Starring: Charlie Sheen, Cary Elwes, Valeria Golino
Director: Jim Abrahams
Running Time: 84 mins
Hot Shots! is an American film about a hot shot fighter pilot who, after years of living in a Native American teepee, is called back to the Air Force, and must overcome his own past mistakes as well as the lingering memory of an accident caused by his father decades ago.
I really liked this film. Very rarely does a film manage to be better than the very movie it’s parodying, but that’s exactly what Hot Shots does, proving a far more entertaining and even often more convincing watch than Top Gun, all the while being filled to the brim with fantastically stupid humour and gags that will definitely make you laugh.
Although it’s not quite at the same level of hilarity, this is very comparable to the likes of Airplane!, The Naked Gun and Spaceballs. All excellent parody movies that are similar enough to make all the in jokes and mocking really funny, but still clever and fresh enough to work as genuinely entertaining movies on their own.
The great thing about Hot Shots is that, while it is a fantastic parody, it’s a film that feels completely in and of itself once you get used to watching it. It’s a very entertaining film that never takes itself too seriously, but still has enough actual development and story to keep you interested, instead of the worst sort of parodies that hurl jokes at you without trying to link them together in any other way.
So, the story about our hot shot hero’s father’s past mistakes overshadowing his current career was genuinely interesting, and the dynamic between him and his rival pilots that create tension in his romantic pursuits also prove genuinely engaging, all along with the fact that they make for various crazy situations and high hilarity.
Of course, the main reason that you’ll be watching Hot Shots is to laugh, and I’m glad to report that it just does that. Again, it’s not as endlessly hilarious as Airplane, but with a lot of the same comedic style, there are some fantastically funny laugh-out-loud moments, along with a consistent stream of clever one-liners and simple gags that will definitely make you chuckle.
Finally, the performances are pretty good too here. Charlie Sheen is a lot of fun in the lead role, playing up his character’s ego to the max, but still impressing when it comes to the sillier stuff, while a collection of supporting players all bring a wide range of zany characters to life on screen, giving the film somewhat of a Police Academy vibe alongside its similarities to Airplane, but again, it’s all for the better.
Overall, I really enjoyed Hot Shots. It’s a simple parody filled with great comedy from start to finish, as well as a genuinely engaging story that goes a long way to making this film as entertaining as possible. You don’t need to have seen Top Gun to understand the parody jokes, just be prepared for an hour and a half of fantastic silliness, and you’ll have a blast, so that’s why I’m giving it a 7.7.