Before I begin explaining what makes Spaceballs great I feel there is a need for a disclaimer: if you don't like sci-fi TV shows and films (especially Star Wars) the chances are that half the jokes will be lost on you. Furthermore, it should be noted from the start that Mel Brooks's humour really is an aquired taste - and whether you will enjoy this film really does seem to pivot on whether you will enjoy the ridiculos and silly in a film or not, since most of the comedy arrises from the fantastic, silly plays on words or simply slapstick.
All this perhaps sounds somewhat juvenile, but it is the slickness of performance (especially the fantastic Rick Moranis as Dark Helmet) and the sheer wit of Brooks that makes this film so much more than it should be. Dark Helmet himself is a hilarious parody of Darth Vader, the humour being conjured by the conflict of Helmet's nerdy interior with helmet up to his harsh Vader-like act with his helmet on, further helped by his hilarious voice as Vader. Indead Moranis's Helmet plays fantastically well off George Wyner's Colonel Sandurz who supplies the straight man to the absurd Moranis, perfectly mimicking the sci-fi number 2.
While of course a spoof movie in itself will hardly appeal to all, especially those not too fond of sci-fi, Spaceballs is probably the best around of its genre and, while it doesn't offer the variety of movie references for a film buff that Hot Shots might, Brooks's clever ideas and scenarios more than make up.