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VAL KILMER & LUCY GUTTERIDGE SEND UP SPIES IN 'TOP SECRET!'

Val Kilmer as Nick Rivers in TOP SECRET! Directors: Jim Abrahams, David & Jerry Zucker Year: 1984 Rating: ***1/2

Nonstop humor with a real plot is called funny... without a plot, silly... and the creators of the extremely funny AIRPLANE! deliberately set out to make a fast-paced, extremely silly satire covering a bagful of genres...

Particularly WW2 spy thrillers with Elvis Musicals thrown in... in the form of Val Kilmer as Nick Rivers, a somehow contemporary Rock N' Roller booked to play a Nazi German concert that sort of comes and goes... 

Lucy Gutteridge as Hillary Flammond in TOP SECRET!

Meanwhile the actual attempt at a primary plot involves ingenue Lucy Gutteridge's scientist father needing rescue by the help of a goofy band of French Resistance fighters, only around to finish off a busy, somewhat exhausting story that the jokes leading up served an almost constant bulwark for... 

They're mostly action-based visual gags since this is an action/adventure, albeit more like Mel Brooks (parodying movie-making itself) than Abrahams, Zucker & Zucker's previous (POLICE SQUAD) and future work (the NAKED GUN franchise, in which Omar Sharif foreshadows OJ Simpson's accident-prone Wile E. Coyote type)...

Cows through binoculars from TOP SECRET!

Perhaps the writing/directing trio worked too hard to accomplish a multi-satire that's gained a pretty decent cult following despite (and because of) the disappointing opening-weekend... Or those who tire of the AIRPLANE! accolades while pushing the dark-horse notion that this one's a lot better, funnier... 

Overall TOP SECRET! is yet another "underrated failure because it wasn't treated fairly" that does deserve more recognition... including Val Kilmer's naturally appealing comic timing sustained in REAL GENIUS... but perhaps more for the entertainingly energetic ambition than end result. 

Val Kilmer and Billy J. Mitchell TOP SECRET!
Val Kilmer as Nick Rivers in TOP SECRET!
Jeremy Kemp and Warren Clarke in TOP SECRET!
Val Kilmer in TOP SECRET!
Val Kilmer in TOP SECRET! with Sara Montague
Peter Cushing in TOP SECRET!
Mandy Nunn parodying The Blue Lagoon in TOP SECRET!
Mandy Nunn parodying The Blue Lagoon in TOP SECRET!
Mandy Nunn parodying The Blue Lagoon in TOP SECRET!
Lucy Gutteridge in TOP SECRET!
Val Kilmer in TOP SECRET!
Michelle Martin  and Nicola Wright in TOP SECRET!
Michelle Martin  and Nicola Wright in TOP SECRET!
Val Kilmer in TOP SECRET!
Ian McNeice with Omar Shariff (the OJ from Naked Gun character) in TOP SECRET!
Blind Vendor Ian McNeice lighting up in TOP SECRET!
Jeremy Kemp in Top Secret showcasing one of many visual gags
Daisy the Cow in TOP SECRET!
Val Kilmer saves Michael Gough in TOP SECRET! with Eddie Tagoe
Val Kilmer and Christopher Villers in Top Secret's underwater fight
Gunpoint damsel Lucy Gutteridge in TOP SECRET!
Val Kilmer sends up Steve McQueen's Great Escape escape in Top Secret!
Opening credit sequences Beach Boys musical number for TOP SECRET!

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