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McHale's Navy Reviews

SGT. BILKO on a boat, loosely inspired by the '60s sitcom. Retired naval grifter Lt. Cmdr. Quinton McHale (Tom Arnold), whose service was distinguished largely by the number and magnitude of schemes he cooked up to make a little cash on the side, is rudely restored to active duty when sneering Russian terrorist Vladakov (Tim Curry) sets up shop on a Caribbean island within spitting distance of McHale's own little piece of tropical paradise. He rounds up the old crew from San Ysidro naval base, and the sorry, bumbling bunch of them (including EVIL DEAD star Bruce Campbell and French Stewart, of TV's Third Rock From the Sun) help keep the world safe for democracy, mostly in spite of themselves. This shotgun marriage of coarse laughs and low-rent action cliches is, of course, utterly predictable: Cutting-edge comedy isn't lurking under the corpses of old TV shows. The high points: A surprisingly distinguished-looking Ernest Borgnine, TV's original McHale, playing the Naval Intelligence bigwig who lures his new incarnation out of retirement, and an incredibly cute little pig who shares several scenes with Arnold and steals every one. The low points: Tim Curry, camping his way through the role of Vladakov -- the second-best terrorist in the world -- complete with the flamboyantly foreign accent he perfected in CONGO, and those spunky kids in the McHale's baseball jerseys. Aww, shucks.