Per IMDb: “Parody of WWII spy movies in which an American rock and roll singer becomes involved in a Resistance plot to rescue a scientist imprisoned in East Germany.”
Kilmer plays Nick Rivers, an American rock star who has a cheesy hit song called “Skeet Surfing.” He travels to East Germany to perform a festival. He’s eating dinner and is enamored with a female member of a resistance movement who’s getting roughed up by the authorities. Being a gentleman, he pretends to be her date to get to know her, saving her from harassment. He believes he’s being introduced because his “superstar status” (it’s really for someone else) he gets on stage and performs “Tutti-Frutti” in which Hillary (the resistance member) loves, as does the crowd, but much to the chagrin of the emcee.
Nick gets himself arrested later to save Hillary once again and while on an escape mission he meets Dr. Flammond, a brilliant scientist developing the “Polaris Naval Mine”, a doomsday device that can destroy the entire NATO submarine fleet. The Germans force him to work by threatening to kill his daughter Hillary. Nick is recaptured and scheduled for execution. However, because they know they have an international superstar, they feel they must have Nick perform which, of course, sets the local girls on the crazy train (appropriately the song he performs is called “How Silly Can You Get”). From there… you’ll just have to watch. It gets really, really silly.
A “ZAZ” (Zucker, Abrahams, Zucker) Production, it was the third in their filmography behind Kentucky Fried Movie and Airplane! and you can include Police Squad! in there just prior to this film if you’re one to include television in a filmography. And, if you like this kind of nonsensical, satirical, action comedy, then you’ll really like this film. There is a great need to let some stuff go at times, but that’s the case with all the ZAZ films. Sight gags are abundant and you have to pay attention. Kilmer, this being his first film role, shouldn’t have moved to more serious films as I think his best stuff is his early comedies like this film, Real Genius, Top Gun, you get the point. There’s a lot of singing and dancing but the only parts that perpetuate the story line is when they’re being ironic and self-abusing. All the singing was done by Val Kilmer.
The film itself parodies WWII and the French resistance as well as the rock and roll films of the 50s, Anette and Frankie pictures of the sixties and numerous other pop references. At one point, they play on Blue Lagoon with one of the later main characters looking just like Christopher Atkins’ character in that film from 1980. It’s mostly nonsense and that’s perfectly fine.
Rotten Tomatoes has it at 76% Fresh with an Audience score of 80%. IMDb has it at 7.2 out of 10 stars. Both are respectable ratings. It isn’t the best that ZAZ, nor Kilmer, has done but it didn’t suck. I’m going to rate it 3.5 stars. I watched the film on Netflix and think that if you like “silly” or other ZAZ films, you should, too. What do you think? Have you seen it? Would you want to? Drop me a line and let me know your thoughts.
Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
“For as long as a single man is forced to cower under the iron fist of oppression, as long as a child cries out in the night, or an actor can be elected president, we must continue the struggle.” – Hillary Flammond (Lucy Gutterage)