Nuns on the Run has everything a great comedy must have: car chases, mistaken identities, inept criminals, sight gags, running jokes, a little nudity, chase scenes, a few death-defying stunts, men in drag -three versions funnier than Mrs. Doubtfire-- and, of course nuns, catholic humor, and more nuns than in Sister Act. Director Jonathan Lynn, The Fighting Temptations, The Whole Nine Yards, My Cousin Vinny, gets stellar performances out of Eric Idle (Monty Python) and Robbie Coltrane (Cracker, Hagrid in Harry Potter, and the very weird The Pope Must Die (aka Must Diet). This is one great kick back and enjoy film.
When Brian (Eric Idle) and Charlie (Robbie Coltrane) become dissatisfied with their criminal life and their friends start to die of what is the business is euphemistically called natural causes they decide to steal a huge wad of money from both the British gang and the local Triad. Of course, things do not go as planned so they find shelter in a convent and become Sister Euphemia of the Five Wounds and Sister Inviolata of the Immaculate Conception (get it?). During their stay, Charlie teaches Brian everything there is to know about the Catholic religion including the concept of the trinity (God is like a shamrock: three in one), the doctrine of original sin, and how to do a proper sign of the cross: spectacles, testicles, wallet, and watch. This of course leads to other great lines such as, "Look Charlie, some con men sell life insurance. The church sells afterlife insurance. It's brilliant! Everyone thinks you might need it, and no one can prove you don't." Eventually, the gig is up and Brian and Charlie must make it to the airport not without first going through a few varied chase scenes to get Faith (Camille Coduri) from the hospital. Once Brian has found Faith, the movie quickly comes to a great and very hilarious final scene.
Although the extras on this Anchor Bay Entertainment release are few, they more than make up for in quality. Of course you get the original trailer but also another longer promo for the film with Eric Idle and a few real life nuns who saw the movie. Most interesting is the director's commentary track. Usually, those are quite boring but Jonathan Lynn manages to make his commentary interesting by giving you a few behind the scenes stories, revelations on how to make a movie with a very small budget, and, to his credit, admitting that some of the better moments in the movie are a result of accidents and the ability of both Idle and Coltrane to stay in character and do some improv. His take on what is funny and the reasons he gives for some of the comedic decisions he made during the filming are a must for anyone thinking of making a great comedy. It is unfortunate that the original ending Jonathan Lynn refers to is not available.
Nuns on the Run is a great comedy.