When quick-witted slacker John Winger (Bill Murray) loses his apartment, girlfriend and job all in one day, he decides to embark on a new adventure: he joins the US Army, nearly starting WWIII. Featuring an additional 18 minutes of hysterical footage, the STRIPES Extended Cut is one of the funniest military spoofs of all time. And that's the fact, Jack!
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Bill Murray was heading toward a career peak on the back of comedies such as this one from 1981, the second film in his ongoing collaboration with director Ivan Reitman (the two went on to make Ghostbusters). Murray plays a chronic loser who joins the army and fails to find a fan for his ironic sensibilities in his by-the-book sergeant (Warren Oates). When push comes to shove, however, the smirking hero takes charge of his ragtag unit and turns them into fighting machines, albeit to the rhythm of hit songs by Manfred Mann and Sly Stone. The film is occasionally funny, but it mostly plays like any one of a dozen underachieving comedies featuring players from Saturday Night Live and SCTV. --Tom Keogh
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