In between the disaster movie satire Airplane! in 1980 and the hardboiled cop show parody The Naked Gun in 1988, the comedy crew of Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and David Zucker put together a picture that's almost as funny... more » as their better-known hits. Top Secret! sends up spy movies and cheesy teen rock & roll musicals. Val Kilmer stars as swivel-hipped American rocker Nick Rivers, a sort of blonde Elvis whose secret weapon is Little Richard's tune "Tutti Fruitti." On tour behind the Iron Curtain, Nick strikes blows for democracy overtly and covertly, with his music as well as his espionage skills. In short, this is a very, very silly motion picture. Some great gags, including a subtitled scene in a Swedish book shop, and an inspired bit with a Ford Pinto that not everybody may get anymore. (The Pinto, you may or may not recall, was notoriously prone to gas tank explosions when rear-ended.) --Jim Emerson« less
"Top Secret! - the Jim Abrahams/Zucker Bros.' follow-up to Airplane! - does for (or is that *to*) Elvis movies and WWII espionage films what the earlier feature did for/to the airborne disaster genre. The gags are slightly more immature (not necessarily a bad thing, but in some cases may have been better had they been allowed to age a little before being put into production), but some, like the forced-perspective oversize phone or saying farewell to the Scarecrow, rival anything the ZAZ team has ever done. The music is a mixed bag. "Skeet Surfing" and the Macy's jingle are great. "Tutti-Fruitti" and "Straighten the Rug" are less so (not that every song in an Elvis movie was worthy of screen time, either). Kudos to Val Kilmer, though; even when he's camping it up, the musical numbers remain watch- and listenable.The only thing I don't care for on the disc is the audio commentary. The production team really rips the movie apart as if they had tried to make a "serious" film that fell apart. In that case, learning why/how it failed would be interesting and instructive. To shred a spoof film, especially a sophomore and sophomoric effort like Top Secret!, is entirely unwarranted. Sure there are plot holes. Sure it makes no sense that submarine would crash into a prison dungeon. Sure some things are only mildly amusing. Drawing undue attention to them is doubly pointless. Sheesh! If you're a big fan, skip the commentary.I really enjoyed this movie and really (mostly) enjoyed its presentation on the DVD. There aren't a lot of extras, but be sure to hunt for the Easter Egg - it's definitely worth finding."
The funniest slapstick comedy ever made!
C. T. Mikesell | 02/15/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Just barely nudging out their own "Airplane!," I think Zucker/Abrahams/Zucker's "Top Secret" is the best slapstick comedy ever. It's got all a film should have: action, comedy, romance, great songs. This is unquestionably Val Kilmer's best movie, and he is perfect as Nick Rivers, the Elvis-like troubadour who is so famous that not even Frank Sinatra fits on the bill. The sight gags and puns are horrendously funny. I could spend hours recalling my favorite scenes. The film is a postmodern masterpiece, successfully intertwining and spoofing cliches from just about every film in the genre (most notably James Bond films and Elvis movies). The film openly points outs its flaws ("it's like the plot to some bad movie"), and celebrates film flubs. It breaks all the rules of "classic" cinema, and has made other spoof films basically impossible to be funny (films like "Spy Hard" and "Loaded Weapon")."
Funny Then - Funny Now
zakvta | 12/30/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The ZAZ team (Zucker/Abrahams/Zucker) doesn't disappoint in the laugh department with this movie. This is mainly slapstick and visual gags, but it's the best of them. If you want some stupid, no-brain, sexual innuendo, parody comedy then this is the greatest! This movie made me laugh like no other movie has. Val Kilmer has a wonderful performance as a rock-star and foreign dignitary. The parodies of popular Beach Boys and Elvis songs are hilarious. The best scene and most creative I thought would have to be in the bookstore. You HAVE to see it to believe it. It made me laugh incredibly hard. You may have to pause the movie every once in a while so you can breathe. Although that may be exaggerating a bit it isn't far off.This movie is well worth the money you pay for it. The laughs it delivers are tremendous and timeless. Have fun and don't laugh too hard!"
A Greatly Underrated Film
Alan Olsen | Portland, OR USA | 04/21/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This film was done by the same people who made "Airplane" and the "Police Squad" movies. I enjoy this film more. It is just as silly as the others, if not more so. I think the jokes work better in this film. The film takes place in some unnamed East German-like country. The time is something between today, the 50s, the 40s and somewhere in between. It parodies teen rock-and-roll movies, french resistance films, Blue Lagoon and a bunch of other stuff thrown in for good measure. Val Kilmer plays a rock-and-roll teen idol named Nick Rivers. He gets involved with a bunch of resistance fighters in a represive soviet block country that plans on taking over the world. Funnier than it sounds. Surreal comedy at its best. (The guard falling off the castle wall is one of my favorite gags.)How can you argue with a movie that starts with a Beach Boys parody called "Skeet Surfing"? ..."
You'll laugh until you hurt!
Kyle Tolle | Phoenix, Arizona USA | 07/19/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"From the wacky Zucker brothers that brought you the Airplane and Naked Gun spoofs, we now have a total laugh fest with Top Secret. This movie sits right there at the top when it comes to sight gags, one-liners and a hilarious script.What do you get when you combine an American rock and roll star with totally inept Nazi's, resistance fighters named after French foods, a fight scene in a saloon under the water, and more comedy mayhem than you can handle? You've got a 3 ring circus of total insanity that never quits!If you're a fan of any spoof film (Naked Gun, Hot Shots, Airplane, etc.), this is definitely the movie for you and it will not disappoint. Just make sure you pay attention during the movie because there is a lot of subtle but hilarious gags and props in the background while the main action is happening. It's fantastic to see this movie finally make it to DVD. Some of the nice things on the disc are the the commentary by the directors, the 5.1 Surround sound track, alternate scenes, and storyboard compilations. Highly recommended and enjoyable!"