Oscar Wilde once said “Imitation is the highest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness” but he never met the likes of Leslie Nielson or Mel Brooks. Sometimes imitation is the highest form of flattery that greatness can pay to mediocrity, and those are the movies we’re going to look at today.
Film parodies have fallen out of favour in recent times. Seen these days as cash grabs of more popular properties, but it wasn’t always like this. Before lazily titled Disaster Movie and Meet the Spartans parody movies, were gut busting takes on films that took themselves far too seriously.
These films took an idea and improved on it by making it funnier, more satirical or even just more ridiculous than the original. Here are the 10 film parodies better than the original.
10. Hot Shots
Original Movie: Top Gun
Top Gun was already a little bit of a funny movie wasn’t it? I mean come on, the volleyball scene, the cheesy nicknames and who can forget the films love affair with the song “Danger Zone”. Don’t get me wrong the film is a lot of fun when its characters are up in the air, but when they have to come back down and talk to one another it can be the absolute definition of 80s cringe.
Well the people behind Hot Shots noticed all this as well and decided to make a gut busting parody satirizing the hyper macho, ultra-cool aesthetic of Top Gun. Charlie Sheen plays “Topper” Harley a caricature of Tom Cruise’s “Maverick” Mitchell. Sheen’s character has a lot in common with his more serious counterpart, a tragic backstory, a need to one up those around him (hence the name Topper) and some serious flying skills.
See what makes Hot Shots better than Top Gun is the fact that both are silly movies but only Hot Shots knows it’s a silly movie and leans into it. As well as some good hearty laughs in Hot Shots you also get the over the top action sequences that you’d see in Top Gun, except these are really over the top. At the end of the film Charlie Sheen takes down a whole squadron of enemy planes, then blows up a nuclear plant while dropping a bomb directly on Saddam Hussain, let's see Tom Cruise do that.