12/5/15

SPACEBALLS - REVIEW


10 years after the release of the first Star Wars movie, master spoofer Mel Brooks decided to take on the epic space opera trilogy in the childishly titled Spaceballs which starred the likes of Rick Moranis (as Dark Helmet), John Candy (as Barf) and Brooks himself in multiple roles.

In typical Brooksian fashion, Spaceballs was incredibly silly from start to finish and even though not all of its jokes work, it remains something of a cult comedy classic. The plot mostly uses the "save the princess" theme of A New Hope, adds a little Death Star business from Empire Strikes Back and poor old Jabba is reduced to Pizza The Hutt, a talking blob made out of pizza bits and voiced by Dom DeLuise. The film opens with a subtle, pretty clever joke as an absurdly long and intricate spaceship passes by the camera for ages and from then on it gets goofy and never looks back. Candy's Barf is half dog, Joan Rivers voices a C-3PO-style droid, Moranis' Dark Helmet is a bumbling fool, you've got a cameo from the dude who makes funny noises in the Police Academy movies, a dancing alien bursts out of John Hurt's chest, Brooks' President sniffs "Perri-air", Yoda's spoofed alter-ego is called Yogurt, the Force has become the Schwartz...

Let's just say the lols are thrown at us at Ludicrous Speed.

Spaceballs is admittedly pretty hit-and-miss in that jokes-wise it's more a case of quantity than quality, even if a lot of them are very funny. That said, the film has enough charm to keep it loveable throughout. Pretty much every Dark Helmet scene is genius, I should point out, and Rick Moranis really knocks it out of the park giving one of his most memorable performances. The roles of Luke Skywalker and Han Solo are merged into one and we get Lone Starr (played by then newcomer Bill Pullman), with Daphne Zuniga taking on the Princess Leia (or, in this case, Vespa) role. Some of the other movies spoofed in Spaceballs include Planet Of The Apes, Star Trek and The Wizard Of Oz.

While this may not be Brooks' best or funniest effort, it's certainly one of his most likeable. Star Wars fans should have a ball with it and it's accessible enough to entertain even non fans. You've got some classic lines and moments in there which make it something of a must-see.

May the Schwartz be with you.

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