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Movie review: McHale's Navy

McHale's Navy
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Movie review: McHale's Navy


The TV series has been upgraded to the big screen in this feature length film from 1997. Captain McHale and his crew of oddball misfits must spring to action when a new base commander arrives at the same time a terrorist sets up camp in the San Ysidro Island neighborhood.

Tom Arnold (McHale), Dean Stockwell (Binghampton), Debra Messing (Carpenter), David Grier (Parker), Tim Curry (Vladikov), Ernest Borgnine (Cobra), Bruce Campbell (Virgil), French Stewart (Happy), Danton Stone (Gruber).

Based on the 1960's TV series, this updated version of McHale's Navy includes color! It is easy to look at this one and call it a silly B-movie because that is really what it is. About 30 years too late, this is almost 2 hours of 1960's sit-com with different actors and the same plot theme. The film isn't bad for what it is but, you would have thought after 30 years something special would have been added. Instead it comes across as a strange attempt at reinvigorating a long dead franchise.

Acting was surprisingly decent here. Arnold, though not a practiced master, did fairly well. Stockwell brought his unique blend of strange to his role. Messing was seriously underused while Grier felt a bit overused. Curry was an interesting choice that entrenched the film solidly as a B-movie comedy. The cameo appearances by Borgnine were nice.

Camera work, sets, and backgrounds were well done considering what this film was. Effects were physical stunts and quite fun actually. Dialogue was campy with a side of happy-ever-after thrown in. Sound and soundtrack were both okay.

Overall McHale's Navy is a poor remake of the series with the same name. At the same time as a stand-alone film it is a mildly entertaining B-movie comedy. Fans of the original series may be a bit disappointed here.

With some action violence, mild foul language, and sexual innuendo this should be fine for teens and above.

Released: 1997
Reviewed: 12.9.13
Star rating: 2 out of 5
Genre: Comedies, Action Comedies, B-movie comedy

copyright ©2013 Dave Riedel

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