Top Secret!

1984, Movie, PG, 90 mins


A strange mix that might have been titled "Beach Blanket Espionage," this overlooked comedy by Zucker, Abrahams, and Zucker doesn't always work, nor does it measure up to their hilarious AIRPLANE!. It is, nevertheless, very funny as it lampoons two genres: the spy movie and the teenage musical. While in East Germany to perform at big cultural festival, rock star Nick Rivers (Val Kilmer) finds himself embroiled in international intrigue involving an East German plot to take over West Germany, an imprisoned scientist (Michael Gough), and his beautiful daughter, Hillary (Lucy Gutteridge), who, naturally, becomes Nick's love interest. While helping Hillary thwart the takeover scheme, Nick, in the tradition of countless Elvis films, bursts into song on the slightest provocation. Equally without rhyme or reason is the movie's plot. In parodying pictures like THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD, Zucker, Abrahams, and Zucker present a narrative that is hopelessly convoluted, but that, of course, is exactly their intention as they pile joke upon joke, filling their film with inventive sight gags. Omar Sharif appears as a spy and is uproarious in what amounts to a cameo appearance, even though he gets top billing. This film hits more than it misses. leave a comment

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