McHale's Navy (1997)

"Movie Magazine International" Review

(Air Date: 4/23/97)

By Alex Lau

My review for the new movie, "McHale's Navy," can be boiled down to four words: "Don't waste your time." However, that's too short, so I guess I have to elaborate a little.

The film stars Tom Arnold as Quinton McHale, a retired Naval officer who spends his time nowadays smuggling items like McHale's Ale and McHale's Ice Cream onto a Carribean Navy base. The base gets a new commanding officer, played by Dean Stockwell. Attempted hilarities ensue.

All of a sudden, there's some kind of threat posed by a terrorist named Vladikov, played by Tim Curry. Vladikov has a prior relationship with McHale, and one thing leads to another and it leads to a big confrontation at the end.

The connection to the TV show "McHale's Navy" is tenuous, at best; Ernest Borgnine makes a cameo appearance, and that's about it. The plot is exceedingly thin, and the characters seem to have come right out of The Book. You know, The Book that tells you that you need a clever guy, a stupid strong guy, a lady's man, and the naive one.

Even with all these faults, there's only one thing that really cannot be forgiven: it's not funny. It's not even crack-a-smile funny, let alone laugh-out-loud funny. I've never seen so many jokes fall flat in my life. Director Bryan Spicer, whose previous works include "Power Rangers: The Movie," and writer Peter Crabbe, who also wrote the remake of "Car 54, Where Are You?" seem to be trying to hide an action movie inside this so-called comedy, and as a result, everything fails.

Tom Arnold should just retire, after having subjected moviegoing audiences to "The Stupids" and "Carpool," and completing the trifecta of absolute awfulness with "McHale's Navy." Tim Curry has got to get a better agent. And write your congressional representatives now, we've got to make turning old TV shows into movies illegal.

I'm not going to honor "McHale's Navy" by ranking it among the worst ever. I'm just going to repeat myself. Don't waste your time.

Copyright 1997 Alex Lau

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