Saturday, February 7, 2015

Retro Review - Top Secret

Top Secret is an old-school spy movie parody that is difficult to describe because it is something so different from anything I have seen.

Released in 1984 and set in East Germany, the movie follows Val Kilmer's protagonist, the first American Rock&Roll star to ever enter the country. He is invited to perform at an international cultural event, which is of course a Communist evil ploy to distract the world form an attack on the NATO submarine fleet. It's a ridiculously funny plot, although it is not that different from what we are seeing today in the movies.

The movie is absurd, almost like a Monty Python film, but the difference being that Top Secret does not let the absurdity get in the way of the plot. The overall film has a much more cohesive flow to it than the Monty Python movies that lack any form of boundaries.

One of the ways in which this movie managed to pull off jokes without going off on a tangent was to use "visual puns" or optical illusions to make a humourous point while the characters had a serious conversation. This is probably the greatest contributions this film made to the industry and I wonder why we do not see as much of such things now.

I really don't want to write too much about this movie for fear of spoiling it. I've already gone on too much of an overly-excited rant to too many friends already.

Go watch this film.

The funniest movie I have seen.

Bechdel Test: Failed - There's only one woman in this movie.

No. of films seen this year with:
     White man saving the world - 2
     Non-white/male protagonist - 2

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