Blast from the past

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During the two weeks I had free in my summer course I told myself that I would get a head start on all my readings and that I would even begin my essay early with a topic of my own so I would look smart.

Yeah, well, that didn’t happen. Instead, I succeeded in watching just about every Michael Keaton film. First on my list was Johnny Dangerously, a film from the ancient (to some of you, unfortunately) land of the ‘80s.

From what I’ve read, this flick wasn’t so hot at the box office. Despite the large cast (Michael Keaton, Joe Piscopo, Peter Boyle), moviegoers didn’t think it was as funny as it tried to be. Set in the ‘30s, Johnny Dangerously sets out to poke fun at the gangster films from the ‘30s and ‘40s. Whether or not it truly succeeded is another story.

The film begins with Johnny working in a pet store. He catches a young boy trying to walk off with a puppy and uses the situation as an excuse to get into his old life of crime. Starting out as a kid forced into crime by trying to pay his mom’s medical bills, Johnny soon discovers he’s a natural and sticks with the lifestyle. He keeps it a secret from his mother and his younger brother as he helps put his younger brother through law school. His younger brother goes on to work for the district attorney when he grows up, however.

Audiences also see the rivalry between Keaton and Piscopo. Right from childhood these two were at each other’s throats and their rivalry only worsens when the godfather who they work for retires and Keaton takes over, leaving Piscopo vowing to get him.

Johnny Dangerously is a hilarious movie if you’re in a good mood or you’re a generally goofy person. The jokes are hit and miss throughout; when they work they are nothing short of spectacular but when they don’t work you’re left feeling slightly cheated and if you’re anything like me, relatively embarrassed by the bad humour.

As a whole, I thought this film was definitely worth a watch and depending on the person, I’d recommend it to a friend.


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