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Retired Lieutenant Commander Quinton McHale spends his days puttering around the Caribbean in the old PT-73 selling homebrew, ice cream, and swimsuit calendars. He's brought out of retirement when his old nemesis turned the second best terrorist in the world, Major Vladikov, takes over the island of San Moreno and starts building a nuclear launch silo on it. With help from his old crew and hindrances from Captain Wallace B. Binghampton, who sank a cruise liner a while back, McHale tries to put Vladikov out of business. Written by
Jeff Cross <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I watched this on a commercial station and between each advert break they flashed up the title card as 'McHale's War' instead of McHale's Navy, and that seemed to sum up the complete lack of interest this film generates in almost everybody. The TV station couldn't even get the title right. This is a bad film a comedy that is consistently and forcefully unfunny. I didn't laugh once throughout the entire hellish running time, and only managed the barest ghost of a smile on a couple of occasions. Let's face it any film in which Tom Arnold is the star is in trouble from the off. For all I know he may well be a wonderful person but he isn't a star and he isn't a comedian. The only time he's funny is during the 'action' sequences and when he tries to act serious: his nostrils flare a little and his eyes widen a touch and that's it it's a kind of one-size-fits-all expression for every emotion he is called upon to express. He's supposed to be one of those charismatic types in this film, the type of guy everyone warms to the moment he opens his mouth. That's right Tom Arnold. Did some casting executive read this part and really think to himself 'why, that's a part just tailor-made for that Tom Arnold chap? Hmmm. Dean Stockwell is also in this, he's quite a good actor but he's awful here in fact he hasn't been much good in anything since Married to the Mob. Tim Curry is just a cartoon character in a flesh suit these days and sleepwalks through his role. The running joke about his being the second greatest terrorist in the world is done to death in the first twenty minutes of the film and then thankfully forgotten. Only the ever-solid Bill Campbell is worth a look, but his part is woefully small. The TV show was around before my time, so I've no point of reference with regard to how accurately this film captures the atmosphere of the show, but somehow I can't believe it was as lame as this. If it was the film would never have been greenlighted.
Do yourself a favour and do what everyone involved in this mess should have done: give it a wide, wide berth.
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