tek's rating:

Top Secret! (PG)
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This came out in 1984, but I'm fairly sure I didn't see it until at least a few years later, because I was already a fan of Val Kilmer for his role in Real Genius, which came out a year after this. (I didn't like this movie nearly as much as Real Genius, but it was still pretty funny.) I should mention that Top Secret! is the second film made by the team of Zucker, Abrahams, and Zucker (after "Airplane!", which I don't think I've ever seen all of). What it reminds me of more than anything are the "Naked Gun" movies, which one Zucker was involved with. Basically, it's an absurdist movie that lampoons countless tropes, and has lots of sight gags, puns, stuff like that. The movie parodies various things, like Elvis movies, spy movies, and the opening credits seem to be a parody of beach movies. I should also say I noticed a few random jokes peppered throughout the closing credits, if you read them closely.

Anyway, Kilmer plays an American rock star named Nick Rivers. (I'm pretty sure the movie is set at the time it was released, but I could be wrong; certainly all of Nick's songs are more 1950s style rock & roll.) He goes to East Germany as part of a cultural festival with performers from around the world, apparently. But the festival is actually a diversion the Germans have created to focus attention away from their real plot, which involves attacking enemy submarines. Meanwhile, Nick meets a woman named Hillary Flammond, and ends up getting involved in her work as part of the Resistance against the East German government. The Germans have imprisoned her father, a brilliant scientist, and are forcing him to create a secret weapon. Hillary wants to rescue him. And um... she and Nick will eventually join up with other members of the Resistance. And that's all I want to say. Anything more would be too spoilery. But the plot isn't important, anyway. Mainly the movie's just about cramming as much redonkulous humor as it can into 90 minutes. Which is a lot.

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