The cast in this movie is stellar. I have no idea how they could keep a straight face in some of the scenes.
Parody and satirical movies are my guilty pleasure and Airplane! is perhaps my favorite movie of the lot. Also known under the name of Flying High!, Airplane! is a 1980 satirical disaster movie, parodying the genre which was on the rise in the 70s. It has a lot of humor, naturally, toeing the line of the surreal, slapstick comedy, visual and verbal puns, a multitude of gags and easter eggs. The movie itself received many accolades, even a Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations, and it is consistently lauded as one of the funniest movies to date, taking the top or top ten spots in comedy and being a source of many memes, thus being immortalized on the internet.
The story is centered around a couple. Ted Striker, a war veteran with demons from the war, wants to win back the affections of his long-time girlfriend Elaine Dickinson, a flight attendant. Ted is unable to hold down a job, has a traumatizing fear of flying and a drinking problem (where he is unable to take a drink without splashing it in his face). Elaine gets fed up with his behavior and breaks up with him before boarding a flight to Chicago. Ted abandons his job yet again and joins her on the flight, trying to prove his love. Of course, shenanigans occur.
The cast in this movie is stellar. I have no idea how they could keep a straight face in some of the scenes. The movie also features the great Leslie Nielsen and Airplane! was actually credited with pushing his career into stardom.
Perhaps my favorite part is all the background jokes that are sometimes “blink and you’ll miss it”. Showing an x-ray of lungs at the TSA counter, people getting into all kinds of trouble in the background while main characters talk about something unrelated. These kind of jokes really made my enjoyment of the movie that much more, since nowadays, it seems that the audience cannot understand the joke if it is not “in your face”.
That does not mean that the movie does not have any flaws. Some of its jokes fall flat or are just not applicable to our society anymore. It also falls into some semi-harmful (and not at all funny) stereotyping that reflects the general thinking of society in the 80s. Not that that is an excuse, but it does go a long way in explaining the reason for it.
Overall, if you are a fan of parody movies Airplane! is a cult classic that you definitely need to see. Even if parody and satire is not your cup of tea, it is still a solid comedy that will entertain you for an hour and a half.
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