HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
1 chance sur 2
Betterman
Scooby-Doo! Abracadabra-Doo
Yin Yang Master, The
Hail, Mafia!
Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase
Mirai
Strange House, The
Morfalous, Les
Dreambuilders
Everything Went Fine
Lux AEterna
Rum Runners
Fairy and the Devil, The
Mad God
Outside the Law
I Remember Mama
Superman Unbound
Lawrence of Belgravia
House Across the Lake, The
Wonder Park
Hornsby e Rodriguez
Operation Mincemeat
5 Kung Fu Daredevil Heroes
Scoob!
Earwig
Offseason
Peau Douce, La
Double Indemnity
Na Cha and the Seven Devils
Deep Murder
Superman vs. the Elite
Adam Project, The
Osamu Tezuka's Last Mystery of the 20th Century
Horse, La
Buffaloed
Train Robbers, The
Let Sleeping Cops Lie
Abominable
Funeral, The
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Stripes It's A Man's Life In The Army
Year: 1981
Director: Ivan Reitman
Stars: Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, Warren Oates, P.J. Soles, Sean Young, John Candy, John Larroquette, John Voldstad, John Diehl, Lance LeGault, Roberta Leighton, George Jenesky, Judge Reinhold, Antone Pagan, Glenn-Michael Jones, Dave Thomas, Timothy Busfield
Genre: ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 4 votes)
Review: John Winger (Bill Murray) is a photographer supporting himself as a taxi driver, and he's having a bad day. Not only does he quit his rotten job, but when he gets home his car is repossessed and his girlfriend walks out on him, so he decides to join the army. Taking his friend Ziskey (Harold Ramis) along, they both enlist and swiftly go into basic training, faced with the stern sergeant Hulka (Warren Oates), who takes an immediate dislike to Winger after hearing his attempts to lighten the mood with sarcastic comments. Winger and Ziskey are going to find that army life is no holiday.

Written by Len Blum, Dan Goldberg and star Harold Ramis, Stripes was very much in the tradition of the army comedy. Take a bunch of misfits and whip them into shape to do their country proud is the formula that the film sticks with, except that Winger doesn't seem much different at the end than when he went in at the start. Bill Murray's wisecracking, devil-may-care persona is honed to perfection here, but I think he makes a better parapsychologist than a soldier.

Early on, we are introduced to Winger and Ziskey's comrades, and they are as you'd expect. Ox (John Candy) joined up to lose weight, Francis (George Jenesky) wants to be called "Psycho" and obviously joined for the opportunity to kill people, and then there's the simpleton who joined before he was drafted, not realising there was no draft any more. Romantic interest for our heroes is provided by two military policewomen, Stella (P.J. Soles) and Louise (Sean Young), who tend to be around when Winger and Ziskey are making fools of themselves.

Although there are funny moments, the film isn't too consistent. It's almost complacent in the way it settles into having Murray make a stream of inappropriate comments in the face of authority for cheap laughs. For every good line there is an item of lame slapstick or a joke that falls flat, and it's difficult to believe the idiot captain (John Larroquette) would have risen that high in the ranks, even if he provides a couple of amusing moments (like the business with the hand grenade). There is, however, one example of laddish humour that looks to the future: the bar with the mud wrestling.

The trouble with Stripes is not so much that Winger is changed by his experiences, because we don't want to see the slob reformed anyway, but that he succeeds in working with the system to fight against the might of the Soviets for the finale, despite being the same slob he was at the beginning. Previously, the sole serious scene is where Hunka (well played by Oates) confronts Winger alone, leading to an attempted desertion, yet this is quickly glossed over.

So for the last half hour, purely for reasons of "You too could do this well in the army!" patriotism, we have to accept that Winger could orchestrate a rescue mission behind enemy lines. It's the sort of thing Arnold Schwarzenegger would be doing a few short years later, only this time nobody dies. Wouldn't it be nice to see an army comedy where the misfits were chucked out for once? Doo Wah Diddy, indeed. And ponder this: if it weren't for Stripes, there probably wouldn't have been any Police Academy movies. Full Metal Jacket is funnier. Music by Elmer Bernstein.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 7308 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Enoch Sneed
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: