The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear
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|The Naked Gun 2½:
The Smell of Fear
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||David Zucker|
|Produced by||Robert K. Weiss|
|Written by||David Zucker
|Based on||Police Squad!
by David Zucker
|Music by||Ira Newborn|
|Cinematography||Robert M. Stevens|
|Edited by||Christopher Greenbury
James R. Symons
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Box office||$86.9 million|
The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear is a 1991 comedy film. It is the sequel to the 1988 film The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! and the second installment in The Naked Gun film series. The film stars Leslie Nielsen as the comically bumbling Police Lt. Frank Drebin of Police Squad!. Priscilla Presley plays the role of Jane, with O.J. Simpson as Nordberg and George Kennedy as police captain Ed Hocken. The film also features Robert Goulet (who previously made a "special guest star" appearance on Police Squad!) as the villainous Quentin Hapsburg and Richard Griffiths as renewable fuel advocate Dr. Albert S. Meinheimer (as well as his evil double, Earl Hacker). Zsa Zsa Gabor, Mel Tormé and members of the Chicago Bears have cameo roles.
David Zucker returns from the first entry as director and screenwriter of the film. Jim Abrahams and Jerry Zucker serve as executive producers for the film and receive writing credit due to their contributions to the first entry of the series and the Police Squad! television series. However, neither contributed to the screenplay for the film.
Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen) is honored at the White House, where President George H. W. Bush (John Roarke) announces that he will base his recommendation for the country's energy program on Dr. Albert Meinheimer's (Richard Griffiths) advice at the National Press Club dinner the following week. The heads of the coal and oil (fossil fuel) and nuclear industries are apparently distressed by this fact, as Dr. Meinheimer is an advocate for renewable energy. Jane Spencer (Priscilla Presley), now working for Dr. Meinheimer, is working late at his research institute, crying about Frank, when she spots a man leaving in a red van. A maintenance worker, emptying out garbage cans, discovers a clock with dynamite attached and takes it to the security guards, accidentally triggering it.
The next morning, Frank reacquaints himself with Jane as he interviews her about the explosion. He is shown around the institute and meets Jane's boyfriend, Hexagon Oil executive Quentin Hapsburg (Robert Goulet), of whom he becomes exceedingly jealous. Frank's boss, Ed Hocken (George Kennedy), finds him and Jane at a lonely blues bar, where Frank promptly blows another chance to make up with her. Meanwhile, at a meeting of the "energy" industry leaders, Hapsburg reveals that he has kidnapped Dr. Meinheimer and found an exact double for him, Earl Hacker, who will give their recommendation to the President endorsing fossil and nuclear fuels.
Police Squad tracks down the driver of the van, Hector Savage (Anthony James), and find him connected to a sex toy shop. Once he discovers the cops are onto him, Hector holes up in a house, demanding money. Frank then takes it upon himself to drive a SWAT tank into and through the house, allowing Hector to escape and causing more damage when he loses control of the tank and crashes into the city zoo, causing all of the animals to escape. Later that evening, at a party Frank makes matters worse when he attempts to push the wheelchair-bound doctor up to the front of the room. However, in the encounter he notices that Dr. Meinheimer did not remember him upon sight. Since Jane told him he had a photographic memory, Frank confronts her with that at her home following the party. She refuses to believe him and dismisses him. Moments later, Hector enters the house trying to kill Jane, who spots and alerts Frank. After a tussle where Frank causes Hector's body to burst by sticking a fire hose in his mouth and turning it on full blast, Frank confronts Jane again and she realizes that he was right. They then rekindle their romance.
The next day Police Squad stakes out Hexagon Oil's headquarters where Dr. Meinheimer is being held. Frank tries to go undercover into the building, but instead is discovered and tied up by Quentin's henchmen. The rest of Police Squad is able to return after a snafu and free both Frank and Dr. Meinheimer, and head to the Press Club Dinner to try and intercept Earl. Finding their only way in locked, Frank, Ed, Nordberg (O.J. Simpson), and Dr. Meinheimer commandeer a mariachi band's costumes and head in, stopping briefly to perform for the gathered crowd. After heading backstage, Frank encounters Earl, who attacks him. Several members of the Chicago Bears see this and begin attacking Frank, not knowing he is not attacking a defenseless man. The confusion ends when Ed and Meinheimer take out Earl so the doctor can begin his speech.
However, due to the confusion Frank does not know that Earl has been eliminated and goes into the gathering assuming Dr. Meinheimer is the fake one. After embarrassing himself for a few seconds, Ed comes in to inform the audience that Quentin is the mastermind of the whole scam. However, he has already left the room with Jane, and after a shootout on the roof of the building Quentin informs Frank that he has one more trick up his sleeve; he has rigged the building with a small nuclear device which will kill everyone in there except for him and render Dr. Meinheimer's speech useless. As Frank gains the upper hand and is about to get the disarming code, Ed enters and throws Quentin out a window. On his way down Quentin hits an awning and is able to come to the sidewalk unscathed, but is immediately met by a lion and devoured.
Frank frees Jane from being handcuffed to the bomb, and they attempt to disarm it while Ed and Nordberg go back into the ballroom to evacuate it. After several failed attempts, Frank finally manages to disarm the bomb at the last second by tripping over the power cord, unplugging it. He is commended by the President, who offers him a special post as head of the Federal Bureau of Police Squad. He declines, instead asking Jane to marry him, which she accepts. They go out to a balcony, where they accept commendations from the crowd. Frank spins around and accidentally knocks Barbara Bush (Margery Ross) off onto the edge. She manages to hold on, although in an attempt to help her, Frank pulls off her dress.
- Leslie Nielsen as Lieutenant Frank Drebin
- Priscilla Presley as Jane Spencer
- George Kennedy as Captain Ed Hocken
- O. J. Simpson as Detective Nordberg
- Robert Goulet as Quentin Hapsburg
- Richard Griffiths as Dr. Albert S. Meinheimer/Earl Hacker
- Jacqueline Brookes as Commissioner Anabell Brumford
- Anthony James as Hector Savage
- Lloyd Bochner as Terence Baggett
- Tim O'Connor as Donald Fenswick
- Peter Mark Richman as Arthur Dunwell
- Ed Williams as Ted Olsen
- John Roarke as President George H. W. Bush
- Margery Ross as First Lady Barbara Bush
- Peter Van Norden as Chief of Staff John Sununu
- Gail Neely as Winnie Mandela
- Colleen Fitzpatrick as Blues Singer at Blue Note Club
- Sally Rosenblatt as Mrs. Redmond
- Alexander Folk as Crackhouse cop
- "Weird Al" Yankovic as Police Station Thug
- Gina Mastrogiacomo as Sex Shop Worker
As with the first Naked Gun film, the original music for the second installment was composed and orchestrated by veteran soundtrack composer Ira Newborn, including the familiar big-band/blues theme for the Naked Gun/Police Squad! franchise.
Several of the orchestral movements revolve around two other Newborn pieces: "Drebin - Hero!" (used at the top of the pre-credit sequence, from the Paramount-logo animation onward) and the romantic "Thinking of Him" (right after the credits).
Seasoned Broadway and film singer/actress Colleen Fitzpatrick plays a saloon singer at a sad-sack restaurant called the Blue Note, to which a depressed Detective Lieutenant Drebin repairs after seeing former girlfriend Jane Spencer being wooed by villain Quentin Hapsburg. This role has frequently been attributed to singer Vitamin C who happens to share the same name, but this is incorrect.
Other non-Newborn pieces make cameos in this Naked Gun installment. They include the standards "Tangerine" and "Satin Doll" and The Righteous Brothers' recordings of "Unchained Melody" (featured in Jerry Zucker's drama Ghost) and "Ebb Tide." Nielsen himself voices the Latin-flavored pop standard "Bésame Mucho" at the Press Club dinner.
|The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear
|Soundtrack album by Ira Newborn|
Robert Townson (Executive Producer)
In conjunction with the second Naked Gun film, Varèse Sarabande released a soundtrack combining the best Newborn compositions from the first two films.
- Track listing
|1||Beirut Vacation||0:56||The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!|
|2||Drebin-Hero!||1:03||The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear'|
|3||Main Title||2:00||The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!|
|4||Meat Miss Spencer||5:28||The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!|
|5||There's Been a Bombing||0:47||The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear|
|6||The Exciting Chase||2:44||The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!|
|7||Bad Boys & Meinheimers||2:44||The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear|
|8||Miss Spencer||1:00||The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!|
|9||Hey Look at These||0:44||The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear|
|10||On the Ledge||1:36||The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!|
|11||Thinking of... Him!||2:33||The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear|
|12||The Date||0:56||The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear|
|13||Roof, Roof!!||4:14||The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear|
|14||I Must Kill Frank||3:10||The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!|
|15||I Want a World||1:47||The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear|
|16||End Credits||4:32||The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear|
The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear was met with mixed reviews from critics. The film currently holds a 57% "Rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 40 reviews, with an average rating of 5.8/10, with the critical consensus stating, "Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear delivers a handful of moderate laughs, but overall, its strained antics pale in comparison to its gut-busting predecessor.". Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly awarded it a B+, but observed that in some ways, it was "the most predictable of the ZAZ films. Even the inconsistent Top Secret! (1984), a demented hybrid of Elvis movies and World War II espionage thrillers, had far wilder passages. Yet I'll take lesser ZAZ over most of the competition any day. Their comedies don't just get you laughing. They put you inside a new, cracked-mirror world — a world where no detail is too small for ridicule, and where Leslie Nielsen (bless him) can be a movie star." Kenneth Turan wrote in the Los Angeles Times that one should "consider The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear. The title is funny enough, so are the credits ("Un Film de David Zucker"), and the key art, showing fearless Lt. Frank Drebin spread-eagled on a pair of speeding bullets, is good for a chuckle as well. But that's where the laughter ends, pal. Because the only thing about The Naked Gun that won't make you laugh is the film itself."
The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear knocked Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves from the top spot at the box office. It took in $86.9 million in its 1991 domestic release ($179 million in 2015 dollars adjusted for inflation) against a reported budget of $23 million. It was the 10th best performing movie of 1991.
- "Naked Gun 2 1/2 Blues Club clip - Hilarious Depression!". YouTube. 2010-08-04. Retrieved 2016-08-24.
- "The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear". Entertainment Weekly. 1991-07-12. Retrieved 2010-10-10.
- Turan, Kenneth (1991-06-28). "MOVIE REVIEW : 'Naked Gun 2 1⁄2' Fires Blanks : The main characters, cast and creators of the off-the-wall original are back, but they forget one thing--the laughs.". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-18.
- Strauss, Bob (1991-07-05). "Naked Gun 2 1⁄2` 2nd To None In Its Debut Weekend". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2010-10-10.
- "The Naked Gun Movies at the Box Office". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2016-08-24.
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