“Okay, hotshot — we’re gonna see what kind of soldier you are.”
A cabbie (Bill Murray) and his buddy Russell (Harold Ramis) join the military and go through basic training under the command of Sergeant Hulka (Warren Oates). In the meantime, they have adventures with beautiful MPs Sean Young and PJ Soles, and get sent on a special mission to Europe.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Bill Murray Films
- Warren Oates Films
Response to Peary’s Review:
As Peary notes, this wildly popular Bill Murray vehicle — directed by Ivan Reitman, and following on the box-office success of Meatballs (1979) — is ultimately “just a standard service comedy,” and would probably have made for a much more interesting story if it focused on Murray’s adventures as a cabbie in New York. There are other, better movies about misfits enduring basic training together, and this one brings nothing new or unusual to the genre. Plus, as much as I like and admire Warren Oates, his performance here can’t hold a candle to R. Lee Ermey’s in Full Metal Jacket (1987).
- John Candy mud-wrestling in a strip bar
- Young and Soles, who bring a breath of fresh air to this otherwise stale movie
- The improvised “kitchen utensil” scene between Murray and Soles
No; while it has a strong cult following, this one isn’t must-see by all film fanatics.