Jonathan Lynn doesn’t seem to get much respect as a director. And yet he directed several excellent films, including Clue, My Cousin Vinny, and Sgt. Bilko (1996). Yes, I lump that last film in with those earlier ones because I think it’s a superb comedy. Steve Martin is at the top of his game as a comedian, being effortlessly charming and funny. Plus, it has Phil Hartman as its main villain. You can’t go wrong with that kind of pairing.
To put it mildly, Sgt. Bilko is an underrated comedy. I remember when it first came out, I was surprised that it got savaged by critics. I thought it was genuinely hilarious, and as proof I offer one of the funniest scenes in the movie. This is a flashback where Bilko is explaining an old scheme he cooked up that accidentally got his superior officer in a lot of trouble. If you haven’t seen this before, you’re in for a treat.
Everything from Bilko’s sardonic narration to the fancy footwork of the two boxers combines to make this scene a comedic knockout. Sgt. Bilko is one of those films where, even if you’re not laughing hysterically throughout, you’re always smiling and having a good time with the characters, much like Clue. You want to see them succeed, despite the fact that they’re a bunch of scoundrels and ne’er-do-wells. That’s all I’ve got to say about Sgt. Bilko. I recommend you seek it out because there’s no reason a movie this good should go unnoticed.
This is the Deja Reviewer bidding you farewell until we meet again.
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