Major Payne (1995) Poster

(1995)

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Wayans Steals the Show
Michael_Elliott26 January 2018
Major Payne (1995)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

Major Payne (Damon Wayans) is a killing machine but when he's discharged from the marines he is forced to take over a group of unfit and misguided children.

Throughout the history of cinema, going back to the silent era, there have been comedies about tough Army men who end up with idiots that they have to deal with, which is pretty much what you got with this film. There's certainly nothing ground-breaking in the material but if you're a fan of Wayans then you'll probably enjoy his act here.

Obviously, seeing Wayans act like a tough guy is where most of the laughs come from as he struts around barking orders as well as insults to the children. I remember seeing this in a theater and hearing complaints from some parents who thought the jokes crossed a line but for the most part they are funny for what they are.

The support cast of characters are good for the most part but they're obviously just punching bags for the lead character. As with most films like this, the loveable ending seems a bit forced and is a bit silly but the film delivers enough laughs to make it worth watching.
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6/10
A few laughs A feel good movie Didn't expect much more
SnoopyStyle19 October 2013
Maj. Benson Payne (Damon Wayans) is a super soldier, except he has failed to get a promotion for the second time and gets discharged. He finds his killing skills have little use in civilian life. His only job is to command a local school's JROTC program for a bunch of ragtag misfits. He finds his skills are not really appreciated by the kids either.

Damon Wayans is doing a pretty funny bit here, but it could be tiresome at times. The good part is the kids. They all learn a good lesson and we have a good laugh over it. Sure he's a cartoon character, but that's what we expect. Nobody is expecting Shakespeare.
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Unfunny and unsure of it's audience
bob the moo20 September 2003
After being passed over for promotion yet again, Major Benson Payne accepts that his brand of `killing machine' is no longer required by the military and goes to take a job with the military academy within a preparatory school. However his brand of training immediately sets the boys against him and both he and the cadets must make changes to hope to win the annual competition between the military academies in the state.

With an unfunny and silly pun for a title, nobody could claim that they didn't know what they were getting into with this one. Certainly I knew that it would be a silly Wayans comedy that would be dumb but hopefully enough to pass the time. Sadly the film fails to entertain for several reasons. The main reason is that the film doesn't know who will be watching it, and this shows in many ways. Most notably is the way that the material is occasionally aimed at children and other times at adults or older teenagers. It's difficult to find a common level when the film has fart jokes mixed with spoofs of Full Metal Jacket and Apocalypse Now.

Of course this mixing of audience is usually something I'm in support of, when it is done well. However none of this is done especially well – I laughed twice but they were half laughs. Most of the jokes are puerile and pointless, material is stretched beyond it's capability and breaks as a result. The spoofs are not so much pastiches, rather just scenes that ape other films and expect to be funny for that reason alone. The kids stuff is too mixed with foul language and unpleasantness to be appropriate for kids to watch. Teenagers are probably the main audience but hopefully we are raising kids to have better taste that this type of trash!

Wayans is an OK clown most of the time but here he puts on an absurd cartoon voice that is more irritating than funny – did someone tell him this was a good idea or was it his decision? His Major is annoying and hard to get behind in any way. Parsons has a thankless role as she has to convince us that a woman like her would fall for such an unpleasant guy – she never convinces and ends up just looking pretty for the rest of the film. The cadets are a mix of clichés that are filled well but never rise about the stereotypical characters they are put into.

If you can't imagine how this film will end then maybe this film is for you! For the rest of us the plot is as signposted and obvious as the majority of the jokes. This is not funny dumb, it is just dumb. I was only hoping for a silly entertaining film to pass 90 minutes, the fact that it even failed to fill that requirement should give you an idea of how poor this film was.
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4/10
Who Put This in the Favorites Section? Arrrrrgghhh!!!
gavin694221 August 2006
If this is someone's "favorite" movie, they need some serious help. There is nothing funny or clever about this crapfest. I haven't seen the original movie this is the remake of (some 1950s film), but it simply has to be better than this newer bastardization.

A major gets kicked out of the military for being a fringe element, and winds up teaching children at an ROTC school. Unfortunately, the major is Daman Wayans... so the children are in for a world of annoying, humorless asininity. Can Wayans whip these losers into shape? Can they get him to become a little more human? The film bombs as most Wayans films do, with only a few sparkling moments. William Hickey gets about one minute of screen time, fair too little. This charming old man (known best to me as a "Tales from the Crypt" actor, known best to you as Uncle Louis from "Christmas Vacation") shines every moment he's on screen, which isn't much here.

Bam Bam Bigelow also makes an appearance as a biker, which fits him perfectly. I wouldn't mind slightly more Bam Bam, but I think he carried the role of "biker" about as far as it could be carried for a military film.

And then there's the attractive teacher, who someone falls for Major Payne even though he treats the kids poorly, has no social skills and is simply impossible to convert into someone you would want to spend time with. She must either be incredibly stupid or incredibly desperate. I'm not sure which (though it would seem "stupid" since the movie makes it clear she gets out of the house often enough).

Wayans had one shining moment: a dance sequence where he performs a series of moves (including a very nice "robot"), and with the help of music from 2 Live Crew. This scene was enjoyable but hardly made up for anything else that made this film dog spittle.

Seriously, avoid this film. If you want to see a film a bout a loser who helps loser kids become heroes, rent or buy "Ernest Goes to Camp". At least he's a lovable loser, and actually funny. Maybe if Major Payne had fought a badger I'd feel better, but he didn't. Forget Payne, forget Wayans... you can do so much better.
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5/10
a nice way to pass time, but don't expect anything great
lee_eisenberg29 May 2006
Before Damon Wayans started appearing in movies like "Bamboozled", he starred in completely silly flicks like "Major Payne". This one casts him as an ex-soldier who becomes a drill sergeant for a bunch of teenage losers. As you might expect, there's a lot of humor that seems like they deliberately wanted it to be stupid, but the movie does elicit a few laughs. Still, there are much better movies out there, so only make this your choice if there are no other choices (although I hold it in higher regard than I hold Disney's version of "Cinderella"). Witless, but quite entertaining. In conclusion, you won't feel a major pain if you watch this.
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5/10
A Fun Film, But Not For Kids
ccthemovieman-113 October 2006
I really liked this on the first viewing and felt the opposite the next time I watched. Funny how these things happen. I guess the first time I didn't mind the crudeness, kids' swearing and predictable ending. I guess I didn't feel that this would be poor examples for other kids to see. Well, I was wrong.

Nonetheless, to point out the good parts, Damon Wayans was funny as "Major Payne," dishing out some genuinely funny insult lines to the kids. The strange way he talks was pretty humorous, too. While the language is crude at times, there are no f-words or Lord's name in vain. Karyn Parsons is a new face and name and is a pretty woman, although her character was annoying at times. She looks and sounds a lot like Jada Pinkett.

This is a fun movie...but I don't recommend it for kids.
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3/10
MAJOR PAIN More Like
Theo Robertson1 September 2003
Did anyone stop to realise what sort of movie they were producing here ? Now let`s a former marine officer becomes assinged to a group of kids at a cadet school so this should be a family comedy right ? Wrong . This is just a gross comedy aimed at teenagers with many bad taste moments .It might have been watchable in an extremely dumb way at this point but I found Damon Wayans voice to be irritating beyond belief . Does he speak like that in real life ? If he does then he has my sympathy but he won`t be getting any of my money from watching his movies
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6/10
Not bad, just didn't find it terribly funny
TBJCSKCNRRQTreviews23 August 2006
I've watched this a number of times, and I still have yet to really find any part of it terribly funny. In spite of that, I will attempt to review it as objectively as I can. The concept is interesting, though the formula, basic plot progression and execution is something that we've seen before. The plot was fair. The humor is pitch black and then some, with violent verbal descriptions and images, to go with the lead being a tough Marine. The first few scenes detailing his personality, methods and preferred activities do a nice job of setting up for the rest of the film. We join Mr. Payne(a name I personally found was put to better use in the video game released half a decade ago, featuring a title character of the same last name, but I digress) just as he's being discharged from the Marines. There's no one left for him to kill. So what does a killin' machine do? Train children in the vein of his own training. The acting is fairly good. I must say, Mr. Wayans really surprised me. He clearly does possess more talent than one would think... and this is coming from someone who really does like the man, and watched as much of the sitcom that was named after him as I had the chance to. Say what you will about him, but don't claim that he can't act. Going about as far into the other end of the spectrum from the grinning charmer that he usually portrays, he's just about as hardball and nasty as you get, in this film. The cinematography and editing are decent enough... they do a fine job of making it all work and come together, without going above expectations or breaking any new ground. In fact, the same could be said about the writing. The soundtrack is adequately chosen. All in all, I'm sure this film has an audience... the sheer amount of positive reviews compared to negative ones on this very site support that theory pretty well. I recommend this to anyone who has read positive reviews and recognizes what they read as something they'd enjoy. 6/10
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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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5/10
Major Pain in the Ass.
anaconda-4065830 June 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Major Payne (1995): Dir: Nick Castle / Cast: Damon Wayans, Karyn Parsons, Steven Martini, Michael Ironside, William Hickey: Formula driven military comedy about an individual succeeding the thresholds of war and now reduced to a different trial. Damon Wayans plays Major Benson Winifred Payne who returns from a South American drug raid that contains a hilarious reference to Apocalypse Now. Unfortunately he is placed in charge of a group of misfit kids that he immediately lines up and unloads every insult possible in accordance to any physical standout in their appearance. This lands him in hot water with the mother of one of the boys. She is played by Karyn Parsons and her job is to lecture and predictably become the cardboard romantic interest. Wayans holds his own injecting harsh reality to these kids including an amusing sequence where he unloads his gun on a closet door to prove to one kid that nothing scary is in there. The pranks pulled by the kids always backfire proving Payne to be ahead of them intellectually. Supporting cast are an assortment of cardboard cut-outs. Steven Martini plays the rebel older kid in need of a reality check. Michael Ironside is wasted in one scene as an abusive father. William Hickey appears briefly to prove that he has more insects in his office than cans of Raid. While it satires military and behaviour, its delivery is a pain all its own. Score: 5 ½ / 10
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6/10
It's hard not to laugh honestly
Smells_Like_Cheese2 November 2007
Last night I was looking for a movie to watch and I came across Major Payne, with Damon Waynes as the star. I wasn't too sure if the movie would work, from the looks of the cover, it just looked like an over the top comedy that would have forceful humor. But I have to admit that when I watched it, it actually made me laugh quite a bit. I know that it was a silly movie, but how could you not laugh at these situations? I just loved the whole introduction to the cadets, how pathetic they were and how they had to face Major Payne. This movie is by no means Oscar material, but it's just a fun little comedy that I'm sure will get you a few laughs. The story is Full Metal Jacket, just the more fun and light version.

Major Payne is kicked out of the military after having a few "anger" problems. But he is given a new assignment, to handle a military school with little kids. The kids aren't exactly military material, they're skinny, fat, undisciplined, and over sensitive. It's Major Payne's job to teach these little one's his world of discipline. He drives them crazy, so much so, to the point where they wanna prove themselves and win the trophy against other tougher military schools and prove to Major Payne who's the best troop around.

Major Payne is pretty stupid at times, but it was just a fun comedy. I couldn't help but laugh at the part where they hire Bam Bam to beat up Major Payne, it looks like the kids finally won and yet of course, Major Payne wins again. Not to mention when Major Payne was reading one of the kids a bed time story and how graphic he got with it, I know it was a stupid part, but it was just so funny to me. Major Payne is worth a look, I thought it was a cool comedy that put a different twist on boot camps all around the world.

6/10
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8/10
I laughed my head off
helpless_dancer16 December 1998
This one poked fun at the military schools and came off well. Good acting and funny script kept it going. I fell in the floor watching the Major eat, but do you really think a fine, foxy babe would be even remotely attracted to this animal? It was totally unrealistic, but was made for a big laugh so who cares?
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8/10
Funny and not as Payneful as it seems!
GOWBTW20 January 2007
Damon Wayans puts out his best comical characters into action. He is "Major Payne", a hardcore Marine mercenary who is put in a military school, which is nothing compared to what out on the battlefield. I liked the beginning of the movie where this soldier gets shot, and Major Payne breaks his finger to forget about the gunshot wound. So when he gets discharged from the Marines, he has to find work. Very civilian challenged, he goes to this military school where he deals with a batch of ragtime losers. He handles these guys a little too hard. One of the younger kids was orphaned, and the other thought he could build trust with the Major. Two words, "NOT HAPPENING!" The kids he tortures can't stand him any minute. They try to spike his food with laxatives, a gassy backfire is what it resulted. They had to run around the academy in dresses. That's a total riot! They sent this motorcycle dude(Scott "Bam Bam" Bigelow,1961-2007), that didn't work. When the guys start giving him trust, the battlefield is like any other workday to him. He'll never change his ways, but he'll make you change you attitude! "Major Payne" is like "Homey The Clown" with battle-gear. But Homey would never stand a chance against Major Payne. Rating 3 out of 5 stars!
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easy to watch even if not all that memorable
Special-K8814 October 2021
Wars are no longer fought on the battlefield...bad news for grizzled, gung-ho Marine officer (and proud killer) Major Payne who suddenly finds himself unfit for the service. Equally unfit for civilian life, he relocates to a prep school in Virginia where he's tasked with training the JROTC--a disorderly bunch without a sense of pride, but Payne's stringent methods don't mesh with these uninspired slackers. There's nothing particularly special or surprising about the story, but Wayans is all kinds of fun as the gruff warrior-turned-teacher for whom war is a way of life. **
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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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3/10
Major Payne (1995)
fntstcplnt1 May 2020
Directed by Nick Castle. Starring Damon Wayans, Karyn Parsons, Steven Martini, Orlando Brown, Chris Owen, Andrew Harrison Leeds, Albert Hall, Damien Dante Wayans, Stephen Coleman. (PG-13)

Reworking of "The Private War of Major Benson" as a vehicle for comedy star Wayans; his cartoonish characterization (replete with a "funny" nasal wheeze of a voice) feels lifted out of the world of sketch comedy, and the movie is akin to a mildly amusing five-minute skit stretched out to an interminable hour-and-a-half. He's a gung-ho soldier without a war to fight, so he takes his maniacal martinet skills to a private school's Junior ROTC program to whip up a motley bunch of misfit youths into lean, mean fighting machines. Repetitive juvenile gags and humiliation aplenty, giving way to late-film sappiness, plus there's a shallow, chemistry-free romantic sub-plot only because the script said so. Not a total waste--the Spike Lee crack is funny--but an insipid slog to get to the few bright moments. William Hickey and Michael Ironside show up in pointless cameos.

30/100
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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
Damon Wayans' hilarious
mitsubishizero9 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
This's another comedy the critics got wrong. Damon Wayans as the title character is hilarious. His voice, delivery and antics get more than enough laughs from the audience. He plays a former Marine struggling to adapt to civilian life after being discharged. After getting arrested for assault during a job interview for the Police Department he gets a job training a bunch of young misfits to win an upcoming competition. While training them he butts heads with the counselor Emily Walburn (Karyn Parsons) over his treatment of the cadets. Needless to say hilarity ensures.

So yeah this movie's funny as well heartfelt though that's towards the end. I'd say check this movie out for yourself.
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4/10
Not excellent, but it is funny
rebeljenn19 January 2006
'Major Payne' is a film about a major who makes life a living Hell for his small group of boys in the marines. This film does not really have a lot to offer, but it provides several hilarious moments that are well-worth a watch. Don't expect it to be a memorable film, however. Just expect to laugh your way through the film and at the expense of other people. The confrontation between Major Payne and the chubby boy were hilarious, and that's really all I remember about the film except for the boys wanting revenge on Major Payne. Again, it is not a great film, and it is probably best watched on a rainy day when you need some laughter.
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7/10
Good
manitobaman811 September 2014
The dichotomy in reviewer assessments of MAJOR PAYNE has, I fear, more to do with the reviewers' life experiences than the film. I waited years to see this movie. Now that I've seen it and read the other reviews, I wonder if I watched the same movie. The film is dull. The sets are strictly poverty row, the cinematography uninspired. There is absolutely no creepiness except for the ending. The actors walk through their parts. MAJOR PAYNE is like a time capsule, a reflection of a world long gone. After seeing the previews I thought I'd be disappointed; it just seemed wrong. However, on viewing the film I must say the persons involved did a credible job.
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Major Payne
hotwheelerd-6184312 January 2021
Warning: Spoilers
The FILM of the 90s I Love this Film Damon Wayans Rocked this Film. I was in Army Cadets for a Short time. There is Always a Man like him. Taking his Job over bourd he Rocked this Film the way he Treated the Kids. Oh and when he Shaved all there Heads, and the Dogs Head I was in tears laughing. His Dancing was out of this World. And taking his gun to the child's closed and blowing hols into it. To blow away the Bad stuff was Totally Awesome. Made that little boy so happy. Ah cool you Blew away all the Bad stuff No way there coming back. Then gave him a Big hug that was Priceless. Just STOLD that Little Boys Heart. I am a Daddy do you Know how many times my Little Boy came running to me for stuff like that a NIGHT. WHAT HAPPENS IF I HAD A FAKE GUN. NOT A REAL ONE A FAKE ONE. AND FAKE I BLEW THEM AWAY LOL. It was just a very Funny part of the Film. Oh and that one part when the One father was smacking the Biggest Boy around how he stuck up for him. After he stuck up for him he got so much respect from the Big Tough Kid. All the Kids respected the Major Payne in Charge. It was just a great film in my opinion GREAT young actors and great cast and also if you watch it closely great MESSAGES.
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Payne in the.....
mcfly-3127 December 2002
I don't know who I'm more disappointed in. The critics, or the regular movie going public. You people laughed at this crap?????? This is one of the more juvenile and migrane inspiring comedies of all time. Firing shots into a closet to kill a boogeyman??? A goofy voice makes you funny??? Shaving a blind boy AND his seeing eye dog??? Oh, and the knee-slapper no empty screenplay would be without...farts!!!! Weeeeee!! I must be a cynic, I guess, if I'm not laughing from any of those ingenius moments. I had to save this one for last though: the blatant, so cutesy it's puke inducing, "Stripes" rip where the kids dance in unison as they bark military jargon. I didn't laugh when Bill Murray and Co. did it, and I rolled my eyes and gave this one an "Oh, Pullllleeeze!!!" as well. Here, look how hard we try to be cool and smoothe by bouncing around, straying from the formalities of a serious system to force some laughs from the crowd. And I swear to you I called it when I barked, "And watch Wayans smile when they're through!", and sure enough! His mouth slants in pride of his boys. Please, Lord, make it stop! It did, including any horrific signal of the apocolypse with the avoiding of a sequal.
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A "guilty pleasure" comedy - but should only be watched by military veterans
Eric-122610 December 2001
Some people love this movie, others hate it (it reminds me of that movie "Dutch" with Ed O'Neil). I can relate to both camps. I know low-brow comedy when I see it, and this truly is obnoxious comedy at its best (or worst) but then again, so was that SOB called Boot Camp that some of us lucky ones got to go through. So if you are ex-military, OR perhaps had any sort of disciplined upbringing by an ex-military father, watch this movie and you will laugh til you cry. I can't think of a better movie to watch to give comic relief and some emotional counterbalance to the whole dreadful experience of boot camp.

Many of the gags are side-splittingly funny, and the vocal tones and mannerisms of Major Payne are just spot-on hilarious (again, not everybody will find it funny, mainly it's for those who were there). And the kids in the film do a remarkable job in their supporting roles. The kids in fact steal the show (especially the younger ones). Lots of absurdity in the movie, but still here and there peeks through a poignant maturity on the deeper symbolism of what boot camp is all about (do you want to steal that trophy, or do you want to WIN it?).

I enjoyed this movie alot, not just for the comedy, but for the fact that it brought back a few fond memories of military life in spite of it all.

Favorite lines... Major Payne: Cause maybe I like ya'.

Foxy babe: Is that all?

Major Payne: Cause maybe I like ya' alot.

Foxy babe: (puppy dog eyes...)

Major Payne: Don't push the maybe, baby!
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5/10
A half-wit and a freak.
Timofey198015 April 2021
The major will never be promoted to the rank of colonel for one reason - he can only kill, he is simply not capable of anything else. He is being dismissed. The police work does not suit him, and our hero dies of boredom in one of the hotel rooms. Suddenly, he receives an offer to become a military training instructor at a military training institution. This funny comedy, full of funny jokes and funny situations, tells about how the relationship of the "hard-hearted soldier" will develop with young wards and one very attractive teacher.
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