One thing I have realized doing this Blind Spot series is comedies more than any other genre are creatures of their times. For every Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Airplane! there’s scores of comedies popular in their day that don’t hold up for modern audiences. Maybe I’m just a grump but I didn’t enjoy movies like Beverly Hills Cop, Lethal Weapon and more. Now we have 1977’s Slap Shot and I must own to being underwhelmed by this raunchy comedy classic.
On one hand I do get the appeal of Slap Shot with its raunchy humor and machismo characters. Paul Newman is super charismatic as the team leader Reggie. I also like the end lesson of such a violent movie is that violence is stupid and doesn’t work. That’s subversive and entertaining.
The problem is I just didn’t find the rest of the movie to be very funny or entertaining. A lot of the humor hasn’t aged well- especially anything to do with the gay characters; although, I suppose it was groundbreaking to have gay characters in a mainstream adult film at the time and have them talked about so frankly. Still, you would never have such homophobic jokes made today if they did a new Slap Shot.
Like I said, Paul Newman is very charming in his role and he carries the movie on his back. He is also a very good skater and the hockey scenes are all believable.
In the end Slap Shot is one of those movies I can see the appeal but it is just not for me. It’s too crass with so many unlikable characters and an uninteresting story, so there’s not much to recommend in the film. As I always say ‘funny forgives all’ so if I was laughing than I wouldn’t care about characters or story but I wasn’t so I did care. You may enjoy it more than I do for the shock value alone but it wasn’t for me.
5 out of 10
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