It might be a parody film, but we’ll be damned if ‘Hot Shots! Part Deux‘ isn’t an ultimate action movie classic!
Even the best action movies have a certain rhythm to them. There is an ebb and flow between shoot outs, dialog, explosions, intrigue, martial arts, and sex. Few action movies blend all these elements into one cohesive plot. It’s often too much for one movie. Even fewer movies can combine these elements into fast-paced thriller of a film. The first movie to do this well was Hot Shots! Part Deux.
Charlie Sheen returns to his role as Topper Harley. It’s funny how modern action movie stars don’t bother getting ripped because their characters are gifted superheroes. In 1993, packing on some muscle for an action role was expected. Charlie Sheen had a surprisingly Van-Damme-esque physique for this role and it showed.
But the real stars of this films were the seductive women. Brenda Bakke played the secondary love interest, the more sensual and erotic of the two. In the film, she resembles a young Kim Cattrall in in appearance, though Bakke is far hotter. Truth be told, Bakke should’ve had every role Cattrall and Sandra Bullock got in the 90s because she’s more appealing in every way.
Valeria Golino plays the primary love interest. She’s the more demure, yet exotic of the ladies and makes a good evil-twin to Bakke’s seductive temptress role. One of the highlights of Hot Shots! is when these ladies compete in an American Gladiators competition, which Golino wins via the joust.
The film wastes no time showing Topper’s martial prowess. With just his bare hands wrapped in cloth and caramel, Topper tears down a martial arts dojo and defeats a leading kick boxer in hand-to-hand combat. Even the referee feel the thrust of his fist, to mind-numbing effect. But there’s so much more.
When the bullets start to fly Topper and crew demonstrate that they are no strangers to hot, flying lead. At times, Topper is up his waist in expended shells (literally). So many bullets fly that the body count rises faster than the human mind can count. With 30 minutes still in the film, Hot Shots! surpasses Robocop’s body count. But in that remaining 30 minutes there are many more deaths, including those of a young Rowan Atkinson (a.k.a. Mr. Bean) and Saddam Hussein (portrayal).
Speaking of which, if you thought the James Bond fencing scene in Die Another Day was the best fencing sequence in action movie history, prepare to be educated. I’m not talking about the swashbucklers of the 1930s. In Hot Shots! Part Deux, the President of the U.S. gets into a heated fencing match with Saddam Hussein, with deadly results.
You won’t be spoiled to know that the traitor of the film all along was Brenda Bakke. She always had a devilish look to her, seductive and hypnotic. And when Topper’s true love re-enters his life midway through the film, you learn some more plot-twisting bombshells.
Yes, the dialog can be confusing, with talks of international peace treaties and international politics between the U.S. and Japan, but they don’t slow down the plot much. In fact, if you thought George H. W. Bush had strained relations with Japan, you’ll appreciate the drama of these scenes.
Hot Shots! Part Deux was the movie that discovered Ryan Stiles and made him a star. It should have done the same for Brenda Bakke, but America wasn’t ready for so much awesomeness back in 1993. 2019 is a different era though, one that knows how to appreciate an ultimate action movie, the temptresses that make the heroes explode, and the explosions that make the women ask for more.
Revisit Hot Shots! Part Deux today.
Read more from Jared at Legends of Men (www.legendsofmen.com).
What are your fondest memories from Hot Shots! Part Deux? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page!