|Loaded Weapon 1|
|Directed by||Gene Quintano|
|Music by||Robert Folk|
|Edited by||Christopher Greenbury|
3 Arts Entertainment
Goodman Rosen Productions
|Distributed by||New Line Cinema|
|Box office||$51 million|
National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1 (also known simply as Loaded Weapon 1) is a 1993 American parody film directed and co-written by Gene Quintano, and starring Emilio Estevez, Samuel L. Jackson, Kathy Ireland, Frank McRae, Tim Curry and William Shatner. The film mainly spoofs the first three Lethal Weapon films, as well as several others including Basic Instinct, Die Hard, Dirty Harry, Rambo, The Silence of the Lambs, Wayne's World, 48 Hrs. and TV series such as CHiPs. Loaded Weapon 1 was released on February 5, 1993.
In Los Angeles, Billie York is murdered by a man known as Mr Jigsaw because she possesses a microfilm that can turn cocaine into cookies. Her former partner, Wes Luger, who is about to retire, is assigned the case by the reluctant captain Doyle, who dismisses it as a suicide but gives Luger the case. The catch is that Luger will have to be partnered with Jack Colt, a burned out cop who recently lost his dog, Claire. The two visit Harold Leacher, who tells them that Colt's former general in the Vietnam War, Mortars, is heading the operation. Meanwhile, Jigsaw and Mortars visit Mike McCraken, whom Jigsaw murders after he loses the microfilm.
After finding the body, Colt and Luger go to Rick Becker, who claims that he laundered money with York (the money actually being in the laundry machine), but Rick is shot multiple times by unknown assailants, forcing Colt and Luger to go to the Wilderness Girls factory. The head, Destiny Demeanor, claims no knowledge of the operation during the trial, but she is revealed to be working for Mortars and his gang. Destiny and Colt hang out at Colt's house, while Mortars sends a helicopter to destroy Colt's house (a trailer that is actually a mansion in the inside), but they accidentally destroy John McClane's house.
Due to lack of evidence, Doyle dismisses the case, but Colt still decides to stop the operation, much to the dismay of Luger. Luger is a by-the-book cop after, he took an unscheduled break from his crossing guard duties (as a child), which led to an old lady being run over by a car and killed. Colt breaks in and Destiny, now having fallen in love with Colt, attempts to stop Mortars, but Mortars shows that he was the one who kidnapped Claire, and shows him Rick and Claire chained to a wall (Rick actually having survived the incident). Mortars shoots Destiny, who clings to life long enough to confess her feelings for him. Colt manages to catch up with Mortars, but then Luger shows up, having considered what Colt said to him earlier. He shoots and kills Mortars, and Colt kills Jigsaw, but starts a fire that destroys the whole factory. Doyle shows up, and asks Luger to stay in the force. Luger agrees, but as long as Colt is his partner. In the end, Destiny, having survived, shows up with Rick and Claire, and the team dances to "Bohemian Rhapsody".
Loaded Weapon 1 opened at number 1 at the US box office and grossed almost $28 million in the United States and Canada in total. Internationally, it grossed $23.2 million for a worldwide total of $51.2 million. The movie, along with Excessive Force and Three of Hearts, was cited for its contribution to New Line's record pre sales in 1992 totaling $91.2 million.
The film received a negative reception. Roger Ebert of The Chicago Sun-Times said the film's main failure was that the Lethal Weapon movies already contained sly spoofs of the police film genre: "The send-up doesn't feel much different than the real thing".
Loaded Weapon 1 earned 23% positive reviews on the film-critic aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, based on 35 reviews with the consensus: "Loaded Weapon 1 hits all the routine targets with soft squibs, yielding a tired parody that cycles through its laundry list of references with little comedic verve".
Whoopi Goldberg makes an unbilled appearance as Mr. Estevez's former partner, her life snuffed out too early...