First-Time Watch Review – Stripes

Posted on 7 November 2020
By Dana Andersen
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It seems that any movie starring Bill Murray becomes an instant ‘must see’ movie, and remains that way indefinitely.

The reason behind this, especially in the case of Stripes, is because he is not only a fantastic actor, but also one with near immaculate comedic timing and an unexplainable but extreme likability.

Stripes takes us on the journey of down on his luck taxi driver John Winger, who joins the military after losing his job, apartment, car, and girlfriend, all in one day.

He doesn’t go it alone though, he signs up with his best friend Russell, played by Harold Ramis, and we’re soon introduced to the rest of the ragtag class of new recruits, including icon of 80’s comedy John Candy.

This isn’t just a movie with a star spangled cast though, the plot unravels like a ball of yarn, becoming increasingly ridiculous and exciting, while still having that line of yarn to connect it all into a cohesive and uplifting series of events.

As is standard for 80’s comedy war films, theres an array of explosions and romances involving beautiful women, but don’t get too comfortable, theres also plenty of unexpected mud wrestling, inadvertent crossings of enemy borders, and the underdogs truly showing their worth.

Although it may not be the most unique movie, its one that holds a comfortable nostalgia even on the first watch.

It follows whats expected of an 80’s comedy like this, it begins with the hilariously unlucky experiences of the main character, follows onto what he’s going to do to regain some degree of purpose in his life, only for that purpose to be something he’s terrible at.

Culminating with everything coming together, resulting in the underdog main character we’ve all been rooting for coming out on top, the audience is left with that feel good experience we all want from a comedy.

Stripes isn’t the film to watch if you want something exceptional and innovative, but if you’re looking for something that’ll lift your spirits for the day and provide you with some belly laughs, Stripes is certainly still a movie that can be considered a ‘must watch’.