Airplane! (1980)

Although its humor is definitely dated, “Airplane!” is still an extremely entertaining, occasionally screamingly funny comedy. Much of the dated humor revolves around cultural stereotypes, which can feel both lazy and off-putting to a modern viewer, but the majority of the jokes that pepper each scene manage to make this bitter pill easier to swallow. It’s not every movie that can have a viewer laughing uproariously enough that they miss the following few jokes, but “Airplane!” is that type of comedy. It’s a parody of the “Airport” series for sure, but one doesn’t have to be familiar with the four overwrought (but undeniably effective) disaster flicks to appreciate the humor because it’s not about the series’ narrative and more about the absurdity of its plot devices, and that’s the kind of humor that can be transplanted without losing its edge. Robert Hays and Julie Hagerty seem to be having fun in their leading roles, in particular a country bar scene that turns into a hilarious, re-watchable parody of “Saturday Night Fever” and carves out the movie’s funniest scene.

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

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