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KIDS ON FILM

Laughs Aside, They Aren't Deux Terribly Impressed With 'Hot Shots'

June 03, 1993|LYNN SMITH | Lynn Smith is a staff writer for The Times' View section. and

In "Hot Shots! Part Deux," a group of CIA-led goofballs attempts to rescue American hostages in the Persian Gulf War and in the process satirizes dozens of sex and violence movies and old TV shows. (Rated PG-13)

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Even if they had missed Part Un, kids quickly recognized this movie as belonging to a certain genre--extra silly.

"It was slapstick," said Tamara, 15.

"It was stupid," said Michelle, 11.

"It was the type of movie you go to when you're, like, in a bad mood, feeling sad, and you'll be happier afterward. Kind of," said Rachel, 13.

"I know it was not designed to be, like, a real movie," she said. The movie made her laugh, she said, but added, "If you've seen all the ads, you've seen the movie. That's the way a lot of those movies are."

Still, movie-wise kids amused themselves by identifying the macho movies being spoofed. "They imitated 'Terminator' I and II with making the bad guys into little metal liquid things," Rachel said.

"He looked and acted just like Rambo," said Nick, 9. "His hair and stuff."

"When the chicken's eyes were popping out, that was from 'Total Recall,' " said Tyler, 9. But while some spoofs from such old TV shows as "Father Knows Best" made us older folks giggle, the kids were puzzled.

"Some people were laughing really hard at parts I didn't quite understand that were from other movies," Rachel said. "I don't think it matters too much. There's enough that evens it out. Like when the President vomits on the emperor of Japan."

With all the violence and steamy sex scenes spoofing R-rated movies such as "Basic Instinct," I wondered if the kids thought a PG-13 rating was fair.

Sure, they said, reasoning that humor puts a different spin on graphic sex and violence. "I didn't see 'Basic Instinct,' of course; My mom would never let me," said Rachel, who came to the show with a group of friends from junior high. "I guess a lot of people who saw this movie haven't seen 'Basic Instinct.' So I just thought it was funny."

"So you think your mom would approve?"

"Yeah. I don't know. It definitely didn't strike me as inappropriate."

Among those who saw the original "Hot Shots!" there was disagreement about which one was better. "Usually you hear: The book is better than the movie, or the first one was better than the second one. I think the first one was better," Rachel said. "I remember it as being funner. Maybe it's because I was younger then."

But Tamara preferred Part II mostly because of the muscle-bound character played by Charlie Sheen. "He was good-looking," she said.

Should they make a "Hot Shots! Part Trois?"

"I don't know," Tamara said, reflecting the opinions of most young viewers. "I think that might be pressing it."

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