The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum
thevideovacuum

THE ROAD TO HONG KONG (1962) ***

I’m a casual fan of the Bob Hope and Bing Crosby Road movies.  I’ve never liked them as much as say, the comedies of Abbott and Costello, but the ones that I have seen have been pretty funny.  The Road to Hong Kong is probably the best one and despite a few lulls, it’s an amiable good time.

 

The plot has some Russian spies trying to launch a couple of apes into space.  The Russians think that they’ll win the space race if they put two men into orbit instead, so they shanghai Hope and Crosby and send them to outer space.  After they survive re-entry, the Russians learn that Bob has gotten their top secret rocket fuel formula locked inside his brain, so they send their top agent (Joan Collins) to deprogram him using her considerable… charms.

 

The Road to Hong Kong marked the end of the road for Hope and Crosby’s series of Road pictures.  It has a sci-fi edge to it that appealed to me and in turn, it was a lot of fun.  The chemistry between the two stars has never been better and the singing highlight comes during the smashing pre-credits number called “Teamwork”.  While not all of the gags fly, the scene where the rocket ship continuously feeds Hope and Crosby bananas is the funniest.

 

The flick is also loaded with lots of self-referential humor (there are numerous mentions of the team’s previous Road movies), scenes of the duo breaking the fourth wall (the best is the running gag when they call upon the special effects department to get them out of a jam), and some truly great cameos by Peter Sellers, David Niven, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra.  Collins also delivers a solid supporting performance as well.  (The team’s usual leading lady, Dorothy Lamour is reduced to an extended cameo since she was getting up there in age.)

 

The team’s best exchange in this one is: 

 

Crosby:  “How was I supposed to know he was an elephant doctor?”

 

Hope:  “You should’ve known by the size of his thermometer.”

Tags: comedy, r, sequel
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