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1941
USA 1979
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Running time 118 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
1 stars


One can see what Steven Spielberg was trying to achieve with this film penned by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale from a John Milius story - a kind of over-the-top absurdist comedy. What it ends up being is a witless hybrid of Animal House with Dr Strangelove that does little more than spend the bulk of its running time in exorcising the characteristically American and offensively juvenile impulse of smashing up stuff.

The cast with Dan Ackroyd and John Belushi starring and including Toshiro Mifune as the Japanese submarine commander is a drawcard and there are couple of good japes, at least early in the piece, but with no narrative to speak of and no characters of any credibility the film overall amounts to nothing more than a incoherent concatenation of stunts and special effects. 

One of the most expensive comedies ever made to that time it was a box office flop and Spielberg's first failure.

 

 

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