Johnny Dangerously
Michael Keaton, Marilu Henner
20th Century Fox 1984
Fox Home Entertainment
90 Minutes

If your idea of a funny crime movie is Naked Gun and Police Squad with the great Leslie Nielsen you might enjoy Michael Keaton’s Johnny Dangerously, a love it or hate it gangster comedy with much the same kind of humor. It features the often uneven Michael Keaton as normal citizen Johnny Kelly a.k.a. crime lord Johnny Dangerously while Marilu Henner of Taxi fame plays up the role of the mob doll and Johnny’s girlfriend, while bad guy Danny Vermin is camped by Joe Piscopo.

The movie features a who’s who of comedysuch as Peter Boyle (of Everybody Loves Raymond), Maureen Stapleton who is as Johnny’s always ailing mother whose hospital bills drive her son to crime, along with Griffin Dunne, Glynnis O’Connor, Alan Hale, Danny DeVito. Look for Pope Dom DeLuise and a running gag performance by Ray Walston of Picket Fences as a newsstand vendor who keeps getting hit by newspaper bundles.

Johnny Dangerously may seem to be a family friendly mob comedy but there is a lot of fake violence and the cleaned up language such as corksucker, ice-hole, and fargin will not hide anything from any kid who has ever been in a schoolyard. The movie pokes fun at a bunch of thirties and forties Jimmy Cagney gangster flicks and is a fun watch.

You will need the pause feature to get all the sight gags like Henchmen and Henchwomen johns. Still, Frank Drebin would have been proud of this one.

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