From the opening shots we feel the slow mood of the film, yet if we look a little closer, we see comedy and havoc all around. This is in my opinion, Altman's finest piece - the film is superbly shot, showing fantastic long shots, typical of the era. Elliot Gould has never been so cool, and Donald Sutherland's dryness is sublime. The cast as a whole are the driving force behind this movie - the actor's clearly have taken time to learn their character's, and it really shows, right down to Radar's communication with the field Marshall (or whatever he is). It is very much a character driven movie.
The football game just shows what these people are really like - fun, scheming, lovable cheats - but it pays off because the opposition is so loathsome.
Beautifully written, shot, acted and the rest. Without a shadow of a doubt this is a 10 out of 10 and one of the best comedies around.