Picks and Pans Review: In the Army Now

updated 08/22/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/22/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Pauly Shore, Lori Petty, Andy Dick

The military comedy is a time-tested vehicle to movie respectability for comic actors, from Buster Keaton to Bob Hope, Abbott and Costello to Bill Murray. They all had at least one thing going for them that Shore lacks, however: more than a morsel of talent.

Director Dan Petrie Jr. does rein in Shore's dweeb-o-rama use of his own puerile argot. He can't, however, overcome Shore's lack of timing and unfunny attitudinizing. Nor does the rest of this insipid comedy compensate.

Shore and Dick are inept Los Angeles salesmen who join the Army Reserve after being fired. Signing up to learn water purification, they end up in a war in Chad. Army touches on all the cliches, including the tyrannical sergeant and the potato-peeling punishment. Added is the politically correct tough-gal buddy, Petty. Petrie's idea of humor is to have Dick go "Cluck, cluck, cluck" to annoy Shore after accusing him of being a "chicken."

Anyone determined to accentuate the positive (and damn with the faintest of praise) could say this movie isn't quite as stupid as Shore's Son-in-Law. That's the best that can be said. (PG)

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