All the action. All the women. Half the intelligence.Spy Hard
(1996) is an action-comedy movie that marked the film debuts of Seltzer and Friedberg
, spoofing spy and other action films. Leslie Nielsen
stars as Dick Steele
, Agent WD-40, opposite Nicolette Sheridan as his partner Veronique Ukrinsky
, Agent 3.14, as the two try to stop the evil genius, General Rancor (Andy Griffith
), from taking over the world.
The film was clearly aiming for the Zucker-Abrams-Zucker style of Rapid-Fire Comedy
, but fell short and probably suffered from comparisons to the still-recent The Naked Gun
films, the last of which was released just two years before this flick. Still, it has its moments; and it's Citizen Kane
compared to the movies that Seltzer and Friedberg
would go on to direct themselves. This makes a lot more sense when you consider it was Jason Friedberg's dad, Rick
Friedberg, who both directed and wrote the final screenplay, proving the old adage that talent tends to skip a generation. (Not saying ol' Rick was a movie genius either).
This movie contains examples of:
- Acronym and Abbreviation Overload: Steele, to Agent 3.14:
- Action Girl: Agent 3.14. She effortlessly beats up three goons threatening Steele and in the climax almost single handely defeats Rancor's guards while Steele focuses on rancor himself.
- Big Bad: General Rancor.
- Big Stupid Doodoo Head: WD-40 to the villain in the climax: "Let me tell you what being patriotic really means, you scumbag poop."
- Blind Driving: See Drives Like Crazy below.
- The Cameo: Mr T, Ray Charles, Pat Morita, Hulk Hogan and many, many others.
- Card-Carrying Villain: It's only visible in the background, but Rancor Industries has "Commited to Evil" as its company motto.
- Damsel in Distress: Barbara Dahl.
- Dramatic Space Drifting: Parodied when General Rancor is launched into space aboard his rocket, and then floats around until he slams into an Apollo-type spacecraft, prompting a voiceover of "Houston, we have a problem".
- Drives Like Crazy: The bus driver played by Ray Charles. Yes, the blind dude. Inverted in that he's actually pretty good (when the brakes work, at least). It's implied he isn't really blind, since he compliments Ukrinsky on her dress.
- Kabul is far worse- Ray Charles is blind; Kabul doesn't even look the first time he and Steel meet. Shortly after, he runs over a womans foot...then asks for her phone-number, like he did it on purpose. He later takes his hands off the wheel of an ambulance.
- Nun Too Holy: ... but they will make you hole-y.
- Pungeon Master: General Rancor.
- Reality Is Unrealistic: That note that Weird Al sings that was edited to last for a ridiculously long amount of time? Nope. That was the plan, but Al found out he really could hold the note out that long.
- Red-and-White Comedy Poster
- Redundant Parody:
- Partial example with the spoof sequence of True Lies, given that that was itself a comedic and near-parodic take on spy action films- though, to be fair, it was much, much more of an Action film than this movie.
- Similarly, there is a parody of the already absurd scene from Pulp Fiction where John Travolta and Uma Thurman dance the Batusi. It's no more ridiculous than the original.
- Don't forget the Sister Act spoof, another film that was already a comedy.
- Basically Foreshadowing of Seltzer and Friedberg's later films. They never do seem to know if the movie they're spoofing was a drama, or an actual comedy.
- Running Gag: A jogger is frequently injured during the film. Also the guy who keeps getting hit in the chest with arrows and knives.
- Sexy Secretary: Miss Cheevus.
- Strapped to a Bomb: The film plays this for laughs, as the film was a spoof type film. The villain ties up the captured lady agent to the bomb.
- Strapped To A Rocket: General Rancor's eventual fate.
- Suicidal Gotcha: Steele escapes by jumping off a roof, only to appear again in a Harrier jump-jet, scaring off the pursuers. It is then revealed to be a prop being lifted by a helicopter for a billboard.
- How could they have possibly missed a helicopter?