John Winger lost his job one terrible day, lost his car, parted with his apartment and his girlfriend. How to live on? John makes a strong-willed decision to volunteer for the army and persuades his friend Russell to join him. The army is the best place for real men who are ready to do anything for the sake of their country!
In addition, our heroes hope, with the help of the army, to become real magnets for beauties who have been attracted by military bearing and valor at all times. So, two patriots join the army, and the question is no longer whether they can do something for the country, but whether the country can endure what they will do for it.
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The first major success in big cinema in the future of the popular director and luckiest producer Ivan Reitman was associated with the name of Bill Murray. The first major success of the genius actor Bill Murray was associated with the name of Ivan Reitman. Having found each other in 1979 on the set of a simple but positive ‘summer’ comedy ‘Meatball’, these talented people made 3 more masterpieces together, each of which became a cult and iconic comedy of the 80s. One of such reference comedies was the film ‘Reluctant Volunteers’, which walks around the world of moviegoers under several names (‘Stripes’, ‘Stripes’, ‘Stripes’, etc.) and in several versions – in an hour and a half a theatrical version and a 2-hour directorial.
‘Volunteers’ was published just in those years when comedies on a military theme began to appear one after another. Unlike politicians who have fallen deeper into insanity and are tightening bolts on the Iron Curtain more and more, people all over the world are really tired of the Cold War, restless propaganda and the buildup of arms. The more armaments were built up, the clearer it became that there would be no war, that people were fooling their heads, forcing them to look for external enemies, for lack of another explanation for the deteriorating economic and political situation. The war, the army, the service in themselves turned into a farce and more and more begged for mockery.
In 1979, heavy artillery fired in a volley in the person of Steven Spielberg and his anti-war banter ‘1941’, in which the master literally destroyed the values ââthat the American army was so proud of. And although the film was received with hostility, this grandiose slapstick did its job – he gave the green light to smaller filmmakers, clearing a foothold for military and anti-war farces, parodies and just sitcoms, in which the army was exposed as one big bunch of idiots.
The new ‘army’ comedy was made by a team of friends who understood each other well, so the result was a film so free, chaotic, improvisational and funny that it looks more like a well-rehearsed student skit. Judge for yourself: Ivan Reitman and Bill Murray – both became famous after ‘Meatballs’ and understood each other perfectly. Murray and Harold Ramis have been old acquaintances since the days of Saturday Night Live, in addition, Ramis became famous when he debuted as a director and screenwriter of the comedy Golf Club with … Bill Murray. He also got into this film under the patronage of Murray and not only played in tandem with his friend, but also wrote the script. Another star of this comedy, hilarious fat man John Candy, an old friend of Ramis, with whom he was on the TV show ‘Second City’ back in the 70s, in addition, Candy moved to the set of ‘Volunteers’, literally without changing the form that he put on for filming in ‘1941’! As you can see, everyone here was old friends and good acquaintances to each other, and this creates the feeling that these are just old army friends who got together and make fun of each other, remembering the years of service.
This film differs from similar ones only in that the humor here is a couple of orders of magnitude higher than in films of the same subject of the late 90s – early 2000s. Although, of course, it is impossible to do without obligatory moments. There is also a silly captain, and a malicious sergeant, and idle soldiers, slovens, and AWOL, and stupid ‘boys’ jokes, and loyal friendship, and a war with discipline, and, as a result, an accidental feat at the end.
However, it is served very lightly and ironically. The emphasis is on the army as a source of fun and an island of anarchy, where no laws and stupid sergeants can restrain the valiant prowess of young merry fellows, no statutes can replace a sense of humor and no punishment cells and regimes will discourage normal boys from having a chat and spending time for their own pleasure, and not for the good of the state, which, in principle, spit on them. The days of Platoon are over. Now a soldier goes to the army to replace his idleness in civilian life with something, and not for some lofty goals. Reitman jokingly poses the question: does America need such an army at all? And is America so almighty if it has to be rescued from its own soldiers who dishonor it on every corner. And in the finale, when these idlers, inept and half-witted ones are also turned into national heroes, we are clearly given to understand what a showy show the over-praised American army has become. Service is a great show, which if you don’t know how to do it right, do it at least with fun! As a person who does not tolerate militarism and in general everything related to war, army and weapons, this approach is extremely close to me, as well as the attitude towards the army of the heroes Murray and Ramis.
‘I do what I want!’ – this motto Murray carried through his entire conscious career, with this cynical, slovenly and devil-may-care motto, he played his best roles. According to the same scheme, one to one after ‘Meatballs’ and ‘Golf Club’, she played a role in this comedy. By the way, Murray hardly had to play here. The very first shots show us almost the biography of Murray himself – a bummer and prankster who changes one ‘bring it’ job to another and does everything so that no one else is forced. In this film, a bum, a bum, a womanizer, an egoist Murray appeared in all the glory of his talent. How sincere he is in his carelessness, how good he is in his idleness. At the same time, he is an absolutely positive hero, because we see in him a simple guy who does not care about orders, who lives freely and cheerfully, but will always come to the aid of a friend, he can sincerely love and honestly fulfill his duty if he really squeezes. Such images became the beginning of the evolution that Murray’s characters gradually underwent in the future – from the disgusting in their greed and hypocrisy heroes of Groundhog Day or A Christmas Story to the complex psychological human drama in Lost in Translation. Of course, Murray, the soul and face of this film is mocking, mocking, but good-natured.
Of course, Harold Ramis is good – an actor of the same type, playing cute intellectuals, but a great director and a genius screenwriter. Explosive John Candy in the role of a stupid soldier who went to the army to lose weight. In general, there are many great roles here, and from the mouth of Warren Oates, who played a sergeant and, alas, died immediately after the filming of this film, the legendary phrase in the future sounded for the first time: ‘I’m too old for this shit!’ By the way, if you search, in similar films of the 80s and 90s you can find a lot of tricks from this brilliant comedy.
By the way, at one time he produced the effect of an atomic bomb exploding, turning popular comedians into box-office superstars. If you like films such as ‘Sergeant Bilko’, ‘Remove Periscope’, ‘Best Defense’, ‘Spies Like Us’, ‘1941’, ‘Major Payne’, ‘Police Academy’, etc., then feel free to watch this movie is the bestseller of its kind, a new form of strategic comedy weaponry.
Codec: HEVC / H.265 (63.3 Mb/s)
Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)
Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1
English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
French: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
German: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Portuguese: Dolby Digital 2.0
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Italian: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
English SDH, Arabic, Mandarin (Simplified), Mandarin (Traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai, Turkish, Portuguese (Brazilian).