February 5th, 2012

SLEEPER (1973) ***

Woody Allen goes to the hospital in 1973 and wakes up two hundred years later to find America has become a police state. The underground resistance wants him to assassinate the president, and of course when you think political assassin; you naturally think Woody Allen. He then kidnaps hottie Diane Keaton and the two of them wind up taking The Leader’s nose hostage.

Sleeper is more clever than laugh out loud funny, but the film is filled with enough classic Woody moments (most of which are weighted towards the beginning) to make it highly recommended. Who could forget the scene where Woody disguises himself as a robot servant at a party and gets high off the “pleasure orb”? Or the scene where he goes flying around in a Hydro-Suit. Or Keaton’s trip into the Orgasmatron? But my favorite moment comes when the scientists ask Woody about some 20th century artifacts.

As funny as most of the film is, there are a lot of gags that still fall flat. Often the film has a tendency to veer off into slapstick at the end of any given scene and the results aren’t all that funny. Still, there’s enough good stuff here that it doesn’t matter if the some of the jokes misfire.

Woody naturally gets the best line of the movie. It comes during the scene where the scientists tell him the government wants to reprogram his brain. Woody’s reply: “Not my brain! It’s my second favorite organ!”