Well, all good things must come to an end and so must it be with the adventures of Frank Drebin. I will be honest, I didn’t really have much interest in seeing this movie when it came out in theaters. Looking back, I find it a little surprising because I really enjoyed the previous movies but for some reason, this one just didn’t appeal to me. Honestly, it would be about 10 years before I would wind up seeing this movie on TV. So let’s bid farewell to this series with today’s movie, Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult.
The plot: Frank Drebin, Ed, and Nordberg are all working undercover at a train station when Frank sees a woman struggling to push a stroller up some stairs and goes to help her. As Nordberg and Ed go to help some other women with their strollers, a mob boss and his men begins walking down the stairs and when he spots Frank, a shoot-out occurs. As Frank begins killing the mob men, a suicide bomber, and dozens of disgruntled postal workers, he suddenly wakes up from his nightmare but tells his wife, Jane, that he will be ok and they both lie back down, only for Frank to accidentally put the control for their adjustable bed into his glass of water, which causes it to catapult them out the window. In Statesville Prison, known bomber Rocco Dillon is visited by his mother and Papshmir, who had hired Rocco to carry out a terrorist act against the United States but is unhappy about the fact that Rocco is in prison. Rocco says not to worry and that no one would be able to stop them. Back in L.A., Frank is at the grocery store when he notices a purse snatcher but as he goes to grab his gun, he remembers that he is retired and the purse snatcher gets away during his flashback. Jane has become a defense attorney but is unhappy with their marriage because she wants a baby but Frank seems reluctant to have one. The two see a therapist, who suggest having a special night together but when Frank is at home cleaning house and preparing to cook dinner, Ed and Nordberg show up. They tell Frank they have a suspect in the City Hall bombing and show Frank a picture of Tanya Peters, a girl they believe was used as a distraction. Frank recognizes the name as being part of an old case they worked on in the late 70’s. Ed and Nordberg ask Frank to go undercover at the clinic Tanya works at and try to get information on a terrorist plot and Frank ends up agreeing to do it. Frank fakes a football injury but find out that the Tanya works at a fertility clinic and sperm bank, and ends up giving multiple samples. Frank manages to get Tanya’s address but runs into Tanya, who feels like she recognizes him but can’t place him. Frank returns home to find Jane waiting for him but when she attempts to seduce Frank, she sees scratches on his back. Frank tries to tell her it was another woman but Jane believes Frank had gone back to work as a cop so she packs her bags and goes to stay with her friend Louise, who ends up taking Jane on a road trip to take Jane’s mind off of Frank. Frank heads to headquarters and is told of their theory that Rocco is masterminding the bombings while inside prison and volunteers to go undercover to try and infiltrate Rocco’s gang and learn his plan. At the prison, Frank ends up being Rocco’s cellmate but Rocco is distrustful of Frank. When a guard discovers Rocco’s escape plans, Frank stages a riot in order to steal the plans back, then destroys them and suggests a new plan to Rocco. The two dig a tunnel and escape from prison, meeting up with Rocco’s mom, Muriel, who takes them to their hideout. Meanwhile, Jane is at a bar with Louise but still misses Frank. After defending herself against a would be rapist, causing him to be hit by a truck, Louise wants to go around killing more men but Jane says she can do what she wants but she is calling Frank. When she doesn’t get an answer at the house, Jane dries her eyes with Frank’s handkerchief and finds Tanya’s address written on it and heads off to find Frank. At the cabin, Frank sees Tanya is there and tries to play off that he doesn’t know her while finding a way to get a message to Ed and Nordberg. That night, Tanya attempts to seduce Frank and ends up kissing him, just as Jane shows up. Jane is shocked at what she sees but Frank quickly kisses her and whispers to play along, just as Rocco and Muriel come downstairs. Muriel suggests killing Jane but Frank says they should keep her as a hostage and Rocco agrees with him. The next day, Rocco gives a demonstration of his bomb for everyone, then they head off to the Academy Awards, where they will detonate the bomb on live TV. At the Academy Awards, Rocco and Tanya head inside, where Tanya distracts the guard, allowing Rocco to plant the bomb in one of the envelopes. Frank and Jane tie up Muriel and then try to get word to Police Squad but when they are unable to do so, they tie up Weird Al and Vanna White and use their pass to get inside. Realizing the bomb is in one of the envelopes, Jane begins going through the envelopes in the back while Frank, impersonating Phil Donahue, tries to prevent Raquel Welch from opening the envelope. Rocco and Tanya free Muriel and they head back inside to stop Frank, with Muriel capturing Jane. Frank heads backstage only to run into security, who try to catch him, and he ends up back on stage during a musical number, ruining it. Returning back stage, Frank runs into Tanya and asks where Jane is but she doesn’t know. When Frank asks where the bomb is, she tells him that it is in the Best Picture envelope. Tanya then tries to seduce Frank, saying she wants him to help her go straight. When Tanya takes off her clothes, Frank sees she has a penis and rushes out on stage and throws up into a tuba, just as Olivia Dukakis and James Earl Jones are on stage to announce the Best Picture envelope. Frank grabs the envelope to prevent them from pulling the bomb out but Rocco and Muriel show up with the captive Jane. Rocco goes to get the envelope from Frank and as the to struggle over Rocco’s gun, they fire off a shot which causes the applause sign to fall onto Muriel, and she ends up electrocuting herself. Rocco wants to blow everyone up so he can join his mom and tries to get the bomb but Frank knocks it from his hand. Rocco grabs Jane and heads up to the catwalk and Frank follows after him and he ends up knocking Rocco from the catwalk. Rocco’s foot is caught in a cable and Frank ties it off in order to save Rocco but it ends up acting as a bungee cord and Rocco, who grabs the bomb from Nordberg, is launched out of the building and crashes into Papshmir’s helicopter, who was hovering over the theater to witness the explosion. Papshmir and Rocco are killed and Frank and Jane come down from the catwalk to a standing ovation from the crowd. Nine months later, Frank and Nordberg are rushing into a hospital delivery room to film the birth of Frank and Jane’s baby but when the baby is revealed to be African-American, Frank yells at Nordberg and chases him from the delivery room, passing by Ed as he wheels Jane out of a different delivery room with her baby.
Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult met with mixed reviews from the critics, holding a 55% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is that, “Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult can’t help but be sporadically funny thanks to Leslie Nielsen’s dependably solid work, but it’s still a steep comedown from the original.” This movie was the last film released that starred O.J. Simpson before the infamous murder and trial occurred. Like it’s predecessors, Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult debuted at # 1 at the box office, but it was the least profitable movie in the franchise, earning $51.1 million off of a $30 million budget.
Still good for some laughs, but you can tell they were starting to run out of steam. The acting was ok, with Leslie Nielsen and Fred Ward (Rocco) doing a good job of playing off of each other. Priscilla Presley (Jane), Kathleen Freeman (Muriel), and Anna Nicole Smith (Tanya) were ok, but I was a little disappointed that George Kennedy (Ed) and O.J. Simpson (Nordberg) had such reduced roles in this movie. The story was pretty interesting but a lot of the humor was pretty weak. That being said, for some reason the Academy Awards scene really had me laughing during the majority of it. The comedy was definitely reaching at times and kept falling back on some more “lowbrow” humor to try get some laughs. There are some laughs with this, but I honestly feel like they should have stopped after the second one.
Rating: 3 out of 5