Review: Spaceballs (1987)


If only Darth Vader and Dark Helmet actually met!

Written By: Mel Brooks, Ronny Graham & Thomas Meehan
Directed By: Mel Brooks

I know I have said this before, but Spaceballs is the type of movie that you either find funny or you don’t. Some people find it drop dead hilarious, but I found it more consistently funny than anything else. A few scenes and characters caused me to lose it, but Spaceballs is more of a low level comedy than an all-time great. Still, finding a comedy funny should be reason enough to like it, I found Spaceballs funny and thus, I liked it.

Spaceballs goes for a lot of easy jokes, sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. It is most funny when making fun of science fiction standards. Science fiction is an easy target, I am a huge fan of science fiction, but it’s easy to see how absurd even the best science fiction stories can be when looked at by someone with a comedic mind. We all love Darth Vader, but I’ll be damned if Dark Helmet isn’t hilarious.

Every once in a while Spaceballs falls prey to pop culture jokes, I’m referring to the non-science fiction ones. Those jokes usually fall flat and that is when Spaceballs isn’t all that funny. I’m sure putting two women into the picture who may or may not be the Doublemint Twins was funny back in 1987, but viewed in 2009 by someone who has no idea who the Doublemint Twins are it’s a joke that doesn’t register a single laugh.

My favorite part of Spaceballs was any time the movie decided to break the fourth wall. The knowing nature that the actors supplied to those scenes had me rolling on the floor a few times. Most noticeably, when the camera zooms in on Dark Helmet and keeps on zooming until it knocks into Helmet and sends him falling to the floor. A moment like that is small and easy to accomplish, but its very funny.

As I said in the beginning, Spaceballs isn’t incredibly funny, but it is funny in enough places to be worth a watch. That’s my great deciding factor when it comes to comedies, either they are funny enough to watch or they aren’t. Spaceballs fits my criteria of a good comedy, and while I wouldn’t go seeking it out, it’s a good movie to check out if you happen to stumble across it one day.




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