Monday, April 11, 2011

Airplane! (Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, Jerry Zucker)

The pilot in the left: the 'inflated' egotist.

One of the establishing foundations of the cinematic comedy wave that is the spoof and 'random' humor sub-type. Known serious actors at the time such as Lloyd Bridges, Peter Graves, and Leslie Nielsen (I think almost everybody knows how the tone of his career had gone on since then) figuratively donned eccentric personae and armed themselves with dry humor and straight faces to populate the screen, with unfamiliar (at least for me) yet effective actors Robert Hays and Julie Hagerty in the lead.

At various points, "Airplane!" seems to be too quick on its wit that the comic touches become too abundant in a single frame that there's no way a viewer can quite catch them all on an initial viewing. But ironically, it's also its main positive trait, making the humor relentless in its presentation and brief yet precise in its delivery that although it can be very exhausting to comically involve oneself in such an overflow of humor spitting from all sides, this also makes "Airplane!" very palatable and engrossing for subsequent viewings.

"Airplane!" is an entertaining ode to the utterly stupefying repetitiveness of mutual cinema; from the cliches of over-seriousness, the tiring utilization of flashbacks to the tonal sentiments of musical scores pertaining to love encounters (that 50's-type orchestra music nauseatingly repeated throughout every time the two leads come face to face with each other). "Airplane!" may not be the first of its kind, but it has furthered and enforced its contextual confidence to fully manifest itself in mainstream filmmaking.

Its influence was all too sudden and immensely appealing that it has inspired a path for mutated abominations like "Epic Movie" and "Meet the Spartans". Yes, it has extremely spread all over the film realm that it has given Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer enough guts to waste ample time, budget and film with their hackish works. After all, I guess "Airplane!" have something indirectly worth blaming for.

Though the film is overly indulged in fantastical, surrealistic comedy, giving realistic plausibility a blurring barrier, it has given a notable statement that may have really spoken the absolute truth: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar does not work hard on defense. A speck of sobering verite.

Why? He got easily defeated by Bruce Lee in "Game of Death", isn't it? Oh, you thought in Basketball? Well, that's arguable.


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