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Airplane! Reviews

Page 1 of 616
Liam G

Super Reviewer

August 6, 2014
The 20-30 minute mark is a little rough, but everything else is comedic gold.
Lucas M

Super Reviewer

February 1, 2012
ZAZ team show that cinema, it's not just telling stories, but too, criative, popular, extreme funny gags, visual or not, that never will get old, it doesn't matter in what year was written or how many times was heard. Withou forget the brillant and unforgettable hilarious performance of Leslie Nielsen, 'the Oliver of Spoofs'. Fresh.
Jens S

Super Reviewer

June 13, 2006
The mother of all parody films showing all the trademarks of the infamous Zucker Abrahams Zucker team's humor and already setting up their later "Naked Gun" fame. Every stereotype of airplane catastrophe movies is so deliciously deconstructed and mocked it's just priceless. This may even be the movie with the highest joke rate ever, even if not all of them work you just can't stop laughing at how ruthless, random, politically incorrect and silly all this is. A joy ride even after all these years. Hilarious times ten.
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

October 1, 2011
Please like this movie everybody who hasn't seen Airplane yet... "I just wanted to tell you good luck because were all counting on you". It's fun and its silly. It's just one of those movies almost no one could hate. It will surely make you laugh, maybe even laugh out loud, but wont necessarily make you wet yourself with laughter. It comes out at you begging for belly laughs but it doesn't help you deliver sometimes. To make up for the flaw, it's actually a decent parody movie filled with undeniable charm and very likable characters that burst with quotable lines. It's a good ride and a top tier for disaster movies and "shirley" if you watched this already. You must have enjoyed it.

Super Reviewer

June 9, 2006
This is probably the mother of all spoof films, and, despite eing a tad dated, and having a few gags that fall a little flat, it's still one of the funniest and best of its kind.

The fiilm is a spoof of 70s disaster films, specifically the Airport series, and it follows a former fighter pilot named Ted who has a fear of flying after suffering war related trauma. He boards a plane containing his former love Elaine (a stewardess) in a desperate attempt to try to win her back. The flight takes a turn for the worse when a lot of the crew and passengers suffer from an outbreak of food poisoning, and Ted his forced to confront his fears and past if he wants to save the day.

This has an awesome ensemble cast featuring Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Lloyd Bridges, Peter Graves, Leslie Nielsen, Robert Stack, and Ethel Merman. They all do a great job, and it's pretty difficult to say who really steals the show, as they all have their great moments.

Probably the most notable thing about htis film is the humor. It is of the absurdist and surreal varieties, and often very silly. Also, many of the jokes are delivered in dry deadpan fashions (both aurally and visually), which I thought made it even funnier. Furthermore, while this film has a bare bones plot, it's pretty much all about the jokes, as there are as many as possible shoved into this film. Seriously. It might take several viewings to catch everything, but that shouldn't be seen as a bad thing, especially when this is such a joy to watch.

Something that really caught my attention was the music. It's by Elmer Bernstein, and it's very fitting and plays up the melodramatic stuff it's spoofing nicely, but it's also super catchy and actually works as real music on its own and not just as the soundtrack for a silly comedy. It's some very solid and impressive work.

This is really essential viewing. Unfortunately a lot of the spoof films that this influnced aren't of the same quality, and the same goes for some of the other things made by ZAZ, but that doesn't take away from the fact that this is still an endlessly entertaining and brilliant work.

Super Reviewer

September 1, 2011
Rex Kramer: Striker, listen, and you listen close: flying a plane is no different than riding a bicycle, just a lot harder to put baseball cards in the spokes. 

"The craziest flight you'll ever take!" 

I find Airplane! to be a bit overrated, but that's not to say I didn't find any enjoyment in it at all. It has its share of hilarious moments, but it also has its share of gags that fall flat. In the spoof genre it is a good movie, but I don't think that reaches the greatness of some spoof comedies like Blazing Saddles and Spinal Tap. 

The movie is full of puns, racism and silly gags. It doesn't go two seconds without throwing a joke out there. So its safe to say, you're not going to laugh at them all. The cast is decent, but Leslie Nielsen is the best reason to watch this movie. He makes it worth the watch just for his sheer presence. If he can make the awful Dracula: Dead and Loving It okay to watch; he sure as hell can make a decent one like Airplane easy to enjoy.

Overall, I guess I had fun watching Airplane; it's just not something I see myself watching again. If I had watched it when it first came out, I probably would have loved it, but now 31 years later, it has obviously become a little dated.

Super Reviewer

March 2, 2011
Airplane is a classic, and every minute is a non stop laugh riot, I loved it.

Super Reviewer

July 19, 2007
The Plane's going to Chicago. The Pilot's going to New York. The Passengers are going to Pieces!

It's ironic that who directed Airplane! turned conservative after 9/11.
Alexander D

Super Reviewer

August 6, 2011
"Surely you can't be serious!"
"I am serious. And don't call me Shirley."
This is by far Leslie Nielsen's best film.

Super Reviewer

March 30, 2011
Airplane is about everyone on an airplane getting food poisoning. The pilot and other staff get food really sick. The only person that they could count on to land the plane is old army pilot that has mental issues. This film has really good plot and really good acting. I think the spoof side of film was a perfect fit for these film that made this film really funny. If u wants a really good spoof film, give this film a try.

Super Reviewer

April 5, 2011
In the history of comedy, there has been a few films that have stood out above all the rest due to the fact that the comedy is so original, risky or timeless. For example Stanley Kubrick's 1964 classic film Dr Strangelove is timeless for a number of reasons, one of those reasons was Peter Sellers' numerous hilarious performances. Another was the fact that the film was made at the height of the cold war. Airplane! is possibly the funniest, and best comedy since Dr Strangelove. The film parodies every airplane related disaster film in vivid detail. The cast are talented and bring out big laughs. Leslie Nielson himself was uproarious in his role. Lloyd Bridges as well stood out too. The rest of the cast do a fine job and are terrific. But Bridges and Nielson stole the show for me. Airplane! is by far the best parody film ever made. Films that came after it practically tried to rip off this classic with often very mediocre results. The thing with Airplane! is the jokes start comical, but as the film progresses, they become even more hilarious. Airplane! is a comedy classic and remains refreshing and funny to this day. The superb cast deliver something great on screen, something not seen since Dr Strangelove. Most films that have seeked to parody films have failed, but Airplane! succeeds in providing great laughs because the humour doesn't feel forced, it feels natural. With all the witty humour, it's no wonder why Airplane! is a classic of the genre. If you're looking for a terrific parody that actually is funny, then give this one a view. This film remains one of the best comedies ever made, and it's easy to see why.

Super Reviewer

February 26, 2011
"There's no reason to become alarmed, and we hope you'll enjoy the rest of your flight. By the way, is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?"

An airplane crew takes ill. Surely the only person capable of landing the plane is an ex-pilot afraid to fly. But don't call him Shirley.

They sure don't make comedies anymore like they used to. Airplane! is that quintessential must watch for any fan of the Abrahams-Zucker-Zucker brand of comedy, where they have perfected the art of punning and comedic irreverence, where everything and anything goes and you'll have to keep your eyes and ears peeled for the barrage of jokes, slapstick and punchlines that come in from the blind. Even after today this film still cracks me up for the countless of jokes from the get go.

The crux of the story (yes there is one!) is the romantic dalliance between a cab driver and one time air force pilot Ted Striker (Robert Hays) who tries to reconcile with estranged girlfriend, stewardess Elaine Dickinson (Julie Hagerty). Not taking no for an answer, he follows her onboard her flight to Chicago, and in between boring passengers with flashbacks to the good ol romantic days, his lack of confidence in flight gets called upon as all the pilots get put out of action through a bout of food poisoning.

And it's a tremendously busy flight with a myriad of caricatures in the passengers that do things that are plain implausible it's funny. Not only that, we also get ground crew trying to guide the plane to touchdown at the airport, and one of the inane characters Johnny, played by Stephen Stucker, responsible for many of the literal comedic and nutcase moments. And of course there are famous names attached to the film such as Lloyd Bridges, Peter Graves and even Kareem Abdul-Jabbar the basketballer, all eyes are of course on Leslie Nielsen as the doctor on board Dr. Rumack, who immortalized the line "and don't call me Shirley", with his signature deadpan reaction, and who would go on following this film to make the Naked Gun series with the filmmakers here.

The brand of comedy the Zucker brothers and Abrahams have given to the cinematic world is priceless and extremely hard to emulate, try as hard as some hacks in today's era would in choking their film with impersonators and spoofing modern pop culture, which gets so tired after a while. Even up until today the puns in Airplane! is rock solid, and will still get me, as always.

Super Reviewer

September 6, 2010
The best spoof movie of the 80s, I think, it spoofs the disaster movies of the 70s. This is a hilarious comedy, and a classic, and I highly recommend it.

Super Reviewer

November 18, 2009
With the recent passing of Leslie Nielsen,the world needs laughter more than ever. What better way to celebrate the life of this brilliant actor's work through the film that made him a laughingstock in the first place? By casting deadly serious actors such as Robert Stack,Lloyd Bridges and Peter Graves in constract to some of the silliest non sequiters ever to make their way on screen,producer and directors Jim Abrahams and the Zucker brothers created a unique kind of comedy that was a total spoof of the "airport" disaster movies. Unafraided to tackle jokes from the meta(Kareem Abdul-Jabbar),to the creepy("Do you like movies about gladiators?"),to the potentially racist("Don't worry,I speak jive!" was done by Barbara Billingsley,aka June Cleaver!),to the flat-out silly("And don't call me Shirley!") Released on the week of Independence Day of 1980,Airplane achieves genius through sheer humor and hilarious hijinks throughout making this one of the best comedies of all time.
Sophie B

Super Reviewer

October 26, 2010
Fairly funny however I was born in a totally different era so a lot of the jokes just went totally over my head.
Daniel Mumby
Daniel Mumby

Super Reviewer

October 3, 2010
It?s long been argued that horror and comedy are very close together, something amply demonstrated by a wide range of directors. On the one-hand we have the blood-soaked romps of Sam Raimi and Peter Jackson; on the other hand, we have the dark quirky wit of the Coen brothers.

Airplane! demonstrates this affinity in a different way ? by being so funny it?s physically painful. Thirty years on this spoof to end all spoofs will still have the corners of your mouth starting to ache as you constantly grin at the chaos unfolding. Most if not all of the jokes are laugh-out-loud funny and the film successfully sustains this hilarity over a breathless ninety minutes. While not quite the funniest comedy ever made, it is definitely in the top five.

One could be forgiven for viewing Airplane! with some form of contempt because of the comedy legacy it has left behind. Its particular style of quick-fire wordplay and oddball slapstick has certainly produced a lot of funny work. But ever since the third Naked Gun film, the talents of Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker have steadily ebbed away, and somehow we have ended up with the Scary Movie franchise and the pathetic parodies of Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer. Fortunately, one quick viewing of this trio?s first film is more than enough to put such feelings to bed.

Because of its incessant level of gags, the natural point of comparison would seem to be Monty Python and the Holy Grail. In fact, in my review of Holy Grail, I remarked that only Airplane! has ever matched the Pythons? film for sheer unrelenting laughter. And there are technical similarities between the two films, since were both made by first-time directors on very low budgets, and neither has any kind of underlying political message ? these are not comedies which argue that mediaeval warfare is barbaric or that air travel is inhumane.

However, while Holy Grail feels meticulously mapped out and builds very subtly, Airplane! is a much more ramshackle concoction. The jokes are chucked at the screen in quick succession, and often the plot slows right down so all the gags have a chance to play out. In this way, the film owes much more to the farcical slapstick traditions of Blade Edwards and the early films Woody Allen. Think of it as The Party on a plane, or Sleeper without the time travel (or any of Allen?s neuroticism).

Airplane! is at heart a spoof or satire of disaster movies, a genre which gave us The Poseidon Adventure, Earthquake, The Towering Inferno and the Airport series from which this chiefly stems. The script is lifted virtually verbatim from Zero Hour!, a much-famed 1950s disaster movie starring Sterling Hayden, who would later play General Jack D. Ripper in Stanley Kubrick?s Dr. Strangelove.

By coincidence, the career of Sterling Hayden helps to illuminate why Airplane! not only succeeds but flourishes. In Dr. Strangelove, Kubrick took a piece of serious-minded political fiction (the Peter George novel Red Alert) and restaged it as an absurdist comedy. He achieved this by casting ?serious? actors like Hayden and George C. Scott, and getting them to deliver their lines absolutely straight, to the point of tricking Scott over which takes were used in the final cut. The characters take the talk of ?precious bodily fluids? and ?mineshaft gaps? so seriously, that it is impossible not to burst out laughing as the situation gets ever more ridiculous.

Airplane! works on precisely the same principle. Before their performances in this film, Robert Stack, Lloyd Bridges and Leslie Nielsen were respected, ?serious? actors; Peter Graves even turned it down as first, calling it ?tasteless trash?. As in Dr. Strangelove, none of the actors in the film know that they are being funny; if any one character were in on the joke, the entire film would collapse. Under these circumstance, we laugh at the absurdity of the dialogue, and the visual gags come in to enhance lines which before wouldn?t have seemed funny at all.

As with Holy Grail, it is impossible to point off every joke in Airplane!, but we can identify categories into which the various jokes fall. We have broad slapstick humour, such as the woman running into metal towers as the ?train? speeds away, and the later scene of the hysterical passenger being slapped. We have visual gags, such as Rex Kramer driving his car against an erratic backdrop and Dr. Rumake doing a spot of gynaecology in the aisle. We have moments of great wordplay, like the immortal lines: ?Surely you can?t be serious??, ?I am serious ? and don?t call me Shirley?. And there is a whole stream of running gags, from the faux-foreign language translations to Lloyd Bridges confessing he picked the wrong week to quit a certain vice.

The film also finds time to satirise both war films and the growing trend of Vietnam films; the project was green-lit shortly after the success of The Deer Hunter and was shooting while Apocalypse Now came out. Ted Striker?s bad experiences in ?the war? mark him out as a Vietnam vet, but both the script and the use of black-and-white stock footage refer to World War II. Intercutting sounds of plane crashes with early footage of failed flying machines is a simple but effective way of satirising war, and Striker?s ridiculous ?drink problem? is a pithy send-up of the kind of trauma suffered by soldiers. It could be worse ? he could be left thinking he was Ethel Merman.

Although it never relies on self-reflexivity, or any real sense of ?knowingness?, Airplane! does contain several examples of what could be called self-reflective casting against type. These casting decisions don?t contribute a great deal to the experience of watching the film, but they are a demonstration of the writers? intelligence and enough to raise a wry smile among film buffs. The most obvious of these is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar?s casting as Co-Pilot Roger Murdoch, who is revealed by the young boy Jimmy to be Abdul-Jabbar?s alter ego. Ethel Merman (in her last film role) plays the soldier who thinks he?s Ethel Merman, and June Cleaver, who starred in the squeaky-clean white suburban drama Leave It to Beaver, plays the woman who ?speaks jive? to the African-American characters.

Some elements of Airplane! are questionable. On the one hand, accusations of racism are misplaced, since the ?jive-speaking? characters are not portrayed as being stupid, and the subtitling of their conversations into deliberately stuffy English is funny. And the really uncomfortable scenes of Peter Graves using sexually suggestive slang are deliberate bad taste and well-played. But there are moments in which the film becomes dumb or boring, usually in the sequences which involve relatively large amounts of nudity. As with John Landis? Into the Night, the frequent presence of flesh seems unnecessary, not because it?s exploitative, but because it?s a cheap laugh, or in most cases, not a laugh at all.

Airplane! is undoubtedly a comedy classic which has dated extraordinarily well for a parody. Perhaps the ultimate proof of its deserved reputation is that the films it satirised have long since faded from the public eye. What was once taken seriously, to the point of Oscar nominations, has faded in the face of a comedy that always hits its mark and pokes fun at areas where you thought there was no fun to be had. Most of all, it?s a hilarious and thrilling comedy ride which almost gives the Pythons a run for their money.

Super Reviewer

October 1, 2010
Airplane is one of the funniest comedies I have ever seen. Every scene, even if it has the weakest cast present in the shot, pulls of a laugh somehow. This film is brilliant comedy beyond belief. It has it's spots that are really sill and stupid, but overall, it is just an amazing comedic ride!

Super Reviewer

September 8, 2010
2 stars
Jay H

Super Reviewer

July 30, 2010
It's hil*air*ious!
Richard C

Super Reviewer

July 23, 2010
this is really funny, B+
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