda Bakke topless from behind, and her body double possibly topless in very dim light.

  • Hot Shots is a parody of Top Gun, very funny, but somewhat hamstrung by the fact that it stays largely within that limited context.
  • On the surface, Part Deux is a parody of Rambo III, but it manages to take a swipe at just about every movie from the 70's and 80's, every political event from the same period, classic movies, and every movie cliché ever conceived. It is must viewing for movie geeks, for the references as well as the humor. It is the wilder, less disciplined of the two films, delivering a masterful example of comic open field running. From Bob Vila's tips for remodeling a monastery to Geronimo jumping out of a plane and yelling "me", it's just non-stop gags, and a lot of them are hilarious. Some of my favorites:
    • Sheen and his date parody the eating scene in Lady and the Tramp.
    • Sheen's lover has a diving board above her bed.
    • Sheen's girlfriend never makes it on the train to Hawaii, but she sends a card. It's a pre-printed Hallmark card especially for the occasion of abandoning lovers at stations. He looks at it while she reads it in voice-over, ending with "this card is printed on recyclable paper".
    • Saddam Hussein is a major character, and his refrigerator is chock full of Old Iraqi beer. He's holding the hostages between Iraq and a hard place.

Part Deux suffers a bit from comic dating in two ways.

  • First, there are too many topical references to political and cinematic subjects completely familiar at the moment, but now obscure.
  • Second, Lloyd Bridges does a pretty thinly disguised impersonation of the ever-clueless Ronald Reagan, with a bit of George Bush the First thrown into the mix. I thought this impersonation was hilarious at the time, when I thought Reagan was merely a simpleton. Time has made the comedy seem too mean-spirited to me, however, given what we now know about Reagan, and given that my mom suffered the same fate.

Hot Shots DVD info from Amazon

  • widescreen anamorphic, 1.85:1

  • "making of an important movie" documentary

Hot Shots, Part Deux DVD info from Amazon

  • widescreen anamorphic, 1.85:1

  • "an adventure in filmmaking" documentary

  • "early awareness" featurette

The comic stars of both movies are Charlie Sheen and Lloyd Bridges, who play the young hot shot and the doddering authority figure respectively. Sheen has taken a beating over the years for his personal life and some of his poorer script choices, but when you give this guy the right script and the right jokes, he is a straight-faced comic genius.

If you are not familiar with all the movies and political situations they are spoofing, don't worry. You'll lose some of the humor, but there is plenty to go around.

In the past week I have seen these two films and Goldmember, and these two just shine with a light of comic inspiration that Goldmember can't even dream of.

The Critics Vote

  • General consensus: PART DEUX: two and a half stars. Ebert 3/4, Berardinelli 2/4.


The People Vote ...

  • Hot Shots took in $69 million in the USA, $107 million overseas
  • Part Deux grossed only $39 million in the USA
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, both films are C+. People who hate spoofs are not going to change their minds when they see these films, but those who love the genre will get to see the masters at work, near the top of their games. Most people prefer the first one, but I love the free-wheeling humor of the second, which reminds me of the comic anarchy of the Marx brothers classic, Duck Soup.

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