Hot Shots! Part Deux

Hot Shots! Part Deux

In the divertingly silly “Hot Shots! Part Deux” (citywide), our first glimpse of Charlie Sheen has us squinting for evidence of special-effects trickery. Surely Sheen’s head has been attached via camera magic to a torso far more muscular than his own. But no, it soon becomes clear that Sheen really has been working out mightily in order to send up Sylvester Stallone and his “Rambo” movies.

Sheen’s sculptured physique is virtually the only evidence of effort exerted in the making of this often hilarious film, a fizzy summer comedy concocted by director Jim Abrahams and his co-writer Pat Proft, past masters at the art of disguising their efforts. Actually, there are no fewer than 30 movies spoofed in the course of “Part Deux’s” swift 89 minutes, but they come so thick and fast you can’t hope to catch all the references. This film is every bit as funny--perhaps even funnier than the first “Hot Shots!” (1991), which skewered “Top Gun.”

It seems that Saddam Hussein not only has taken American hostages but also captured two sets of unsuccessful rescuers. What to do but send for the one man capable of saving the day--the indomitable, hopelessly square, sober-sided Topper Harley? But first, CIA agent Michelle Rodham Huddleston (Brenda Bakke)--all the women in the film have Rodham as their middle name--must track him down in a Southeast Asian monastery, where he’s in a spiritual retreat that permits him to engage regularly in violent martial arts contests for the pleasure of the locals. (And where the sex-starved monks stop at nothing to try to attract the Sharon Stonelike Michelle, who arrives in spike heels and micro-mini.)

The care with which “Hot Shots! Part Deux” has been made is revealed early on, with our introduction to Hussein (Jerry Haleva, a burly Saddam look-alike). Hussein’s stronghold is fabulous, a lush aerie done in movie palace Moorish, stylish with just a soupcon of vulgarity. A mere glimpse at the contents of his refrigerator is good for laughs, and when he takes off his shirt . . .!

Abrahams and Proft’s nonstop throwaway humor keeps spirits lifted and a smile on our faces, and it also has the admirable effect of deflating those action movies that exploit violence in the name of a pious, if dubious, patriotism. It would seem that it’s a little late in the day to poke fun at Rambo, not exactly the most current of targets, but this is where the filmmakers’ shrewdness comes into play. Abrahams and Proft are taking aim at a persistent macho mentality more than a specific movie or series. The spoofing of “Rambo” here is no more slavish than that of “Top Gun” in the first film, and each of the “Hot Shots!” takes on a life of its own.

Topper and his true love, Ramada Rodham Hayman (Valeria Golino), are back from the first film, and they are endearing in their dense but intrepid earnestness. Even more dense is Lloyd Bridges’ Tug Benson, an admiral the first time around who, terrifyingly enough, is now no less than the President of the United States. One of Hussein’s captives is a colonel played by Richard Crenna, who played a colonel in all three Rambo movies.

“Hot Shots! Part Deux” looks good without looking over-inflated. William A. Elliott’s production design, John R. Leonetti’s camera work and Basil Poledouris’ score are as sharp and crisp asthe actors’ performances. “Hot Shots! Part Deux” (rated PG-13 for sexual spoofs and language) generates lots of happy nonsense, but there’s no nonsense in its steadfast, unpretentious craftsmanship. Those who stay for the hefty end credits--yes, there is a personal trainer listed for Sheen--will be rewarded with gags strewn throughout.

— Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times

Hot Shots! Part Deux

Mon April 1, 7:30 PM, Muenzinger Auditorium

United States of America, 1993, in English, 86 min, 35mm

Screenplay: Jim Abrahams, Director: Jim Abrahams, Characters: Jim Abrahams, Screenplay: Pat Proft, Characters: Pat Proft, Cast: Charlie Sheen, Lloyd Bridges, Valeria Golino, Richard Crenna, Rowan Atkinson

remind me save to calendar recommend


10 films for $60 with punch card
$9 general admission. $7 w/UCB student ID, $7 for senior citizens
$1 discount to anyone with a bike helmet
Free on your birthday! CU Cinema Studies students get in free.


Pay lot 360 (now only $1/hour!), across from the buffalo statue and next to the Duane Physics tower, is closest to Muenzinger. Free parking can be found after 5pm at the meters along Colorado Ave east of Folsom stadium and along University Ave west of Macky.


Park elsewhere and catch the HOP to campus

International Film Series

(Originally called The University Film Commission)
Established 1941 by James Sandoe.

First Person Cinema

(Originally called The Experimental Cinema Group)
Established 1955 by Carla Selby, Gladney Oakley, Bruce Conner and Stan Brakhage.

C.U. Film Program

(AKA The Rocky Mountain Film Center)
First offered degrees in filmmaking and critical studies in 1989 under the guidance of Virgil Grillo.

Celebrating Stan

Created by Suranjan Ganguly in 2003.

C.U. Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Established 2017 by Chair Ernesto Acevedo-Muñoz.

Thank you, sponsors!
Boulder International Film Festival
Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Looking for a gift for a friend?
Buy a Frequent Patron Punch Card for $60 at any IFS show. With the punch card you can see ten films (a value of $90).

Cox & Kjølseth
: Filmmaker Alex Cox & Pablo Kjølseth discuss film topics from their own unique perspectives.

: Pablo and Ana share Zoom-based briefs on what's currently playing at IFS

Search IFS schedules

Index of visiting artists

Sun Mar 10, 2024

Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles

At Muenzinger Auditorium

Mon Apr 1, 2024

Hot Shots! Part Deux

At Muenzinger Auditorium

more on 35mm...