National Lampoon’s Loaded Weapon 1 (1993)

5.0 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 5/10

Some laughs, decent cast

Feels like a low-rent Naked Gun

Movie Info

Movie Name:  National Lampoon’s Loaded Weapon 1

Studio:  New Line Cinema

Genre(s):  Comedy

Release Date(s):  February 5, 1993

MPAA Rating:  PG-13


I don’t think he likes us

When the ex-partner (Whoopi Goldberg) of Sgt. Wes Luger (Samuel L. Jackson) is murdered by Mr. Jigsaw (Tim Curry) when she uncovers a drug smuggling ring within the Wilderness Girl Cookie sales, Luger is assigned to Sgt. Jack Colt (Emilio Estevez) to help solve the crime.  Colt however is a loose cannon after the loss of his beloved dog and isn’t afraid to break protocol to solve a case.  When a seductive informant Destiny Demeanor (Kathy Ireland/Allyce Beasley) falls for Colt, her association with the drug lord General Mortars (William Shatner) could lead to Colt and Luger’s deaths!

Directed by Gene Quintano, National Lampoon’s Loaded Weapon 1 (sometimes just called Loaded Weapon 1) is a spoof comedy mostly poking fun at the popular Lethal Weapon series.  The movie was poorly received but still made a modest profit at the box office.


Fishing for laughs

With The Naked Gun series having a lot of success in the theater, and tons of cop comedy thrillers in the theater, it was inevitable that there would be more.  While the movie has a number of laughs, it isn’t up to the level of a Naked Gun film.

The movie does a lot of the same gags as The Naked Gun.  You can see the jokes coming a mile away.  Sometimes that works with the script and other times it doesn’t.  The movie does feel a lot like Hot Shots (another parody film at the time starring Emilio’s brother Charlie Sheen who cameos here) and Jon Lovitz even jokes that they feel similar.  In the movie (like many parody movies), the plot is incidental to the jokes and the jokes aren’t that great.


Bohemian Rhapsody!!!

The movie is loaded with a strong cast but mostly in cameos and uncredited appearances.  Emilio Estevez and Samuel L. Jackson step in as Mel Gibson and Danny Glover substitutes and Jon Lovitz is the Joe Pesci role.  Tim Curry is always fun and I enjoyed the Kathy Ireland/Allyce Beasley seductress.  William Shatner hams it up like normal and F. Murray Abraham mocks Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal Lecter.  James Doohan, Erik Estrada, Corey Feldman, Phil Hartman, Richard Moll, J.T. Walsh, Dr. Joyce Brothers, and Charlie Sheen all cameo.  Whoopi Goldberg and Bruce Willis were uncredited for their scenes.  The film also marks the first film role for Denise Richards.


Basic Instinct!

The movie unfortunately looks like a knockoff of other parody movies.  With National Lampoon’s behind it, I kind of expected better than this.  The physical and prop jokes are quite cheesy and overly intentionally cheesy.

National Lampoon’s Loaded Weapon 1 really was going to have a sequel.  The movie’s lackluster performance at the box office killed the sequel’s chance and ended the series before it began.  If you like parodies you’ll still probably enjoy Loaded Weapon 1, but it just isn’t up to the level of some of the challengers and if you are not versed in the movies from before 1993 the jokes will even be thinner.

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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