Widely seen as among the funniest films ever made, Airplane! is a spoof comedy film revolving around an aircraft that becomes infected with a sickness, leaving a traumatized war pilot in the perilous position of landing a commercial aircraft. The film stars, among other, Pete Graves, Robert Hays, Leslie Nielsen, Julie Hagerty. It was released in 1980 to overwhelmingly positive box office and critical response, but was criticized at equal measure for what could only be described as a unique sense of humor.
My expectations were very high going into this film. I’d heard all the stories, of course, and seen a few clips, but I had my doubts about whether or not the film could sustain that for the course of its 1 hour and 27-minute runtime. I was absolutely not disappointed. Airplane! is among the funniest movies I have ever seen without a doubt. People interested in watching the film should probably be warned that it doesn’t even try to maintain a sensible plot; it’s a full on spoof film, supposedly of 1957 film Zero Hour, where the pilots fall sick and a passenger is forced to land the plane. There’s a whole bunch of stuff going on at all times, and next to none of it makes logical sense. Half the plane gets fatally sick because they had fish for dinner, and at least one woman’s tongue gets replaced with a never ending slew of unhatched chicken eggs. It’s batshit crazy.
That said, alongside the slapstick comedy, there’s a decent amount of nuanced, (if slightly distasteful 🙂 comedy. It’s hard to pinpoint something they didn’t make a punchline out of. There undoubtedly somewhat racy and offensive undertones; I don’t think I’d recommend this film to someone who feels they fall into the category of ‘uptight’. I mean see, I don’t think there’s anything in there that’s in bad taste or anything, but there are a couple times where they make a punchline out of jewish people and there are a few suicide jokes. Again, the specific jokes aren’t in bad taste, but the subjects could be seen as a little edgy so just a heads up to anyone who feels they might not enjoy it.
I should reiterate that the plot does not exist, and what does exist is kind of crap. It’s not the intent of the film. I absolutely died laughing during the vast majority of the film, I didn’t stop once to think about the realism because the tone discards it as immaterial. Leslie Neilsen is an absolute god among men. His classic deadpan delivery kills every time it shoots. Peter Graves remains that guy I swear I know from somewhere but I can’t place where, and the romantic duo of Robert Hays and Julie Hagerty makes for the reason for a lot of the suicide jokes. The star of the show is, of course, Otto. Watch the movie, you’ll know what I mean.
I’m sure you’ve been able to tell, but this was a really hard review to write; namely because I honestly don’t know what to say. There’s not much sophisticated concept to talk about; it’s just a gloriously funny movie, among if not the funniest I’ve ever seen. It’s not your usual comedy film, the comedy itself is quite niche and unique so if it ends up not being your cup of tea there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, nor, for that matter, is there ever anything wrong with a film not being your cup of tea. Realized how that read after I’d written it. I’d definitely give Airplane! a chance though. One of the funniest films out there.
Aman’s Rating: /100 Aryamaan’s Rating: 66/100