Major Payne (1995) Poster

(1995)

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10/10
Unbeatable comedy for the right person in the right frame of mind.
BrickTop11 January 2002
You can pick up two things from reading other IMDb users' comments about this movie: 1) It's not for everyone so chances are you'll either love it or hate it, and 2) The frequency with which someone adds a comment is slowly increasing over time. Both these things lead me to imagine that Major Payne has all the makings of a great cult comedy in the truest meaning of that term.

If I were to offer anyone advice it would be to watch the first ten minutes of the film next time it's on TV. If the style of humour seems amusing to you, settle in for the ride and you'll probably be laughing out loud a LOT. If it seems dumb and you don't get it, cut your losses, switch right off and do something more productive with your time, that way you'll be spared an experience you won't enjoy. It's really that simple in this case.

Me? I had thought from the trailers it was going to be dumb but it came on TV and I started watching. Straightaway I was laughing at the narration, Payne's excessively 'war-ey' attitude ("The sweet smell of mustard gas" !!) and his voice, which you will also either love or hate. The Apocalypse Now spoof had me hooked... I suspected it was going to be another one of those parody flicks like Scary Movie or Hot Shots, but was pleasantly surprised at the way it panned out. The story is by-the-numbers cliched stuff, but it is essentially played with a straight face - there are no winks to the camera. Yet it still works, because even though they don't let on that they know, you still know that the film-makers are aware how cheesy it all is, and in fact I think they are gently sending up all those "inspirational" feelgood movies, without being offensive towards them. This is achieved in part through Wayans' stand out performance, and the blend of realistic (Payne's behaviour towards his charges is apparently mirrored in some real drill instructors) with ridiculous (a 6 year old military cadet??!!) Also, the director's use of music is inspired - consistently over the top at the right moment (eg "Respect") to heighten the humour.

Standout moments for me were the 'Little Engine Who Could' scene and Payne's "vision" whilst waiting at the station. Already I would like to get a copy of this movie as there were many many quotable one liners I would like to see again - as I said, it has the makings of a cult classic. I would recommend it unreservedly to someone if I knew they liked this kind of humour; to everyone else... 10 minutes is the cut off point!

I should just add that although I was in the R.A.F cadets at school, and have a brother in the British army (a Major, no less!!!) I have not been through the 'boot camp experience', yet still found the movie to be very funny. Bottom line though, I can see it's not for everyone, so use your discretion.

8/10 for me ? /10 for you
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10/10
One of the most underrated films out there, a true classic
cpbeau31 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This is a great film that you can sit back with your children and watch again and again.

The story is taken from an old Chuck Heston film called Major Benson's Private War that took a serious "military man" and put him in charge of a group of children in an ROTC unit.

Major Payne takes that story and inserts Payne as the 1990s caricature of a Rambo-esq "killing machine" - with an over the top slant to make his character comical in nature.

There are some tried and true story lines here. Payne's 'tough love' motivates the children and helps them to grow...but he also grows as a person through his concern for the children as well as a love interest. The children at first despise Payne for his tough methods, but they learn to respect him. Payne sees emotion and caring as weaknesses early in the film, but he learns to value those. We see that the kids can have discipline yet still be kids, and the adults can be strong role models and be sensitive.

Wayans's voice and high strung nature may turn some off, but they truly accentuate his character.

The film has a happy ending where all has turned out for the best.

This is a film you can watch over and over. Very few of the jokes get old, and you find yourself repeating many of the lines back. A fun movie that has appeal for both young and old.
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No Payneful puns here...
Chandler8127 October 2002
This film is a lot better than most would expect, largely because of two factors - the screenplay and the star. The script, while not particularly original in terms of its narrative, is superb in terms of its humour which is quite dark and dry in parts. "There's a monster in my closet" complains a frightened child. Not after Payne puts five bullets into the closed door.

Payne's unconventional character is a riot and the film is balanced just right so that he doesn't become too annoying. And believe me, he has the potential to become very annoying, especially with THAT voice. Wayans delivers his dialogue in a manner almost reminiscent TV's The Nanny - nasal and grating. However, he performs with such dry sarcasm and a fantastic permanent grimace that he is a real stand-out, and ultimately the film probably wouldn't work as well with another actor in the role.

For light entertainment value, 7/10 for Major Payne.
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10/10
This one's a keeper...
ladysidhe22 January 2006
Very rarely do I see a movie that makes me laugh out loud, much less one that makes me REALLY want to buy it. This was one of those rare times. This is the kind of movie that you tell your friends they just HAVE to see, and HAVE to buy to watch over and over.

I was an ROTC student in high school, and while it's not even remotely as melodramatic as this movie, the drill team scene at the end brought back fond memories (yup, we really did cool drills like that)...

Damon Wayans is just...damn, he's funny. The one-liners he delivers, and the way he delivers them, is too much. I'd love to see the blooper reel. If the movie was that funny, the bloopers would probably make you pee on yourself.

It's funny, funny, funny.
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Very Funny Movie
Lon-175 July 2000
This is one very funny movie. I can't believe that it wasn't graded any higher. Damon's character is very funny, and there are several scenes that are side splitting. His character's militaristic interaction with the young kids makes for some funny scenes.
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Seriously Funny
scops827320 January 2004
This was a truly fun movie. Being x-military myself I thought this was a great movie. I laughed all the way through from start to finish. The shooting of the bogyman through the closet door was priceless. The story of the "Little Engine That Could" was great. I hope that a sequel will be made where they have the blind guy and his Seeing Eye dog. That will be funny stuff.
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8/10
Damon Waynes is a comic Genius
Montaya_11117 February 2006
This movie is hilarious, I don't understand how someone cannot like this movie. It's a movie about a Major who was discharged from the Military, and was assigned to an Junior ROTC program, it proves to be the biggest challenge of his life. He's is very sinister and cruel, but in a funny way. The way he goes about training his Cadets is amazing, as much as they wind up hating him, they wind up to be like a family in the end. They are a lot of sight gags in the movie, as I said the humor is excellent, Damon Waynes is excellent in this movie he is intelligent and hilarious. There are cameos from some other people in the movie like Micheal Ironside, Karyn Parsons was also excellent as the counselor she hasn't done much since Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, but this was excellent.. Overall an 8 out of 10
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9/10
Great comedy - a bit dark for some, though
BobCritter27 February 2011
Damon Wayans is incredible in this role. The best performance he has ever done. He totally sells out in the role. Tons of quotable lines. Tons of laugh-out-loud moments. A comedy that is as good the second time around as it is the first.

Definitely not a comedy for everyone as I have been told. I will say that if you grew up in my household or was with me in boot, you will have no option but to crack up at the expertly written parody. If you grew up in a nurturing home, this movie may just come off as mean and unrealistic. There may certainly be more to the split in likes and dislikes than this factor, as Wayans and this type of humor probably won't appeal to everyone, but I think that may certainly be a factor.
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10/10
Major Payne, nothing but a funny movie.
Terryfan9 August 2006
Here's a movie that I watch all the time.

Major Payne is just a funny movie.

It's a true classic.

The jokes are just so well done that you want to watch this movie over and over again.

The acting was okay, but is made up for when the way the movie is meant to be funny.

The music is very good with a great mix of all kinds of music.

I just have fun watching Major Payne.

Overall if you want a classic movie that is very funny, then Major Payne is the movie for you.

I give Major Payne 10 out of 10.

A true Classic.
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9/10
Surprisingly good!
fibreoptic30 January 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Before i sat down to this i thought it would be a stupid kiddy comedy movie like something off Nickleodeon but i was wrong, this will appeal to adults just as much (if not more) than children. It's about a hardened kill happy Major who doesn't have anything else left to do in the army so his commanding officer gives him a job training a bunch of cadets.

Daman Wayans is fantastic as Major Payne and really makes the character shine. This movie isn't about a bunch of unruly kids making Major Payne's life hell but more like the other way around. The children try hard to get rid of him but their attempts are all futile. It takes a good three quarters of the movie before the kids warm up to the Major. It really is a bit too formulaic near the end but i still think that this is a top notch movie mostly due to Daman Wayans. This guy should be in more stuff. A really funny movie that is for everyone and just when you think it's going to turn sickly sweet in a couple of the scenes....well you'd better watch it to find out. 9/10
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9/10
How to properly correct child behavior problems
view_and_review5 January 2007
As a whole Major Payne was one of the most funniest movies I've ever watched. The ingredients for this movie to be side splitting hilarious were perfect. Damon Wayans did an excellent job as Major Payne. He could have done spin-offs from that character alone. Then you add the kids; and it wasn't so much the kids as it was how he treated them. You come to expect a certain level of delicacy when handling kids even if they are the most spoiled, bratty, destructive kids alive. Major Payne took an unexpected approach by putting those kids through hell as though they were in boot camp with Sargent Hartman from "Full Metal Jacket". He berated them verbally and physically... he even insulted the only deaf kid. There was no political correctness employed at all in this movie. I enjoyed this movie thoroughly, only if the other Wayans brothers could make movies as good.
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he's not happy....
addy30 December 1998
all i have to say is that i almost died laughing when he shot up the monster in the closet... "if he's still there, he's not happy!"
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9/10
Want me to show you something to keep your mind off that pain?
danzeisen1 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
My family was at the drive in packing up after the first movie when they announced Major Payne as the next movie- the four kids of course talked me into staying the first few minutes, and that was all it took. Within those few minutes we were swept away. Wayans characterization is pitch perfect and should have spawned a sequel, or as one reviewer stated a TV series. There is no political correctness here, just fun and humor that kids of all ages and my wife and I enjoyed. I am no longer married, but I did get the copy of Major Payne in the divorce and still watch it with the kids We laugh at it, remember the good times and can talk and still offer to "Show you something to take your mind off that pain." W.C Fields hated to work with kids because he feared they would upstage him. Damon Wayans has NO problem here. I wish more movies were funny on so many levels. Have introduced my youngest, who was not alive when the movie came out, to the Major. He still talks about Mr Peebody. This is truly an under rated gem of a movie and fun for the whole family. Come on, loosen up, there is a place for Citizen Kane, but there is also a need for irreverent humor and triumph over adversity. Be advised there is some foul language here, but nothing that most kids don't hear on the playground, or these days even at home. Laugh and enjoy, time for reflection later.
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9/10
Damon Wayans played the role perfectly...
muzukashii29 September 2001
I'm not much of a Damon Wayans fan, but this is one of my favorite movies. The cover is misleading since Major Payne doesn't smile much in the movie. I also don't think it is for children due to the profanity and adult situations. Given the right target audience, though, this movie is hilarious. If you have ever been in the real military (sorry AF vets), you should see the humor in a battle-crazed but hardcore military officer using adult military training techniques on children in order to teach them discipline and teamwork. I don't think anyone could have played that role better than Damon Wayans. I believe this movie shows he has true acting talent which doesn't seem to show up much in his other movies.
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10/10
one of the funniest movie in years
dcorkill22 June 2001
I think this would have to be one of the funniest movies I have ever seen. It hasn't scored that well, but you are either a fan of these sorts of movies or not. I think Damon Wayans is a genius the way he makes it seem like the movie was written specifically for him.

There are parts of this movie that nearly put me on the floor with laughing.

I wish there were more comedies of this standard.
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10/10
Absolutely brilliant
A film you can watch over and over and still love it
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9/10
Damon Wayans got this one right
mperry354 October 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Damon Wayans has always been a remarkably gifted comedian. That comedic gift was best displayed on In Living Color. For whatever reason, the majority of his movies were, in a word, disappointing. Much of that reason had to do w the writing. However, he found a formula that worked in Major Payne. Wayans does a good job of poking fun at "gung-ho" military type guys who struggle to assimilate back into society after yrs in the military. Obviously, his character takes that idea to the extreme, but that's what makes it amusing. Whether its sleeping w his eyes open, giving a girl a bullet (that he was shot in heart with) as a gift, telling tales of war at bedtime stories, or cleaning his gun upside down to relax, he only understands soldier life. Watching him bring that intensity to a bunch of miscreant kids is funny; As is his extreme lack of romantic savvy towards his love interest. You either love the flick or hate it. I've always been a big fan of DW's humor.
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9/10
hilarious and entertaining!
edacheeky23 September 2015
I don't know why this film has such a bad rating because it is hilarious!! I know there are some things that are a bit weird and over the top but otherwise, this film is hilarious and entertaining!! I find myself laughing at almost every line/scene. I don't know, maybe its just me but I think Major Payne is a great movie it's definitely a classic!! Actually I've read what another reviewer has written and they seem to agree with me! Thank you at least someone agrees! Anyway Major Payne is great! It's a movie I've watched countless times and each time I watch it I find myself laughing just like I did when I first saw it. It's really a great movie, so give it a try!
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10/10
One Tubby Tubby...
jvflyguy4119 November 2007
Warning: Spoilers
My favorite movie of all time. I guess you could call it "dumb" humor, but hilarious nevertheless. Damon Wayans plays a killing machine in the US Military and is then discharged when "there's no one left to kill." He then take up a job as a ROTC commander at a Virginia school. From there, he turns the boys from "turds" to "maggots." The boys try to get rid of Payne any way they can, but Payne always prevails. After making getting some sensitivity training from Ms. Walburn, Payne begins to win over the cadets and successfully trains them for the Virginia Military games. I highly recommend this film, you are guaranteed to laugh more every time you see it!
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7/10
Wow! A Wayans movie that is pretty good!
Rob_Taylor23 November 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I'll admit, I found the thought of watching this painful. To say I'm not a fan of the Wayans is an understatement of giant proportions. But I have to admit, within a few minutes I was smiling and laughing despite this predisposition. I think the problem with the Wayans is when they get together they aren't funny anymore. But individually, they have the potential to add to a movie greatly.

So it is with Major Payne. Wayans' nasal speech pattern could have been intensely aggravating, yet somehow it came across as just right. Neither too strong nor too whiney. The kids all give great supporting roles and nobody lets the film down.

Another plus for this movie (at least as far as I was concerned) was its absolute failure to be anything like politically correct in regard to Payne's treatment of the kids under his charge. Too often these days we see movies that are soppy wet and dripping with syrupy goodness. It makes a pleasant change to see a film where that doesn't go on. Well, at least for the most part. Payne does "mellow" somewhat as the film progresses, but not to the point of a complete character reversal, thank god.

Highlight of the movie for me was Payne's version of the "Little Engine that Could", as recited to a six year old. The story starts off normally, but steadily involves less and less "Little Engine" and more and more "'Nam" tales! The way that Payne throws out the horrors of war during the telling is just hysterical.

Of course, it is a feelgood movie so you know everything will work out in the end. That doesn't stop you smiling the whole way through, or of hanging on Payne's every utterance (which are nearly always hilarious).

I guess the movie is not for everyone, but take it from me (as an avowed Wayans hater!) that this movie is worth your time. If you don't like it by the time Payne does his "Failure to communicate!" line then maybe it isn't for you. As for me, well, it's forced me to re-evaluate my opinion of the Wayans clan somewhat.
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Funny.
powerkatz200230 July 2002
Warning: Spoilers
VERY MINOR SPOILERS

Major Payne is the story of a Major (Wayans) who is discharged from the Marines. He doesn't adjust that well to civilian life. But then his commanding officer gets him a job as leading Madison Prepatory School's ROTC program. It is interesting to see how he adjusts to life having to be sensitive after previously living a life that required none. It is a real funny movie and all the cast does a good job.
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9/10
still laughing....
audun-431 March 1999
Major Payne is an extremely funny film. It's so funny you might would want to join the military, just to find out. Major Payne became my hero. I've spent weeks trying to be just like him. I've hit on girls using stuff from the movie. Well, I made them laugh. Just watch it. You'll like it, if you're not one of those anti-military person without any humour at all.
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8/10
Funny, funny, funny.
Leon-561 August 2000
I guess peacenicks and the sort would be offended by such 'violence' but no-one forces them to sit and watch, right?

This movie is hilarious, especially after being mistreated by a Drill Instructor myself down in Parris Island. You have to be a Marine to understand that folks like Payne are not that rare, only they are more obnoxious about the pride of belonging to the Corps.

Great family entertainment.
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9/10
You'd have to be there to truly appreciate this movie.
Hades6 August 1998
In general, this is a pretty funny movie. But to truly appreciate it, you'd have to go through boot camp. I saw the movie when it first came out, and I went through boot camp for the Marine Corps just this last year. I saw Major Payne again a couple of weeks ago, and I'll tell you what, there is a lot of stuff that is much, much, funnier after having a drill instructor do the same to you. If you are one of the few and the proud, I'd highly recommend this movie. Trust me, you'll be able to relate.
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