Major Payne (1994)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Hawk-like Marine Corps officer Benson Payne (Damon Wayans) attempts to whip into shape the usual assortment of misfit JROTC kids in this minor remake of The Private War of Major Benson. Of course, both the major and his pint-sized recruits have something to teach one another. Payne teaches them the value of self-discipline and instills self-confidence in them, and the recruits teach him to stop and smell the roses (not to mention the fact that kids sometimes need coddling rather than screaming). And, of course, there is the annual JROTC statewide competition, which the kids are obligated to win before the movie can end. While there are some funny moments (the major's exhibition in full-dress whites at a school dance, for example), the script seems too color-by-numbers to be interesting to anyone other than undiscriminating younger viewers.
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In Theaters:
MCA Universal Home Video

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Damon Wayans
as Major Benson Payne
Karyn Parsons
as Dr. Emily Walburn
William Hickey
as Dr. Phillips
Bill Hickey
as Dr. Phillip
Michael Ironside
as Lt. Colonel Stone
Albert Hall
as Gen. Elias Decker
Steven Martini
as Cadet Alex Stone
Orlando Brown
as Cadet Tiger Dane
Andrew Harrison Leeds
as Cadet Dotson
Joda Blare-Hershman
as Cadet Bryan
R. Stephen Wiles
as Cadet Heathcoat
Rodney P. Barnes
as Weight Lifter
Ross Bickell
as Colonel Braggart
Peyton Chesson Fohl
as Cadet Johnson
Stephen Coleman
as Cadet Leland
Mark Conway
as Police Sergeant
David DeHart
as Wellington Cadet Captain
Robert Faraoni Jr.
as Smart-Ass Soldier
Michael Gabel
as Lt. Wiseman
RJ Knoll
as Blind Kid
Dean Lorey
as Mr. Shipman
Mark W. Madison
as Cadet Fox
Chris Owen
as Cadet Wuliger
Seymour Swan
as Soldier
Leonard Thomas
as Bleeding Soldier
Hechter Ubarry
as Guerilla Leader
Tommy Wiles
as Cadet
Al Cerullo
as Chopper Pilot
John Louis Fischer
as Chopper Pilot
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Critic Reviews for Major Payne

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (3)

Silly slapstick movie has some violence, salty language.

Full Review… | October 13, 2015
Common Sense Media

A relentlessly misguided military mishap starring Wayans as a uniformed motormouth with an edgy attitude. Maybe Wayans schtick is a major pain to endure after all?

June 7, 2003

Wayans' performance is priceless.

August 16, 2002
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)

Let's hear it for truth in advertising!

July 26, 2002

Quote not available.

Full Review… | September 7, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Quote not available.

September 15, 2005

Audience Reviews for Major Payne


Major Payne is a good comedy film about a trained Marine and one bad assed killing machine who's been discharged from the Military because his services are no longer needed. After trying to adjust to Civilian (unsuccessfully) he gets thrown back in the Military, only now as the head of a school's JROTC program. Damon Wayans delivers one funny performance as Major Benson Winnifred Payne. Wayan's performance is hysterical and he provides many laugh out loud moments. The film will never win any awards, but you can watch it with the feeling that you'll see something very funny and with Wayans brand of humour, you'll likely have a few laughs even if you don't like the film all that much.Major Payne is the type of film that you can watch with friends or family to have a good time. Damon Wayans performance is unique. Major Payne, the character is the stereotypical type of trained killer who lives only by the military norm. He's good at one thing and one thing only: killing on the battlefield, and when he trains the boys of the local school, he just tries to train them like normal military recruits, and it's funny how the character doesn't seem to understand that they're kids. He does, but he doesn't give them no pity (live normal military recruits). The kids training under Payne do everything to get him to quit, but to no avail. Every plan that they form backfires with hilarious results. I view this film as a misunderstood film, many viewers tend to not like it for all the wrong reasons. Major Payne is a good little comedy with plenty of laughs. The thing that it's got going for it too is that except for one kid in the film, all the kids playing the recruits under Payne, weren't annoying. If you want to watch something funny with Damon Wayans, then this is the film to watch.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer



Richard C
Richard C

Super Reviewer


Damon Wayans isn't a movie actor, but he puts in a good performance here. I keep watching these 90's kid comedies, but I really only want to find and watch Heavyweights.

Lenny Muggsy
Lenny Muggsy

Super Reviewer

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