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Paramount Studios presents
The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear (1991)

"The truth hurts, doesn't it, Hapsburg? Oh, sure, maybe not as much as jumping on a bicycle with the seat missing, but it hurts."
- Lt. Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen)

Review By: Mark Zimmer   
Published: August 15, 2000

Stars: Leslie Nielsen, Priscilla Presley, Robert Goulet
Other Stars: George Kennedy, O.J. Simpson, Richard Griffiths
Director: David Zucker

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for (language, comedic violence, sexual situations and off-color humor)
Run Time: 01h:24m:58s
Release Date: August 15, 2000
UPC: 097363236573
Genre: comedy

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
A B+AB+ B+

DVD Review

"From the brother of the director of Ghost..." - From the trailer

When watching this sequel to the hit comedy The Naked Gun, it's pretty important to have a good memory. So much of the humor goes nowhere if you can't recall such late 80s/early 90s luminaries as John Sununu. However, although the topicality makes the film a little difficult for those condemned to repeat the past, the slapstick and verbal jabs survive quite nicely.

Leslie Nielsen returns as the ultimate deadpan idiot policeman, Lt. Frank Drebin. Nielsen's timing is absolutely on the money every time, as he carries on in his self-important way, wreaking unintentional havoc everywhere he goes (the best jabs land on Barbara Bush). Dr. Albert Meinheimer (Richard Griffiths), an environmentalist and energy expert is scheduled to set the nation's energy policy, which looks bad for the consortium of oil, coal and nuclear power interests led by Quentin Hapsburg (an incredibly unctuous Robert Goulet). However, Hapsburg has a plan to replace Meinheimer with a double, Earl Hacker (also Griffiths, in a very funny counterpoint). Frank Drebin and his cohorts, long-suffering Captain Ed Hocken (George Kennedy) and Nordberg (O.J. Simpson) attempt to unravel this power play, with the assistance of Jane (Priscilla Presley), who is torn between her old love, Frank, and her new love, Hapsburg.

But plot isn't what's at the center of this film. Slapstick, sexual humor, crudity and silly gags of every kind fill every frame. Other movies are satirized mercilessly, from the Psycho shower scene that degenerates into a duet of "The Way We Were" between Presley and the assassin, to the centerpiece satire of the pottery scene from brother Zucker's Ghost.

While many comedy sequels are just pale imitations, this film has a life of its own. Nielsen really carries the film with his impeccable characterization of the dimwitted Drebin. Robert Goulet makes a suitable followup to the sleazy Ricardo Montalban from the first film. The only sequence that falls down from the first film is the title shot of the Police Squad flashing light as it goes through a series of unlikely places ranging from a bullfight ring to the birth canal. This really doesn't measure up to the creativity of the original's title sequence. Other than this shortcoming, however, the picture is chock full of gags that just keep coming; most of them are hilarious. Very highly recommended, if you don't mind a little crude sexual humor....well, a lot of crude sexual humor:

Monique de Carlo (as the police break in): "Is this some kind of bust?"
Frank Drebin: "Well, it's very impressive, yes, but we need to ask you a few questions."

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: B+


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: The picture is the standard excellent Paramount transfer. Blacks are excellent and solid; colors are lifelike and attractive. The anamorphic picture is sharp throughout. No frame damage of any kind is visible. An exemplary job.

Image Transfer Grade: A


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: Both a 5.1 and Dolby Surround audio track are included. There is virtually no difference between them; there is very little surround or subwoofer activity to be heard anywhere in the film. The dialogue comes through crisp and clean, with no hiss or noise of any kind. The theme music is bright and will stick in your mind for a long time. Purists be warned, however: the case states that some of the music has been changed for the video version of the film. I wasn't able to detect the changes on my viewings of the film, but I do wish that the original soundtrack would be released intact whenever possible.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 15 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
2 Original Trailer(s)
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Director David Zucker, Producer Robert Weiss
Packaging: Amaray
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: The principal extra is a funny commentary from director/writer David Zucker and the producer, Robert Weiss. There isn't much in the way of anecdote included on this commentary, the participants having apparently used them up in recording the commentary to the first film. They do, however, gratifyingly point out the very many jokes that go on in the background, which might go unnoticed by the casual viewer (actually, I missed most of them, so almost anyone would be rewarded by watching the commentary).

The only other extra is the teaser trailer with the Ghost footage and tag line and the original theatrical trailer. These are both presented in widescreen format and are in nice condition, although the audio on the teaser trailer is a little tinny sounding.

Extras Grade: B+


Final Comments

A very funny sequel. Highly recommended to anyone who enjoyed the original film. And if you didn't, well, I pity the fool.


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