Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult (1994)

2013 #60
Peter Segal | 79 mins | TV | 16:9 | USA / English | 12 / PG-13

The Naked Gun 33Normally I’m a stickler for watching film series in order, even when it doesn’t matter, so skipping 31 sequels really isn’t my style… but this was on telly one night in July and I was in just the right mood, so the second will have to wait for its turn another day. (I watched and reviewed the first earlier this year, of course.) (And there aren’t really 33 Naked Gun films, obviously.)

Placed in direct comparison with its forbear, I’d have to say The Final Insult isn’t quite as good. These days film series seem to get bigger and bigger with each sequel, but The Naked Gun hails from the era when they just as often seemed to get smaller over time — it feels lower-key in pretty much every way, from scale to length to quality of gags. Nonetheless, it’s far from a write-off. There are copious funny moments and film spoofs, and that brief running time ensures it doesn’t outstay its welcome.

As with the first film, there’s a US TV version out there with numerous added scenes, but again I have no idea of its general availability. Also worth a laugh is that the MPAA rated the film PG-13 — for “off-color humour”. Ah, America. (Though the BBFC often cite “mild peril”, which sounds equally dappy to me, so maybe I shouldn’t point & laugh quite so much.)

As you might guess from the title, this was the last of the Naked Gun films. Though it remains an entertaining diversion and only marginally off-pace from early instalments — an impressive feat for the second sequel in a comedy franchise, no question — it’s probably best they never got round to the mooted fourth film.

3 out of 5

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