I swear i'll be writing more in 2014

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Whaddya Say OJ?

The Naked Gun, one of the favorite comedies of my youth, has been reduced to "Just watch to see OJ" status. It's like an 80s Hertz commercial. It's 2010 though, I have the Vancouver Olympics on in the background to prove it, and there's really no reason to talk about OJ Simpson anymore. Unfortunately, when studying the history of film, OJ's role in an 80s comedy transcends nearly all things film.

Surprisingly, The Naked Gun remains relevant today even if for bad reasons. Aside from Orenthal, you get appearances by Reggie Jackson, and a Michael Jackson wife. It's kind of a freak show when you think about it with the acting rock that is Leslie Nielson holding it together. Also, although she's not in the first one, the 3rd installment of this series has Anna Nicole Smith so this series could be a TMZ reporters dream, that is, if TMZ ever cared about anything that happened factually, and the majority of the players here weren't either dead or in jail.

The two things that strike me about this OJ film, are there's mention of something that would be great irony, and the punishment OJ endures in the film obviously has had it's perception change due to the events of 1994. Let's start with the punishment.

OJ gets the crap beaten out of him in this movie. Back in 1988, when one saw this film, these scenes were created because OJ was such a lovable character and it's perfect comedy to put such a lovable person in harm's way in a movie like this. Poor guy you think to yourself. Fast forward to watching this movie after 1994, and these scenes aren't really funny anymore. Sure, some of that lack of hilarity may be due to the fact that movies like this are one trick ponies, but now you want OJ to feel pain. It's as if the cast knows what he has done and that's why they're always so careless and unwilling to help him.

I often have a tough time differentiating between coincidences and irony. There's a scene where Leslie Nielson is coming up with ideas as to how OJ may get hurt and he mentions a jealous husband offing him. Now, wouldn't it have been perfect irony if the Norberg character had his throat slashed by a jealous husband in this? Or would he have to off the jealous husband. I'll grasp this one day, but either way, it's hilarious in a non-funny kind of way.

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