Still craving for the love of his life, Ted Striker follows Elaine onto the flight that she is working on as a member of the cabin crew. Elaine doesn't want to be with Ted anymore, but when the crew and passengers fall ill from food poisoning, all eyes are on Ted. Written by
In a tense moment where Ted Striker (Robert Hays) needs to land an airplane where the pilots (Peter Graves and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) have fallen sick, and several passengers need to get off the airplane for various reasons, all Striker can think to himself (with an echo in his mind, of course) is "I've got to concentrate... concentrate... concentrate... I've got to concentrate... concentrate... concentrate... Hello?... hello... hello... Echo... echo... echo... Pinch hitting for Pedro Borbon... Manny Mota... Mota... Mota..." That pretty much sums up the seriousness of Airplane!, the lampoon of the 1970s Airport movies, and pretty much every other disaster movie pumped out by Hollywood. The same guys who pieced together the Naked Gun movies write and direct this silly movie. Most of the jokes need to be seen to be properly experienced, the first rate actors are what brings the laughs. Robert Stack plays it straight, over-the-top straight, as a problem solver for the airline who happens to wear 2 pairs of sunglasses at all times. Stack's comedic timing and deadpan delivery bring out some of the biggest laughs of the film. Lloyd Bridges is the over-worked, over-stressed traffic controller who has picked the wrong week to stop drinking, smoking, and sniffing glue. And Leslie Neilson plays a doctor who has an acute sense for the obvious, surely one who could save the passengers and airline crew if they land safely, just don't call him Shirley. A few cheap laughs, a few misses, but over all, a pretty funny movie. If you like The Naked Gun, you'll like Airplane!
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