Film Review: Spaceballs – 5/10

‘God willing, we’ll all meet again in Spaceballs 2: The Search for More Money…’

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Mel Brooks is responsible for some of the most well known movie spoofs of all time. Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein and The Producers are all minor classics but I would argue that even the mighty Blazing Saddles has not aged particularly well. I don’t give a shit about some of the comedy not being  politically correct in 2018, more pressing though is the fact that a lot of Brooks’ stuff just isn’t funny any more. And so, to Spaceballs. 

Released a full four years after Return to the Jedi, it is debatable that a lot of the jokes contained within Spaceballs were already pretty tired, and despite the valiant efforts of Rick Moranis and Bill Pullman, large swathes of it are barely watchable today. There is the occasional funny idea or clever one liner but when the sheer volume of visual and physical gags is so high, it becomes exhausting trying to keep up with it all.

I can see how, if you had grown up with Spaceballs (stop laughing), it could inhabit that space between nostalgia and happy memories to fit snugly alongside much better movies like The Princess Bride or Gremlins, but when there are so many other Star Wars parodies available, nearly all of them funnier than Spaceballs, it seems unlikely that this movie will win over any new fans.

If you enjoyed Scary Movie, then Spaceballs shares the same kind of throwaway, juvenile humour that you’re after. Compared to something like Airplane! however, Spaceballs is a very, very distant second. I went into it with an open mind and a full heart, as a massive fan of both Star Wars and of laughing. I was ultimately disappointed.

I watched this movie because it was one on my list of cinematic new year’s resolutions for 2018. I was convinced that as a big Star Wars fan, it was a travesty not to have seen Spaceballs. As always, I was completely wrong. This movie is absolutely not essential viewing, for Star Wars fans or for anyone else for that matter.

Spaceballs may have been funny once but it absolutely isn’t funny now. Watch the Family Guy Star Wars or the Robot Chicken Star Wars or pretty much any other Star Wars related parody.

Spaceballs should be allowed to die with dignity in a galaxy very, very, very, very far away…

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