Starring: Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, John Candy
Director: Ivan Reitman
Running Time: 106 mins
Stripes is an American film about two men frustrated with their lives who decide to join the army, but find even more difficult with the harsh discipline expected there.
A lovably ridiculous comedy that’s filled with laughs from start to finish, Stripes is huge fun, and delights with a now all-star cast all giving charismatic, energetic and fun-loving performances.
Bill Murray plays an effortlessly lovable slacker whose approach to life finds him at odds with the heavy discipline expected of him in the army – and while his attitude may sound annoying at first, his genuine earnestness will put a smile on your face within moments.
Alongside Murray, the likes of Harold Ramis and John Candy delight in equally charismatic supporting roles, while P.J. Soles and Sean Young impress late on in the film with hugely enjoyable performances, despite not being given the most three-dimensional roles by the screenplay.
The cast is excellent across the board here, but the writing is a lot of fun too. Stripes is an unashamedly silly film, with similar comedic sensibilities to the likes of M*A*S*H but without the darker satirical elements. In short, it’s an hour and a half of watching a bunch of military buffoons mess about, and get into increasingly manic high jinks.
From Murray’s run-ins with the comically strict drill sergeant to the preposterous final act on tour in Europe, there are big laughs from beginning to end here – and that makes Stripes an absolute joy to sit back and enjoy.
Overall, I really had a good time with Stripes. It’s a light-hearted, fun-loving and enormously silly comedy filled with lovable charisma and hilarious performances all the way through, so that’s why I’m giving it a 7.6.