I haven’t seen this movie since it was in the theatre. I forgot how funny it is. So stupidly funny that I am really surprised that I hadn’t re-watched it since. Actually, I’m surprised that it doesn’t get mentioned more often when people speak of funny movies. Starring a very young Michael Keaton as Johnny Kelly (a.k.a. Johnny Dangerously), a good kid that turns to crime in order to pay for him mother’s operations for various outlandish ailments.
The movie starts with Johnny working in a pet store where a boy tries to steal a puppy and is quckly aprehended by Johnny. Johnny then procedes to tell the boy how crime doesn’t pay, and through a flasback, we are presented with the guts of the movie. Johnny joins Jocko Dundee’s (played by Peter Boyle) gang and quickly rises to the top by proving himself in the constant battles between Jocko’s gang and their rival, the hilarious butcher of the English language Roman Moronie. Eventually Johnny takes over the gang when Jocko (played by the late Peter Boyle) retires after a silly assassination attempt. Johnny’s little brother Tommy (played by Griffin Dunne), in the meantime has grown up and become the assistant district attorney, Hell bent on fighting crime. When the crooked D.A. (District Attorney), played by the always funny Danny Devito, fails to corrupt Tommy, he tries but fails, to kill him by tampering with his car. When the D.A. dies in a silly manner a short while later, Tommy assumes the role of D.A. and cranks up his war on crime, eventually defeating Moronie and having him deported to Sweden… With Moronie gone, Tommy turns his focus on Johnny Dangerously’s gang. See, Tommy has no idea that his brother Johnny is actually the crime boss known as Johnny Dangerously. When he finds out, Tommy confronts his brother. Things work out between the two, and Johnny decides to disband the gang and go legit.When he breaks the news to the gang, things don’t go so well, when gang member an general douche bag Danny Vermin (played by rarely funny man Joe Piscopo) refuses to go quietly. Framing Johnny for the murder of the Governor and getting him sent to the big house, Vermin finds himself in charge of the gang, while Johnny looks to get out with the help of his girlfriend (played by Marilu Henner).
If you haven’t seen this movie and enjoy quirky comedy and stupid puns then watch this. In fact, if you have a sense of humour at all watch this. Johnny Dangerously is a cute, silly comedy that deserves a lot more credit than it gets. It has a solid cast and respectable writing making it a good movie (I know: then what the hell is it doing on this site? Shut up…).
Here’s a funny clip of the bad guy, Moroni talking to a henchman:
And here’s an early theatrical trailer: