So I have a slight problem. I have found that when I watch some of the movies for this blog, I have a tendency to get sucked into the movie and forget to keep writing the plot outline. This can cause an issue as there might be times where I don’t get my review finished in time before I have to go to work. Which bring’s me to today, because that very thing just happened. So let’s see if I can get things wrapped up on today’s movie, The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell Of Fear.
The plot: At the White House, President George Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush are announced but as they walk towards the dining room, Lt. Frank Drebin exits the rest room, accidentally slamming the door into the First Lady’s face, and he enters the dining room next to the president. After everyone is seated, the President introduces the DC Police Commissioner, who says they are honoring Frank for killing his 1000 drug dealer. As everyone is being served lobster, Chief of Staff John Sununu introduces the heads of the oil, coal, and nuclear industries who are hoping to help influence the President’s decision on the country’s energy needs but the President says he will base his decision entirely on Dr. Meinheimer’s recommendation next week. As Dr. Meinheimer prepares to speak to the group, Frank causes a commotion as he tries to eat his lobster when he accidentally causes the lobster to grab the commissioner’s boob, then accidentally punches the First Lady when he rips apart the claws. Meanwhile, at the Meinheimer Institute, Jane Spencer is crying over her break up with Frank when she notices a man leaving the building and getting into a red van. Meinheimer returns and tells Jane she should be out doing something instead if staying late crying all the time and Jane tells him she is seeing someone. Meanwhile, the building’s maintenance crew finds a bomb in a waste basket and takes it to the security office, where they accidentally cause it to explode. Frank, Ed, and Nordberg are in DC as part of one of Bush’s law enforcement programs and when they get to the scene, Frank goes to question the witness, he is shocked to discover it is Jane. Jane sees Frank and moves towards him and after they get the pleasantries out of the way, Frank is shown to still be upset over her leaving him at the altar. Meinheimer arrives and Frank introduces himself but Meinheimer says they met at the White House dinner and Jane tells Frank that Meinheimer has a photographic memory. Frank asks to see the rest of the facility and they show him around but while they are in the research area, Frank accidentally drops his hard hat in the temperature control machine, jamming up the gears and causing chaos in the lab. After they leave the area, Jane’s boyfriend, Quentin Hapsburg, shows up to check on Jane and Frank is immediately jealous of him. After leaving the institute, Frank heads to a lonely blues bar and Ed finds him there and tries to cheer him up. When the waiter brings Frank a drink and tells him it’s from a woman, they see Jane waving at them and Ed tells Frank to go talk to her. Frank heads to her table and the two talk some more, with Jane telling him she remembers seeing the man get into a red van but Frank is still upset and she ends up slapping him before storming off. Meanwhile, the oil, coal, and nuclear heads are meeting aboard one of Quentin’s ships and complaining about Meinheimer’s upcoming speech when Quentin appears and says he is not worried. Quentin reveals that he has had Meinheimer kidnapped and plans to replace him with a double named Earl Hacker, who will give his speech in favor of the fossil fuel and nuclear industries. The next day, Frank heads to Police Squad headquarters to see if anything new has come up and Ted, the head lab tech, tells him they found a wallet at the crime scene belonging to Hector Savage and head to the address of a boutique they found in the car. When they get there, Frank spots the red van in the alley and has Nordberg put a tracer on it while Frank and Ed head inside. As Frank questions the owner, Ed spots Savage heading out to the van and they go to follow it. Nordberg ends up stuck underneath the van and is dragged along as Savage tries to get away. Frank and Ed follow Nordberg’s signal but Savage shakes off Nordberg and he ends up getting stuck under their car. They eventually make their way to where Savage has holed up in a house and Nordberg ends up getting stuck under a bus heading to Detroit. Frank tries to convince Savage to come out of the house but when he refuses, Frank uses a tank to knock down the door but breaks the controls and ends up plowing completely through the house, allowing Savage to escape, then crashing through the zoo, letting dozens of animals loose. That night, Frank heads to a charity auction that Quentin and Jane are attending and he tries to tell Jane that Quentin is involved but she doesn’t believe him. When the fake Meinheimer arrives at the table, he doesn’t recognize Frank, and Frank finds that suspicious. He goes to Jane’s apartment later that night and tries to convince Jane that Quentin is involved but she still thinks he is jealous. As Jane goes to take a shower, Savage sneaks into the apartment to kill her but gets distracted by her singing and joins in. Jane yells for help and Frank struggles with Savage but when the shower curtain is yanked open, Frank is distracted when he sees Jane naked and Savage gets the upper hand. When the fight spills out into the hallway, Frank manages to subdue Savage with the fire hose but he can’t shut off the water and Savage ends up exploding from the water pressure. Jane realizes that Frank was right and the two make up and have sex. The next day, Frank heads to the warehouse that they believe Quentin is holding the real Meinheimer but he ends up getting captured and Quentin says he will kill him after the Press Club Dinner that night. Frank tries to free himself but as he does, he ends up causing several items to fall onto Meinheimer, who is tarred and feathered before being knocked silly by an anvil, just as Ed and Nordberg arrive with backup. Frank, Ed, Nordberg, and Meinheimer head to the Press Club Dinner, where Jane is going to help them sneak in, but Jane is led inside by Quentin and they find the door locked. They disguise themselves as a mariachi band and end up performing a brief number before splitting up, with Frank going after Hasker while Ed and Nordberg get Meinheimer ready to give his speech. Frank confronts Hasker and starts beating him but a witness calls out for help and some visiting members of the Chicago Bears begin to beat up Frank while Hasker is taken to get medical attention. Ed gets Meinheimer ready as the President prepares to introduce him but Hasker attacks Ed and Meinheimer ends up knocking Hasker, and Ed, out. Hasker ends up falling into the crowd, and when he stands up, Nordberg thinks it is a miracle but Ed chases after Hasker and catches him. Meanwhile, Meinheimer begins to give his speech but Frank, who has just come too, thinks it is Hasker and tries to stop him. Saying the real Meinheimer has a birthmark in the shape of Whistler’s Mother on his right buttock, Frank pulls down Meinheimer’s pants to reveal the birthmark, then tries to sand it off, believing it to be a fake. Ed stops him and says they have a confession from Hasker, implementing Quentin as the one behind the kidnapping but they notice that Quentin and Jane are gone. Frank, Ed, and Nordberg chase after them and get in a shoot out with Quentin’s men. Frank continues after Quentin, and finds Quentin has a bomb set to explode, killing everyone in the building and rendering Meiheimer’s speech worthless. Frank fights with him and ends up dangling Quentin out the window to try and get the code but when Ed goes to help, he accidentally causes Frank to drop Quentin. Quentin lands on an awning and manages to safely make it to the ground but he is killed by one of the lions from the zoo. Frank tells Ed and Nordberg to get everyone out of there and tells Jane to get away but Jane refuses to leave his side. At the dinner, everyone has been put to sleep by Meinheimer’s speech so Ed gives him an erotic novel to read, which wakes the crowd up. Nordberg tries to get everyone to calmly leave but when he mentions the bomb, panic ensues. Frank and Jane try to defuse the bomb but when time almost runs out, they try to run and Frank trips over the power cord, unplugging the device and saving everyone. As the President congratulates Frank, he offers him a job of heading up a Federal Bureau of Police Squad but Frank turns it down, then asks Jane to marry him and she accepts. As Frank, Jane, and the Bush’s step out onto the balcony to wave to the crowd, Frank accidentally knocks Barbara Bush off the balcony and when he tries to pull her up, he ends up ripping off her dress, leaving her hanging from the balcony in her undergarments.
The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell Of Fear met with mixed results from the critics, holding a 57% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is that, “Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear delivers a handful of moderate laughs, but overall, its strained antics pale in comparison to its gut-busting predecessor.” The bomb that Frank trips over is actually the same bomb that was used in the James Bomb movie Goldfinger. When the movie debuted, it ended up knocking Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves from the #1 spot at the box office, eventually making $86.9 million off of a $23 million budget.
Not quite as funny as the original but this is still good for some laughs. The acting was good, with Leslie Nielsen doing a great job, while Robert Goulet, who had a guest spot on the original Police Squad!, made for a very good straight man/villian in his interactions with Nielson. The story was ok, making a couple of references to (at the time) somewhat current events; such as Zsa Zsa Gabor slapping the police siren (referencing her slapping a police officer) as well as the name of Quentin’s ship and the training video for oil tanker captains, which was a reference to the Exxon Valdez disaster. There wasn’t as much slap stick comedy in this movie as the original, choosing to use more play on words or sight gags for most of the laughs. A worthy sequel to a great comedy.
Rating: 4 out of 5