Frank Drebin is honored at a dinner at the White House, where the guests are President George Bush, John Sununu, Nelson Mandela and Winnie, Washington, D.C. police commissioner Annabelle Brumford (played by Jacqueline Brookes) and others. The President announces that he will base his recommendation for the country’s energy program on Dr. Albert Meinheimer’s advice at the National Press Club dinner the following Tuesday night. The heads of the coal and oil (fossil fuel) and nuclear industries are apparently distressed by this fact, but the antics of Frank Drebin distract, as he accidentally injures Barbara Bush many times.
Dr. Meinheimer reveals that he was going to also give his results at the White House dinner but because of Frank Drebin “making such a ruckus” he was unable. Jane Spencer (Presley), now working for Dr. Meinheimer, is shown late at night at the Meinheimer research institute crying about Frank, while Dr. Meinheimer tries to console her. At one point Spencer looks out the window and sees a man run into a red van and leave. However, a maintenance man, emptying out garbage cans, discovers a clock with dynamite attached and takes it down to the security guards downstairs, accidentally triggering it in the process.
The next morning, Frank reacquaints with Jane as he interviews her about the explosion. He is shown around the institute and meets Jane’s boyfriend, Hexagon Oil executive Quentin Hapsburg, of whom he becomes exceedingly jealous. Later, Ed finds Frank at a lonely blues bar, trying to cheer him up. They discover Jane there, attempting to talk with Frank, but she only wants to discuss what she knows about the case. They have an argument and she storms off. At a meeting of the “energy” industry leaders, Quentin has revealed that he has kidnapped Dr. Meinheimer and found an exact double for him, Earl Hacker, who will pretend to be Meinheimer and give “their” recommendation to the President endorsing fossil and nuclear fuels.
The next day, the Police Squad determine the driver of the van, Hector Savage, is connected to a sex toy shop. Frank spots the red van upon entering the store, which Nordberg is given the task of bugging. While he is doing this, Savage takes off in the van. Before successfully installing the device, Nordberg is trapped underneath the van and is pulled along with the van until he eventually gets himself free from the van, but ends up getting trapped under Frank’s car. Frank and Ed pursue the signal, but when they finally stop, Nordberg is propelled forward and ends up getting stuck under a bus. Savage is held up in a suburban home surrounded by police, but Frank commandeers a tank, which he drives into the house. Savage, who was about to surrender, escapes. Frank then drives the tank into the zoo where many animals escape.
That evening, Drebin arrives at a party and starts dancing with Jane to make Hapsburg jealous. After a disastrous attempt to “wheel” the Meinheimer double to the stage for a raffle drawing, Frank then goes to Jane’s apartment, where Savage arrives with orders to kill. However, he comes across Jane while she’s having a shower, she screams, alerting Frank to Savage’s presence. Frank and Savage fight until Frank sticks a fire hose in Savage’s mouth and turns on the water full blast until Savage gets filled up with water and apparently bursts. During the fight with Savage, Frank picked up a card from Savage leading him to the dock of Quentin’s oil company. When Frank reveals the card to Jane, she quickly realizes Hapsburg’s plan and asks Frank for help to stop him. They rediscover their love for each other and spend the night together, starting with a jukebox playing “Unchained Melody” by the Righteous Brothers in the background while they recreate the love scene from “Ghost” concluding with various motion picture representations of spring and love blossoming.
The next day, Frank goes with the police to investigate, while Hapsburg and the energy representatives are meeting in a warehouse. He is bugged and accidentally falls through the roof of the warehouse as he was being chased by a guard dog. They discover the bug and tie up Frank with the real Dr. Meinheimer and the police arrive to free them, but not before Frank tries to free them knocking many objects onto Meinheimer. The police then go to the hotel where Dr. Meinheimer will make his recommendation to President Bush, and where they hope to get Hapsburg. Drebin wants to get the jump on Hapsburg by having Jane let them in from the back entrance, but that plan is derailed. Frank, Nordberg, Ed and the real Meinheimer get into the building by appropriating a costume and instruments from a Mariachi band due to perform at the hotel, and wind up performing the song “Besame Mucho” for the National Press Club audience.
Drebin Drebin “>then encounters Hacker and he attacks Drebin, but members of the Chicago Bears appear and, believing Frank to be attacking a defenseless man, proceed to wheel away Hacker while attacking Frank. Ed and Meinheimer disable Hacker. Later, during the confusion where Drebin mistakes Meinheimer for the fake, Hacker ends up arrested but Hapsburg escapes with Jane. Eventually, Frank and the police have a shootout with Hapsburg’s goons on the hotel roof. Hapsburg ends up about to set off a small nuclear device which will destroy the function, so that it won’t matter what Meinheimer will say in his speech. Nordberg’s attempt to get Hapsburg distracts him, at which point Frank suddenly disarms him and proceeds to aggressively subdue him. Ed arrives before Hapsburg reveals the code for disarming the bomb and throws him out the window, believing that he was still struggling with Frank. Although Hapsburg manages to survive the fall thanks to an awning, he is attacked by a lion, one of the animals presumably released by Frank from the zoo. His fate after that is unknown. Frank frees Jane and they attempt to figure out how to disarm the bomb while Ed and Nordberg try to evacuate the hotel despite the audience panicking.
After several attempts to disarm the bomb, Frank then manages to disarm the bomb accidentally at the last second by tripping and unplugging the power cord. He is then commended by the President, who offers him a special post as head of a Federal Bureau of Police Squad. Drebin declines, vowing to take an environment-friendly approach to his police work instead and asking Jane to marry him, which she accepts. They then go out to a balcony, where they accept commendations from the crowd, and Frank turns around, accidentally knocking Barbara Bush off the balcony. She manages to hold on, although Frank pulls off her dress in an attempt to help her.
Following the success of the wildly funny and silly The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad, The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear doesn’t miss a beat when it comes to the jokes and sight gags, which ave become a staple of this series.
Believe it or not, there is a plot to this madness. The villain, played by Robert Goulet, is heading up a group that wants to shut down use of fossil fuels in favor of nuclear power.
Leslie Nielsen reprises his role as Lt. Frank Drebin, only this time he has a bit of credibility to his name after the successful case from the first film.
Pricilla Prelseyalso reprises her role from the first film, only this time she has more time on-screen. No, she’s not the best actress around, but her screentime is worth it.
Robert Goulet is not the first person I think of when it comes to villains, but he surprisingly does well with a mixture of sophistication, cunning, charm, and charisma that you almost don’t even realize he is the villain until it is officially revealed.
Spoofs and satire don’t get much better than these Naked Gun films. Leslie Nielsen makes the audience belive he’s such an inept cop that you almost forget he’s more than a capable actor. Leave us not forget that these are brighter spits in O.J. Simpson’s career, before the whole murder thing. All that aside, this is one of those films that is nothing but good fun. If you’re one of those people that are going to take everything literally, then this isn’t the movie for you.
4 out of 5 stars