The first time I watched this movie, I wondered, "What's the big deal?" But then I gave it another chance, and it began to grow on me. It's now one of the indispensables in my collection.
John Winger is an underachieving slob who has lost his job, his car and his girlfriend all in the course of a single morning. His somewhat unorthodox solution is to join the army and bring a friend with him.
Bill Murray has insincerity down to an art form, as the smart-aleck Winger who clashes with the hard case Sergeant Hulka from day one. John Candy and Harold Ramis lead a great supporting cast that makes up Winger's platoon full of losers. John Larroquette also performs well as the idiot base commander who is more interested in chasing women than managing his responsibilities.
From the beginning, Winger is a square peg in a round hole, and while his friends like him (sort of), the people in authority certainly don't. Winger does, however, have a certain magnetism as an individual who is willing to challenge authority, and becomes the "leader" of the platoon when Sergeant Hulka is injured in a training accident. Predictably (yet hilariously), the platoon comes together and pulls off a wonderful performance at their graduation, earning them a choice assignment, which they promptly screw up, and then turn themselves into heroes.
While certainly not a classic of the american cinema, this movie is a classic of '80s comedy, and should be welcomed into any DVD collection, especially for [the item price].