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R: ARCHIVE, S: REVIEWS, D: 04/24/1997,

McHale's Navy

All apologies to the handful of Americans who've waited decades for this big-screen update of the '60s sit-com -- the result is both awful and awfully irrelevant. Indeed, remake- and sequel-itis so pervade the film that its cinematography is credited to one Buzz Feitshans IV. Set on a Caribbean island that no doubt provided its "talent" with a nice vacation, McHale's Navy follows the cheerily insubordinate but deep-down patriotic McHale (Tom Arnold) in his naval struggles against a sour and squeaky-voiced commanding officer (Dean Stockwell), referred to as "the guy who sank the Love Boat," and a "crazed East German" terrorist (Tim Curry) who killed McHale's best buddy down in Panama and now plans to bomb Washington, DC.

After being personally selected by the Pentagon (ha ha!), McHale and his crew of barely individuated losers use their souped-up PT boat to thwart the terrorist in an epic sea-battle finale better suited to Waterworld. More watchable but also more vulgar than the series, McHale's Navy is unsinkable because it never got itself afloat. At the Copley Place, the Fresh Pond, and the Allston and in the suburbs.

-- Rob Nelson