When the evil Dark Helmet (Rick Moranis) attempts to kidnap the princess of Druidia, Vespa (Daphne Zuniga), Lone Star (Bill Pullman) and Barf (John Candy) rescue her and try to foil his nefarious plans.
Directed by Mel Brooks (Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein), Spaceballs is a spoof film parodying Star Wars among other successful science fiction franchises. While it occasionally hits the sweet spot and delivers some chuckles, I found that I never busted into a full belly laugh while watching the film. That lack of laughs in this comedy film unfortunately makes it a film that is not really worth watching. Did I hate it? Not at all. Is it as good as I remember it? Sadly, it is not.
It actually pains me to write this review. This film is loved by so many people that I wonder if there is something wrong with me by not particularly liking it. Well, I can only call ’em as I see ’em, and I found this film to be an uninspired piece of spoof comedy and the beginning of the end for Mel Brooks’ comedy films. As a director, I always found his films hit and miss, and this for me is a miss.
The Spaceballs people are running out of air. They decide to steal all the air from planet Druidia. They attempt to kidnap Princess Vespa in an attempt to coerce her father into giving them the code to their air shield, which protects their planet. Vespa is rescued by Lone Star and his faithful sidekick, Barf, but is eventually captured anyway. Lone Star and Barf rescue the princess again and foil the plans of the Spaceballs.
This appears that it is going to be a short review. While there are a few laughs to be found here, most of the jokes fall flat. About the only thing that I found chuckle worthy was the physical humor of Rick Moranis as Dark Helmet, clearly a riff on Darth Vader of Star Wars fame. The film doesn’t poke fun just at Star Wars, though. There are jokes aimed at Star Trek and Alien as well. Sadly, most of them aren’t worth mentioning.
As I watched the film, I wondered why so many of the jokes didn’t work for me, especially since I am such a big fan of these science fiction franchises. When I began watching some of the special features I realized it. This film wasn’t made out of love for the original films it attempts to spoof. It was cobbled together to play in a science fiction setting. The love of the original franchises by Mel Brooks wasn’t there, which is clear when you watch the special features. It was basically Mel Brooks and his writing partners riding the wave of Star Wars success. This would be fine if the love of the original franchises was there. It was clear that that love was not there, though.
Yes, this is a short review. But I think I got my point across. While I didn’t hate the movie with a venomous passion, I did find that I didn’t like it much. I know that I am one of the rare people out there that doesn’t like it. Honestly, I think it is one of Brooks weakest films. As that is the case, I cannot recommend this film, and cannot bring myself to write anymore about it.
** out of ****
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