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Let's face facts here: You don't watch a movie likeMajor Paynefor its artistic merit any more than you'd watchSchindler's Listfor its comedy. If you go in thinking otherwise, you're bucking for a disappointment. So it's a pleasant surprise to discover thatMajor Payneis more entertaining than a barrel full of bad reviews would lead you to believe. It's a totally formulaic comedy about a bunch of misfit kids who turn into a crack squad of skillfully disciplined ROTC cadets, but Damon Wayans is spot-on hilarious in the title role as the hardened military bulldog who whips the little slackers into shape. Wayans plays the role as if killing and warfare were the only joys in life, and when he finds himself cast adrift without a military commission, a scene that directly parodiesApocalypse Nowlets you know that Wayans (who cowrote the script) is going to bring something new to this routine scenario. Major Payne's idea of a good bedtime story is to recall his worst battlefield horrors, and Wayans gives it just the right twist of comedy to put Payne's bullet-pierced heart in the right place--he's really just a good guy with an iron-clad exterior. The young recruits strut their stuff in the final round of their cadet competition (their marching rap is good for a solid laugh), and director Nick Castle keeps it all from becoming too stupid or over the top. It's arguably only for Wayans's most ardent fans, but as a send-up of all the great movie drill instructors,Major Payneis painlessly enjoyable.--Jeff Shannon
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CastDamon Wayans, Ross Bickell, Orlando Brown, Scott 'Bam Bam' Bigelow, Joseph Blaire
DirectorNick Castle
Screen WriterDamon Wayans, Bob Mosher, Dean Lorey, Gary Rosen, Joe Connelly
DVD Release Date:  January 5, 1999
Runtime:  95 minutes
Studio:  Universal Pictures
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Quick Tip by . March 24, 2013
posted in Movie Hype
While this movie is a little uneven, hence the +3 rating, there are some moments in this that made me laugh my ass off.  The early parts of this movie are the most satisfying, since when Major Payne gets acquainted with his new JROTC recruits, he's ruthless to them.  I especially got a huge laugh when Payne was taunting Heathcoat (the fat kid) near the beginning.      While not mandatory viewing in the comedy genre, if you can catch this on TV or for a cheap price, …
review by . October 30, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
"Major Payne" is one of the funniest movies that I enjoy to watch over and over again. I thought that Damon Wayans delivered a knockout performance as the loud-mouthed, gold-toothed, trash talking, squeaky voiced Major Benson Winifred Payne. He was so funny that I nearly had a heart attack while laughing at the same time.    After a major drug bust goes extremely well in South America, Major Payne (Damon Wayans) returns to Parris Island, South Carolina and finds out that the …
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