Johnny Dangerously - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Johnny Dangerously Reviews

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Super Reviewer
February 15, 2013
So funny and entertaining, I really enjoyed it, even if some parts were a little too ridiculous. Most of the time this is a very cool movie. It is a spoof of 30s-40s gangster and film noir movies. If you like those movies, check this out.
Super Reviewer
May 20, 2007
This pastiche of old school gangster films has a couple of funny moments, but spread over 90 minutes it soon wears out it's welcome.
Super Reviewer
November 28, 2006
The Indian mobster was hilarious!
Super Reviewer
½ November 1, 2006
Not bad of wild spoof 1930's gangster film.
Super Reviewer
March 16, 2014
A fun and entertaining spoof of the gangster genre, Johnny Dangerously pulls no punches. The story follows a kid named Johnny who joins a New York crime syndicate and rises to the top, but when his brother becomes a D.A. Johnny is forced to choose between his crime family and his blood family. Starring Michael Keaton, Peter Boyle, Joe Piscopo, Marilu Henner, and Danny DeVito, the film has a strong cast and they deliver some good performances. The slapstick and sight gags are also pretty well-done, though not all of the comedy works. The plot's a little weak too, but as far as parody films go Johnny Dangerously is one of the better one of the '80s.
Super Reviewer
½ June 13, 2009
A little-known 80's comedy that me and my family find quite funny...lots of quoteable lines here.
½ January 18, 2012
Like the "Airplane" of Gangster movies, maybe a little less over the top, and definitely underrated. Michael Keaton is pretty much the perfect guy as the lead in this, not only is he a great comic actor, but he has that look that reminded me of a Paul Muni type. If you've seen those classic gangster flicks of the 30s, Amy Heckerling made this pretty good send up of them. It has a great cast in Keaton, Piscopo, Henner, even Boyle and DeVito are in there for good measure. The movie is pretty funny, in particular the "testicle educational film" is a pretty great bit. In my opinion, an underseen and underrated parody flick from the 80s.
March 5, 2015
Near-equal parts clever and stupid that I enjoy; the comedy itself is pretty uneven, but 'Johnny Dangerously' has enough moments -- certain lines of dialog, some memorable fargin characters, etc. -- that it merits a watch. Fans of Cagney and old gangster pictures (like me) probably will get a bit more fun out of it, too.
February 27, 2015
For those who don't know, Michael Keaton is imitating James Cagney and he does it too well! This great piece set in the 1930s had me rolling on the floor!
September 26, 2012
I really want to love this film. A Michael Keaton gangster farce?! But alas, it is paced way too slow and most of the jokes fall flat.
May 6, 2013
For those who don't know, Michael Keaton is immitating James Cagney and he does it too well! This great piece set in 1930s had me rolling on the floor!
½ January 15, 2013
The movie is a one note joke. It is only worth it to pass the time in a mindless hour and a half. Only people interested in gangster films could sit through it. Keaton plays the gangster role in an exaggerated wooden imitation of James Cagney. It plays as a morality tale that he narrates to a would be shoplifter he catches in his pet store. Keaton's character narrates his beginnings as he is lured into a gang and continues through his rise while his brother makes his way into the DA's office. Personally, it did not have big laughs, but provided good chuckles throughout the film. The energy from the actors was perfect but the script was doomed; you can foresee the shortcomings of the script before the film action begins when you see that there were four writers involved. It was a pass the time goofy kind of movie with some teenage level humor.
½ April 19, 2012
Sime of the humor may be skit-humor or cartoon humor, but in my opinion, that's what made the movie good because that kind of humor wasn't common. So the cartoon-like stuff was unexpected. Plus, Michael Keaton did an excellent job at playing Johnny. And the main villain was just plain disturbing in a humorously scary way. I'm sure you'll have a "fargin'" good time. Forget what those critic "ice-holes" say!
January 20, 2012
There are no big knee slapping hard laughs to be found here but I thought it was somewhat fun, lightly humorous, and quirky. Michael Keaton is the movieā(TM)s strongest asset as he portrays a character of a reluctant 1930s mobster with a kinder heart than most of his gangster peers. Joe Piscopo and Peter Boyle are nice castings but the would have benefited the movie if they had bigger parts. The largest drawback to this movie is that it never really gets going and putters along with the same level of mild humor the whole way through. After a while it does loses its luster and settles for mediocrity. It was a decent idea for a comedy movie and the cast seemed right for the job, but it was missing a few things.
½ January 10, 2012
Moderately successful sendup of 30s gangster films. Michael Keaton is solidly entertaining and Joe Piscopo reminds that he could actually be funny back before he was a steroid monster of a punchline.
½ July 31, 2011
This is my favorite Michael Keaton film,its a "Keaton Classic" as I like to call it. You'll Laugh and have a good time with this movie.
½ December 19, 2011

Look here you cork suckers, this here fargan movie, is a slapstick fargan screwy type of film...see.
½ September 17, 2011
My Cousin Reviewed a Movie Once--Once

For many years, my only awareness of this movie came from the Weird Al video for "This Is the Life," which turns out to be the movie's theme. It's a pretty standard movie theme video, meaning that there are clips a-plenty from the movie in it. Now, I didn't see this until the '90s, so obviously, I knew who Michael Keaton was. But it also means that my mental image of Michael Keaton was coloured by roles he did later which weren't exactly light parody. Actually, I'm not sure most people realize exactly how varied his career has been. I wouldn't say he's underrated, exactly. I think he's unconsidered. I don't think most people really think of him at all most of the time. When they do, I don't think they really stop to consider his acting ability much at all. Of course, given some of the movies he makes, that's not all that surprising.

Keaton plays Johnny Kelly, who grew up poor in New York played by Byron Thames. One day, he fell in with Jocko Dundee (Peter Boyle), the head of a local gang. Johnny helped Jocko in a fight against Roman Troy Moronie (Richard Dimitri), winning Jocko's loyalty. To hide his identity as a gangster from his mother (Maureen Stapleton), who took on the name of Johnny Dangerously. For years, Johnny successfully balances his double life, pretending to his family that he's a legitimate nightclub owner while running Jocko's crime organization. Moronie gets deported. Jocko retires, leaving Johnny in charge to the anger of his rival, Danny Vermin (Joe Piscopo). Everything seems to be going just fine, and Johnny is able to get his younger brother, Tommy (Griffin Dunne), through law school. Only Tommy decides that he's going to go to work in the DA's office and take out that crooked Johnny Dangerously for once and for all. Can Johnny make things right? He can with the help of a Good Woman, Lil (Marilu Henner).

Yeah, it's more than a little silly. You can tell; it has a theme song by Weird Al, after all. The movie is full of sight gags and cheap jokes. In many ways, it seems that the early '80s were the golden years of film parody, and this movie touches on all the highlights of a mob picture. Everyone in the neighbourhood knows that Johnny Kelly grew up to be Johnny Dangerously, but somehow, they all manage to keep it secret from Ma and Tommy. When he's first talking to Lil, he tells her that she's good at banter. Danny Vermin is your standard thug, used largely to highlight the difference between him and Johnny, because of course Johnny isn't a real criminal. Danny shoots people. Johnny manages to bomb Moronie's place without actually hurting anyone. There's padding in the movie, and it kind of falls apart toward the end. It's dated in places, too; Young Johnny is shown breakdancing early in the movie. However, it isn't as hopelessly pop culture-laden as modern parody.

In most places, the production values are astonishingly high. That is, for the kind of movie it is. It's a silly movie, as I said, and it wasn't exactly full of great stars. It seems somewhat low budget--presumably a higher budget would have allowed for real stars--but work was put into the sets and the costumes nonetheless. Yes, it was a major studio release, which means they had access to a backlot and a costume department, but it still feels more expensive than I think it probably was. It was probably hoped that it would make stars out of Keaton, Piscopo, and Dunne, though it would have taken a lot to make a real star out of Joe Piscopo. Two years before, Amy Heckerling had done the same for Sean Penn, and there was every reason to expect that it would work here--though it didn't after all.

Sometimes, you come to a movie too late. You would have loved it if you had encountered it during its time, but because you never did, you're never going to appreciate it. It's a risk you run every time you watch a movie that isn't current. Especially if it's one that people you know really love, because then you're going to be seeing it with different eyes than they, which often leads to conflict. I have friends who are never going to forgive me for not liking [i]The Goonies[/i], for example, even though they acknowledge that it's because I saw it more than twenty years too late. If I had seen it when it was new, I would have the nostalgia for it as well. I spent three weekends in a field listening to two guys tell each other that their fathers hung them on a hook once--once. And yet, rather than making me nuts, it made me think, "Hey, I could watch that movie." This, I think, is a good sign.
½ August 8, 2011
not a very impressive comedy. most of the jokes fell pretty flat, either because they were way too awkward or just outright not funny. the stuff that actually was funny was way overused, so by the end, it wasn't funny anymore. the acting was average, the characters were pretty bland, and the whole thing basically felt like a Mel Brooks movie gone horribly wrong. it's pretty sad when the highlight of your comedy is the Weird Al song in the opening credits.
½ July 20, 2011
(**): Thumbs Down

The first half of this movie is very funny but the second half just dragged on for me (and, obviously, wasn't as funny). Fair at best.
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