Airplane! offers the highest LPM (laughs per minute) of any comedy reviewed on this website. It’s a parody of the disaster film genre, turning a highly stressful situation into fodder for slapstick, puns, and all-too clever witticisms that will keep you laughing (and groaning) for the 88 minute run time of the flick. While it is a PG rated comedy, I would say that it is more adult oriented than most.
Non-Spoily Plot Overview
The plot is simple: man loses job, man then loses girl, man tries to get back girl. The execution and details are what set this film into a class of its own. Ted Striker (Robert Hays) is the ex-fighter pilot with the heroic name who’s only souvenir from the war is a horrible fear of flying, which keeps him from working as commercial pilot in a respectable job. Relegated to taxi driving and with a horrible drinking problem, Striker thinks he’s hit rock bottom. His girlfriend at the time, Elaine Dickinson (Julie Hagarty) see him as a pathetic shell of a man, and ditches him like the side of the road. Knowing Striker’s obsessive desire for her, Elaine takes to the only place she thinks is out of his reach, becoming a stewardess in a mockery of his newfound terror of flight.
Striker has tasted true love and knows he must take to the skies, battle his fears and win her back. Of course, nothing is ever as easy as that. Disaster strikes in the most comical of ways, and it will be up to Ted Striker to save the passengers of the flight and win back his lady love against all odds.
Along the way is a bevy of hilarity, none the least incarnate in Dr. Barry Rurnark (Leslie Nielson) who’s acting skills and comedic timing threating to steal the show.
Style of Humour/Who would enjoy this film
Airplane! thrives on slapstick, visual and auditory puns, and a combination of knee-slappers and groaners which will leave your knees red and chafing and you vocal cords tired. If you are the type of person who laughs out loud at stupid, funny jokes and loves the use of language humorously, then Airplane! is the slapstick comedy for you.
Fans of Leslie Nielson should have a good time as well. If you don’t mind face palming and feeling ashamed at laughing at the most simple yet clever of jokes and puns, Airplane! is exactly the comedy for you.
Airplane! is not going to make you think too hard, and it’s not a serious film in the least. What it excels at is non-stop jokes, catastrophic situations that get worse at precisely the moment those involved ask if it could, and a general silliness that would get it slapped in good company. All in all, Airplane! is a goldmine, and I would recommend this film to my worst enemy, because even he doesn’t deserve to miss out on such a classic comedy.