Top Secret! - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Top Secret! Reviews

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July 31, 2014
What is this, an Abrahams/Zucker movie without a "Cigarette?", "Yes, I know." joke? While I was uneasy about watching one of these Abrahams/Zucker spoofs without Leslie Nielsen, Top Secret! more-or-less does what it is supposed to do: roast the hell out of spy movies.

But the problem with Top Secret!, and Airplane before it, and the Police Squad movies after it, is that an hour and a half is way too long to sustain momentum for this kind of humor. As great as Abrahams and Zucker are at their visual gags and absurd puns and conceptual maladies, it's a style of humor that wanes by the midway point.

And unfortunately the plot here is too mumbly, gumbly to provide much in the way of relief, which is a common problem with these Abrahams/Zucker movies. (And a big reason why their crowning achievement is the short-lived Police Squad! tv series; episodes are the perfect length to capture this style of humor.)

So instead of plot to relieve the non-ending gag reel, they use music. Which isn't a half-bad way of providing breaks scattered throughout the movie. With Val Kilmer proving to be a pretty convincing rock and roll star, his Elvis-slash-Beatles Mania-slash-Beach Boys thing goes over remarkably well. Therefore there are three minute segments that play out like a well-tuned music video than a nonsensical spy spoof.
½ July 28, 2014
It all sounds like some bad movie.

An American Scientists is captured and held hostage in East Germany. The United States hires a super smart teen, played by Val Kilmer, to pose as a rock star in Germany on a "tour." They need him to sneak into a German compound and rescue the scientist. Can a teenage boy pull off such an important mission? He may be our only hope.

"Tell me if there's a change in his condition."
"He's dead."

Jim Abrahams, director of Airplane!, Ruthless People, Big Business, Hot Shots!, Hot Shots! Part Deux, and Jane Austen's Mafia, delivers Top Secret. The storyline for this picture is kind of blah and ordinary. I did not find this overly funny or entertaining and it actually reminded me of Cry-Baby. The acting was pretty average and the cast includes Val Kilmer, Ian McNeice, Warren Clarke, Jeremy Kemp, and Omar Sharif.

"What phony dog poo?"

This was recommended to me by Netflix so I gave it a shot. I was a little disappointed and did not find myself laughing too much at the content. Kilmer was also just okay and I can't say I am a huge fan of his singing ability. Overall, this is an average addition to the comedic genre that I wouldn't go too far out of my way to see.

"We began to experience strange new feelings inside of us."

Grade: C
Super Reviewer
July 25, 2014
It's a wonderfully absurd barrage of nonsensical gags. Considering how popular all the other Zucker, Zucker, and Abrahams comedies are, you'd think "Top Secret" would better remembered (or just remembered at all) but it may just be because the film has barely any plot . . . but really, who cares?
July 22, 2014
Forgot how funny this is!
July 12, 2014
Best Comedy Ever. A classic!
July 4, 2014
Not in the league as Hot Shots, Airplane! or the Naked Gun but still funny stuff from Abrahams and the Zucker brothers.
½ June 22, 2014
Top Secret is the funniest movie I have seen in a while! From the makers of Airplane! comes a movie starring Val Kilmer as a popular American singer coming to Germany to perform when he gets brought into a secret mission in trying to save Hillary's dad. There were so many memorable scenes in the movie like Skeetin USA, the ballet dancers, the shoot out at the base, and when the two dress up as a cow. Everything in the end just turns out so well and I can honestly say I could've watched it again! Top Secret had a lot of great comedy and action enough to keep everyone entertained! A-
½ June 13, 2014
The premise is unbelievably weird (why would you want to combine World War II films and Elvis films into one spoof movie, especially since this film was released in 1984 when both types of movies were dead and gone?). But the movie is often funny in spite of itself, even if some of the jokes are too weird to truly land.
June 8, 2014
Comedy is subjective, I suppose, so my first viewing of Top Secret! didn't herald many belly laughs or too much positivity from me. After having seen it again, I was surprised to find that I actually enjoyed it a bit more. I wasn't someone who saw it as a child or when it was released, so I didn't understand the love that it's gotten. But upon a second viewing, I appreciated it a lot more, so I had to change my review of it, of course. Val Kilmer is Val Kilmer, of course, but he's great as an Elvis Presley/Brian Wilson combination. The jokes, while not still as effective, do generate some laughs, and I really enjoy the characters, as well as the music. It's all light-hearted, not very dirty, and you can stick it on anytime without worry of upsetting anybody. Some people would call that invalid and ineffective, but I would call it comfort food. It has its fans and its way more enjoyable than most spoof movies that have come along in the last twenty years or so.
May 30, 2014
Sometimes just plain retarded and other times hilarious beyond belief, Top Secret is one of those sort-of old comedies that really surprised me in the way that the movie´s obvious ridiculousness and mostly clever writing, combined with the not too great acting that somehow feels like it belongs in the movie, ends up entretaining with unexpected situations and pure creativity that many comedies just plain forget.
May 30, 2014
This is the best kind of comedy.
½ May 30, 2014
one of my favorite spoofs
½ May 9, 2014
I watched this a bunch growing up, and I guess, I never really thought it was that flash or at the very least, I never thought of it fondly. 25 years later from its release date (that's a mad fact in itself) I can't believe that I never really saw how bloody brilliant this film is. Not as popular as its "Flying High" cousin, this Zucker Bros effort is actually far more clever. Making space on my DVD shelf right now...(Update 10/5/14: Be sure to look for the book store "reverse" scene easter egg on the DVD release!)
May 3, 2014
fun. suggested by SG
½ April 28, 2014
Written and directed by David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker, riding high on the success of Airplane! (1980) but also licking their wounds after their short lived TV series Police Squad! returned to cinema with this spoof of old spy films and Elvis musicals. The result is their most underrated film, and a film with a unbelievably fast gag rate to rival Airplane!, but there are some great gags throughout. American pop singer Nick Rivers (Val Kilmer) is on tour in East Germany to perform at a culture festival, (he's actually a late replacement for Stephen Sondheim). When he arrives, he finds himself with Hillary Flammond (Lucy Gutteridge), whose father Dr. Paul Flammond (Michael Gough), has been held prisoner by the East Germans, so that he can build the deadly Polaris naval mine. Nick and Lucy end up with the French Resistance, and their leader and Lucy's ex-boyfriend Nigel (Christopher Villiers). They plan to take down East German tyrant General Streck (Jeremy Kemp), so that they can save Dr. Flammond from further torture. For reference, this is the one with the backwards Swedish bookshop scene with Peter Cushing, and there's a lot of familiar faces in this including Ian McNeice, Warren Clarke, Omar Sharif and Jim Carter. But, it was when ZAZ were riding on the wave of comedy, shame they can't recapture that magic now.
April 13, 2014
saw this in high school but don't remember anything about it, only that I had a little crush on Val Kilmer
February 4, 2014
funny like airplane. A-
½ January 14, 2014
Old but still one of the most entertaining and intelligent screwball comedies. Enjoyable from start to finish.
January 2, 2014
Very silly! Total genius. The first time I watched it it actually really hurt my sides. I have watched it loads of times since and always spot something new in it. Great gags all the way through with superb performances...If you don't have a wacky sense of humour you most certainly won't enjoy this but if you are like me and love Airplane, Police Squad, Mel Brooks etc You will love it!!
December 27, 2013
If you enjoy sight-gags, look no further than this work of art.
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