Loaded Weapon 1

(Gene Quintano, USA, 1993)


Loaded Weapon 1 is a National Lampoon production that religiously follows the formula of broad comic pastiche introduced by Flying High (aka Airplane!, 1980).

A popular movie genre is sent-up as if by wisecracking twelve-year-olds high on Mad magazine: all elements of the original are derided whether they deserve it or not, and not even the corniest gag or pun is excluded.

Meanwhile, familiar actors from film or television join in the fun either by mugging outrageously or playing everything with an absurdly straight face.

The target here is essentially the buddy-cop action films of the early '90s, with the Lethal Weapon movies serving as prime material. But there are also fleeting excursions into the neighbouring thriller genre for parodies of Basic Instinct (1992) and The Silence of the Lambs (1991). For some reason, there's even a Wayne's World (1992) take-off included.

Emilio Estevez hams, Samuel L. Jackson stays cool, and many stars make cameos at varying degrees of comic conviction.

© Adrian Martin September 1993

Film Critic: Adrian Martin
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