Hot Shots! (1991) - Rotten Tomatoes

Hot Shots!1991

Hot Shots! (1991)




Critic Consensus: Hot Shots! hits most of its parodic targets with aplomb, excelling as a daffy good time thanks to inspired gags and Charlie Sheen's crack comedic timing.

Hot Shots! Photos

Movie Info

From director Jim Abrahams, one of the minds behind the Airplane! and Naked Gun films, comes another parody. This time around, Abrahams has his sights set on the action-adventure genre, specifically Top Gun. Charlie Sheen stars as Topper Harley, a maverick air force pilot who constantly lives in the shadow of his father's legacy. Unable to handle the pressure, Harley has left the Air Force to live among a tribe of Native Americans. But when the United States seeks to destroy some Iraqi nuclear facilities, there's only one man for the job. After being coaxed back into service, Harley soon realizes that in addition to Saddam Hussein, he'll have to contend with a rival pilot, played by Cary Elwes, and a devious aerospace executive. Among the many films lampooned are Dances With Wolves, 9 1/2 Weeks, The Fabulous Baker Boys, and Gone With the Wind. ~ Matthew Tobey, Rovi

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Charlie Sheen
as Sean `Topper' Harley
Cary Elwes
as Kent Gregory
Valeria Golino
as Ramada Thompson
Lloyd Bridges
as Adm. `Tug' Benson
Kevin Dunn
as Lt. Cdr. James Block
Jon Cryer
as Jim `Wash Out' Pfaffenbach
William O'Leary
as `Dead Meat' Thompson
Kristy Swanson
as Dawn Kowalski
Bill Irwin
as Buzz Harley
Heidi Swedberg
as Mrs. `Dead Meat' Thompson
Chris Coyle
as Conspiratorial Crewman
Bruce A. Young
as `Red' Herring
Ryan Stiles
as `Mailman' Farnham
Rino Thunder
as Owatonna `The Old One'
Mark Arnott
as Rosener
Ryan Cutrona
as Captain Margolis
Don Lake
as Doctor
Kelly Connell
as Air Controller
Tony Simotes
as Ambulance Driver
Don Luce
as Paramedic
Jeff Bright
as Communications Officer
Jimmy Lennon Jr.
as Ring Announcer
Marie Thomas
as Francine the Secretary
Marc Shaiman
as Piano Player
Cylk Cozart
as 1st Drill Sergeant
Christopher J. Keene
as 2nd Drill Sergeant
Annie O'Donnell
as Amish Woman
Pat Proft
as Lawrence Lipps
Gene Greytak
as Pope John Paul II
Tony Lorea
as Humphrey `Bogie' Bogart
Jerry Halera
as Saddam Hussein
Christopher Keene
as 2nd Drill Sergeant
Bob Lenz
as Elvis `The King' Presley
Robert Puro
as Precocious Paper Boy
Richard Lasting
as Handsome Milkman
Elston Ridgle
as 1st Boxer
Max Jones
as 2nd Boxer
Chris Doyle
as Conspiratorial Crewman
Eugene Greytak
as Pope John Paul II
Pablo Prietto
as Parking Valet
Jerry Haleva
as Saddam Hussein
John Bankson
as Parking Valet
Gary Brayboy
as Sleep Weasel Squadron Member
Al Clegg
as Sleepy Weasel Squadron Member
Kevin Eads
as Sleepy Weasel Squadron Member
Richard Emanuel
as Sleepy Weasel Squadron Member
Brent Freeman
as Sleepy Weasel Squadron Member
Craig McIntosh
as Sleepy Weasel Squadron Member
Tony Moreno
as Sleepy Weasel Squadron Member
Dave Oliver
as Sleepy Weasel Squadron Member
Kip Pierce
as Sleepy Weasel Squadron Member
Nancy Abrahams
as Family in front of TV Store
Sean Wright
as Sleepy Weasel Squadron Member
as Sleepy Weasel Squadron Member
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Critic Reviews for Hot Shots!

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (2)

A good parody will make a forceful play for laughs, but this movie practically holds the viewer down in a tickle chair, drilling for any reaction. I admire the determination but the effect has worn off some. Maybe it's Sheen.

August 2, 2011 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

Well, it's not Airplane! but precious little is.

November 5, 2004 | Rating: 3/5

No one does silly better than Lloyd Bridges.

April 23, 2004 | Rating: 3/5

On-target with satirical shots at familiar films.

July 18, 2003 | Full Review…

Great parody. Biting spoofs of Dances with Wolves, Top Gun and more.

July 14, 2003 | Rating: 4/5

Sheen is very good at the deadpan humor that makes these films fly.

March 2, 2003 | Rating: 3/5

Audience Reviews for Hot Shots!

This is a parody of the super serious Tom Cruise vehicle Top Gun of the 1980's, which is to say that the material practically writes itself. At the time of its release it was seen as crude but funny, but judging by and compared to most of the current comedic releases its practically 1950's era clean cut and Charlie Sheen seems like the typical 50's era jock. It's shocking, I know. But you will chuckle. You will.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

"Hot Shots!" comes during the peak of spoof films, just before the downhill disasters and right after the best of the best. With clever jokes throughout, this loosely-Top-Gun-based spoof is not one to miss. Charlie Sheen (Topper) leads this film into the hilarious picture that it is, due to the films that inspired it. The jokes run a mile a minute, the action is just as impressive (intentionally cheesy at times), and the cast all do their very best to give the audience a great laugh. With direction that knows exactly when and where to land the jokes, there is talent surrounding this film everywhere. In the end, I would highly recommend this spoof movie, and that is saying something, because it is extremely rare for spoof movies to be this consistently funny. "Hot Shots!" may have a few too many dumb gags, but the remainder of them are way too clever to pass up on. If you have not had the chance to see this film, it comes highly recommended.

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

Back in 1986 there was a movie called 'Top Gun', you might have heard of it, it did quite well. During casting the young Charles Sheen was considered for the main role in the movie (later taken by Cruise), his brother Emilio turned down the role! Well later on down the line we got this spoof which really does seem like Sheen's late audition for the real deal. Its odd because in a way you could actually see him in the role of Maverick, its not a stretch, and here you do feel he's making the best of it to show us all just that (my thoughts). There have been many spoofs over the years but this franchise is generally considered to be one of the best alongside 'The Naked Gun' trilogy. Its of course no surprise that all the best spoofs have been written and directed (one or the other) by Jim Abrahams, the dude has a knack. Everyone knows the drill here, you can tell from the movie logo alone, as said the film sends up 'Top Gun' from start to finish whilst including the odd pot shots at various other movies. The difference with this movie unlike newer spoofs was the fact this actually had a proper story and mainly parodied one movie, it wasn't just a collection of silly skits. The plot isn't entirely scene for scene the same as that Scott movie though, it differs of course but in general much is the same right down to the main soundtrack. Sheen plays the dark haired, good looking, brash young pilot Topper, his arch nemesis is the blonde haired, good looking, by the books Kent (Elwes), and they are both after the frizzy haired Ramada (Golino). I never really understood how Golino got this part because she isn't much of a looker in my view but hey. Other pilots are a cliched bunch highlighted by Jon Cryer as the near blind Pfaffenbach (he has wall-eye vision) but the stand out performer for the movie has to be Lloyd Bridges as Tug Benson. This guy nailed every scene he's in, he clearly knew how to perform comedy and it shows, his visual skills were just as good as his verbal skills. Bridges has to be one of the two best spoof comedy actors ever, the other being Leslie Nielsen. The best thing about these movies was obviously the humour, some of it was childish, some of it clever and witty, yet at times some was also surprisingly adult. But it wasn't just the easy visual gags that made this hilariously smart, it was the hidden gems, the tiny visual nods n winks that you may have missed the first time around. The film has many (sort of) secret Easter eggs strewn throughout which some folks will pick up and others might not, depending on your country of origin and how much of a movie buff you are. Even now I can read about this flick and find things out I never knew. Of course other than that there are the blatant movie parodies and cheap slapstick gags that cater for all ages, some being very good with excellent levels of detail (Rocky sequence), others just being dumb and maybe even somewhat cringeworthy these days (Superman sequence). Like most spoofs the movie is a product of its time with many gags, visual or otherwise, referencing issues of the time or current pop culture (of the time). Although this does still work to a degree it has waned over time which is to be expected. Its now very odd to think that Saddam Hussein was once such a threat and iconic to speak. So much time has passed since the 90's and the Gulf War it felt strange watching a movie where Saddam was the villain and parodied, not sure why but I guess because it doesn't seem that long ago and I was a young teen at the time. Its only watching now you realise...holy hummus! it was along time ago! Christ I'm old! By the predictable finale the movie has well established itself as a solid spoof with some classic moments of comedy no doubt. The jet fighter aerial sequences are a clear montage of real footage, other movie footage and some highly dubious model work, but the film embraces the cheesiness with open arms. At no point does the movie try for spectacular effects, its all hokey as hell and looks like a cartoon, although there are some neat tricks to be seen. Personally I enjoy segments of this, some stuff works really well, others don't, back in the day I kinda felt the same truth be told. For me the movie heavily depended on the brilliance of Bridges' rubber-faced versatility and the small hints of Cryer, but overall its still a highly accurate spoof of the hefty testosterone infused 80's. 'you risked the lives of some damn fine pilots...and that's my job'

Phil Hubbs
Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

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