Johnny Dangerously (1984)
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Lots of great gags, like Johnny advising kids to chew gum instead of smoking, Johnny's jail house striped suit, the running gag of Joe Piscapoe's character saying that certain members of his family did something to him "once... ONCE.", the running gag of Johnny's brother being unable to resist the temptation of sex, and of course, the fireworks that go off whenever Johnny gets laid.
Some of these jokes are a little 'too 80s' and tend to date the picture.
But some of these jokes are classic.
You know a movie has something special when you and your friends still reference silly quotes from it over 2 decades later.
Plus, there are a bunch of familiar faces; Michael Keaton, Danny Devito, Joe Piscapo, Peter Boyle, Marilu Henner, Maureen Stapleton, Bob Eubanks, Griffin Dunne, and one of the last roles of Alan Hale Jr., the Skipper from Gilligan's Island.
Also, there are some great absurdist moments, like when Johnny is labelling the puppies with a pricing gun, or the Pope making an appearance in Johnny's neighborhood. Also, the scene where the fake priest makes up a lot of words in Latin is excellent. ("Summa cum laude, magna cum laude, the radio's too louda... Post meridian, ante meridian, uncle meridian").
Other Classic Scenes include Ramone Maroney butchering the English language Danny Devito urging Griffin Dunne to 'Play Ball' Peter Boyle thinking he lost his manhood The fake VD movie
This movie is no home run. But like 'Porky's', it has enough classic comedy bits to make it memorable.
It's better than many of the cinematic parodies. I think it's smarter than any parody in the first place; where the whole matter shrinks into many gags and jokes about an available original. This time it's a movie of its own, and its comedy comes from spoofing a whole era of making movies, not certain ones.
This cast was flawless. For me it's Michael Keaton's comic cornerstone and the gem of the necklace. This is Joe Piscopo best work in movies; he can be enjoyably memorable if it's all about this role only. Peter Boyle is always a star in his supporting role. Let alone Richard Dimitri the one who played the boss of the Indian mafia in America !
It forced me to save its director's name: Amy Heckerling, and its writers' as well: Harry Colomby and Jeff Harris, since the first shot with the year written on the screen to be smashed by a car after a second !
Speaking of which, some moments were truly exceptional. I still savor ironies concerning the cinematic stuff which used to be made in the old days such as: the image that ripples incomprehensibly whenever there is a flashback, the fireworks that go off whenever Johnny makes love, the running gag about the newspapers' seller who doesn't stop having melodramatic accidents, or the radio that gives only the news that the drama needs! Just look at the scene in which the surprise hits all of Johnny's gang while knowing that the DA is his brother; where the camera gives us the consecutive reactions even the dead guy's, to know well the wickedness of this comedy!
Recall also how the brother got the Indian mobster by a conundrum, how the news transport - or transform - in jail.. etc. Simply hilarity, special hilarity, doesn't stop in this movie.
Did you notice how all the moral speech of the lead was just a poppycock all along since gangster Johnny is still, at the end, a pretty much gangster not a working man in a pet shop? It is the movie's light satire; as if the old morals, of the old movies, became something that the American reality doesn't embrace.
In maybe the fifth watching, I discovered some things like: how come Johnny's mother and brother go to cinema at the night of his execution??, or how Johnny's bullet, that saved his brother from dying at the movies in the nick of time, doesn't show at all in Piscopo's body later; he was so unharmed in the next shot !!, but HEY, so was Tom the cat in Tom & Jerry's numerous movies. It is all about having a nice time, not thinking. However even thinking with this movie can't spoil it.
I only hated some of Danny DeVito "adult" comedy, and the sexual jokes. They were simply nasty, and - for my taste - didn't fit the nature of this Looney Tunes cartoon of a movie.
Among me and my friends, (Johnny Dangerously) is a classic of ours. It's a small gangster comedy; so creative, amusing and totally cartoonish. In fact, it's great cartoon masquerading as live movie. It is not gross-out, aggressive or naked comedy. Believe it or not, they used to make these comedies "Once" !
The film is silly from start to finish - the plot doesn't make sense and the characters are overblown, but that's the whole point - it's meant to be a spoof and it is. The jokes are quite hit-and-miss, but the majority hit and are funny, although you do need to be in the mood for it.
Michael Keaton is perfect in the lead role, clearly enjoying himself immensely and is on-form for the whole movie. The whole cast provide good support in a series of fun roles - Griffin Dunne is great as the DA, Danny DeVito top in a small role as the crooked DA (or host of game show "play ball"!). Richard Dimitri is hilarious as the gangster of unknown origin, guilty of murdering the english language (fargin' funny!), Peter Boyle is good as Johnny's boss, but Joe Piscopo is the best support as the gangster with attitude ("once").
The film is a fun throwback spoof. Every element of the film is exaggerated and the majority of it comes off well. Yes some jokes miss but they come so thick and fast that the next one is never far away.
After his mother has no end of medical problems, little Johnny goes to work for the mob. What fallows is a series of gags, most of which work, there are, however, the occasional flops. But a foreign gangster who can't master the American language (profanity wise, at least), a rival gangster with a penchant for shooting his mouth off (...once!), a younger brother with the D.A. who is out to get Johhny Dangerously, and a hot young starlet hot for his affections have Johnny busy.
And the viewer will be busy laughing, for the most part, as every gangster-movie cliché is skewered by a talented cast and decent writing.
Not perfect by a long shot, but definitely good for a smile on a bad day.
That's the plot, but you don't even need to pay attention to the plot. The whole movie is an excuse for a bunch of goofy occurrences, such as when the year is shown in the opening scene, and a car runs over the numbers, or when someone lights a cigarette and Johnny turns to the camera and reminds the children in the audience never to start smoking. My favorite character was Roman Moronie, just because of how he tried to curse and ended up saying things like "fargin' iceholes". Oh, and Alan Hale appears in one of his non-Skipper roles. In my opinion, one of the neatest lines was, after Lil (Marilu Henner) hears Johnny's name, she says: "I've never met a man whose last name was an adverb."
The acting is actually quite good. Maureen Stapleton is a hoot! Michael Keaton does a good job.
This is not a serious,. dramatic movie. It is satire and as sub is excellently done!
Just sit back and enjoy. Is is a fun movie!
On an enjoyment scale this is 9. Okay, so it is not The Godfather, few are on that level. Pop a big bowl of popcorn, get some cold soda and then get ready for a great movie fargen movie night!
This was Amy Heckerling's follow-up to "Fast Times at Ridgmont High", and probably not the hard-hitting film people expected out of her. But too bad, because this is gem in its own right. Some have called the humor hit and miss (and that is not completely unfair), but the hits are particularly good. Keaton's Cagney impression is great.
Michael Keaton in general was strong throughout the 1980s, and hopefully with his Oscar boost ("Birdman") people will start to re-appreciate his career. Lots of winners in there, and "Johnny Dangerously" is one of them.
Michael Keaton is great as the title character, channeling the long gone spirit of Jimmy Cagney with the same irresistible Irish charm; but it's the supporting actors who give the film its hysterical brilliance, from Joe Piscopo---wickedly sending up the kind of despicable, second-banana roles Humphrey Bogart used to play---to Richard Dimitri, whose wildly funny portrayal of the sociopathic, unintelligible, ethnic-looking gangster is a pitch-perfect illustration of the unspoken racism in those old films, to Maureen Stapleton, who utterly steals every scene she's in as the lazy, dotty, foul-mouthed 'Sweet Irish Mum' those old gangster characters were always so devoted to.
It's one of the most perfect parodies of a film genre ever made, and it's still funny, 25 years later. Watch it.
The supporting cast are solid workers all, and will step right up and do a fine job in this '80s comedy. A spoof of the '30s-'40s gangster movies, it breaks new ground constantly, with remarkably original material. (Well, yeah - some of it has been copied since - but when this movie was made, it was original, and much of it has _not_ been copied elsewhere.) Watch Joe Piscopo warn people to not do ______, with one of the great taglines of spoofs. Watch Roman Moronie do things with English profanity that would make your spinster grammar teacher laugh. Watch amazing sight gags, such as pet-store owner Johnny Kelly using the price-tag gun on his puppies and dusting his kittens. Watch the greatest "warning against sex" educational film ever made. Watch the most amazing misrepresentation of church Latin done, while a guy who never took shop class assembles a Thompson machine gun from parts. Watch lines you'll be using in casual conversation for the next decade. Watch Maureen Stapleton do the perfect antithesis to the hard-working mom, with surprise gags that you'll never see coming.
If you see a gag that doesn't hit your funny bone, be patient - another will come along in 30 seconds or less, and the odds are, you'll need to pause until you're done rolling on the floor several times. Duckies and Bunnies? Them, too. Watch for the subtle stuff - some of the sight gags can go by unnoticed the first few viewings.
There are a few minor flaws - but it's probably the best of the spoofs. Some come close, but none of them are quite this good.
There are so many running jokes, that it's amazing. But I love Michael Keaton anyhow!
But "Johnny Dangerously" goes on to prove even more. In the '80s, the ZAZ boys (Zucker, Abrahams, Zucker) were the pinnacle in the world of genre spoofs. But there were several pretenders to the throne. This time, Amy ("Fast Times at Ridgement High") Heckerling tries her hand, with an amazing amount of television writers behind the script (go and check).
This slap-happy slapstick spoof of the 1930's cops-and-"gag"sters movies throws just about every cliche for a loop and even adds a few cliches that didn't exist way back when.
And not only is the ever-dependable Keaton on hand as the Johnny of the title, but so are such funny guys and dolls as Piscopo, Henner, Stapleton, Boyle, Dunne, DeVito, Walston and just about every other actor in Hollywood that happened to walk into the immediate vicinity. You'd be surprised by how many faces you'll recognize. I know I was.
And the jokes? Well, when they start out, they come at you fast and furious, like a machine gun. There are too many to count in the beginning, topped off with a crazy theme song by Weird Al Yankovic. But you have to watch for when they reload. And they have to reload a little too often.
Everyone tries, they seem to be having fun and I was laughing a good amount of the time. In the end, though, there was plenty of time to think about how certain scenes could have been funnier - not usually the best thing to think about after watching a comedy.
But for a slow night when there's nothing good on TV, pop in "Johnny" and be ready for some "Dangerously" serious laughter.
Eight stars. Check out "Johnny Dangerously"... don't be a "bastidge".
If you want to see the funniest attempt at not really cussing ever filmed, you gotta see Dimitri do his piece as Morone.
I gave it a 7.
This character really brings out the moron in Moronie. A tough gangster with an inability to pronounce profane words, well, it seems that it would have been frustrating to be tough and yet not be able to express oneself intelligently.
Roman Moronie will go down in the annals of movie history as one of the greatest of all morons.
There is of course great comedy among the other characters. Michael Keaton is F.A.H. and so is Joe Piscipo.
I just like the fact that Moronie kept the movie from an "R" rating because he could not pronounce profanity.
Amy Heckerling has a flair for directing comedy (Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Look Who's Talking) but here it looks like she told the actors to go out and have fun. Micheal Keaton breezes through the role of Johnny, easily his best screen performance. Joe Piscopo is great as the appropriately named Danny Vermin, what a shame directors didn't pick up on this. And I have even mentioned Richard Dimitri playing Moronie and the character's unique vocabulary. I don't think it's an accident that the bulk of the character's name is spelled MORON.
Good lines are sprinkled throughout the movie, with Peter Boyle, Griffit Dunne.Maurren Stapleton, Merilu Henner given good lines. Even actors with minor roles like Dick Butkus and Alan Hale get in a good lines.
recommend it to a friend.