3 November 2010 | oneguyrambling
Steve Martin makes it seem better than it really is.
Realistically, the dubbo's have been the stingiest or most disappointing decade for comedy heroes. I've whinged about this before, but the days of reliable comedy icons monopolising the box office on an annual basis appear over.
Consider the 80s and 90s, Eddie Murphy, Steve Martin and Bill Murray, Vs the 00s, Sandler, Ferrell, Stiller, (and I'll throw Carrey in there).
Who will history be more kind to? This brings us to Steve Martin, the master of being fake. Fake happy, fake sincere, fake angry, fake remorseful. In Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, LA Story, Little Shop of Horrors, Leap of Faith, My Blue Heaven (underrated) and Bowfinger you always knew Steve was too everything mentioned above, happy, sincere etc
but he was always convincing enough in a funny way that set him apart from everyone before or since.
I still maintain that Bill Murray and Steve Martin are the two guys I would laugh at regardless of what they were doing, if they were trying to be funny or not.
So why have I wasted words telling you what you probably already know? Because if you don't already like Steve Martin there is a 99% chance that you will find Sgt Bilko very underwhelming, as he makes the film his own.
Steve is Bilko, a corrupt, conniving, deceitful and untrustworthy soldier in command of the motor pool an the army base Fort Baxter, but he is all those things in the most PG friendly Disney way.
I would waste a lot of time describing his mannerisms and what would ordinarily be inane chit chat between he and the officers hell bent on bringing him down, as it is generally not what he says or even how he says it to a point. It is just that he is Steve while he is doing and saying these things, which should be obvious.
I just can't imagine Ferrell being Bilko without hamming and getting near naked or Sandler without yelling and trying all the while to be endearing (there is NO-ONE in comedy that wants to be liked more than Sandler, regardless of who he is playing).
This leaves Stiller as the logical next up, but I just don't think he has the personality to pull it off. Consider this: Stiller's two best roles, a vain, clueless moron model in Zoolander and a vain, clueless moron actor in Tropic Thunder.
Coincidence? Back to Sgt Bilko, you'll have to take my word for this, Sgt Bilko is a paint by numbers Disney comedy that should be pointless. It has cookie cutter characters and situations but again if you like Steve Martin you should get more than a couple of chuckles.
Put it this way, about 5 minutes in Bilko asks a superior officer "Have you lost weight?", if that doesn't turn the corners of your mouth up switch off the DVD because that is about as funny as Sgt Bilko gets, and even that is only funny because of Martin's delivery.
For some reason that made me laugh, and I laughed often enough to want to see this again in the future at some point.
Final Rating – 6.5 / 10. Shouldn't work but the presence of Steve Martin adds value to any film and he does enough here to warrant a rental.
If you liked this (or even if you didn't) check out oneguyrambling.com