Sgt. Bilko Reviews
Iâ??m sure that whatever comedic material in The Phil Silvers Show is significantly different than that of Sgt. Bilko since the film feels more like a Steve Martin star vehicle than an adaptation of any other comedic material, and all in all, the film is hit and miss.
Although Sgt. Bilko isnâ??t a boring film, it is fairly far from original. While it has an interesting comedic concept and some wacky characters, it is at best a sporadically funny comedy. The script has its moments, but overall is fairly bland and lacking in comedic originality. While the actors manage to deliver the script with relaxed and easy comedic charm, the film itself is not built on many successful humourous roots and leaves them to fend for themselves in this battle. But the battle ends up being a draw as Sgt. Bilko was a half decent movie, and the other half a little too stupid for the tastes of me and many other people.
The success of the film rests largely on the dedication of the actors to the material and the visual elements of the film while faltering in other areas, predominantly the writing. While Sgt. Bilko has some funny moments, it has a few too many characters and not much of a strong story to go in the direction of. I mean the entire romantic subplot of the film was merely a distraction from the main plot and added nothing to the characters and no laughs to the story. It just got in the way of things and made the experience a more tedious and unoriginal one which it already was to a certain extent. Sgt. Bilko wallows through a lack of originality for 94 minutes and much of the time it wastes itself on an unnecessary romantic subplot instead of on Sgt. Bilko himself and his relationship with his soldiers. Essentially, the focus in Sgt. Bilko is constantly shifting and never really keeps to one story dynamic and attempts to cover more ground than it can handle which ends up rendering it less comedically successful than it could have been.
But ignoring all that, Sgt. Bilko does have its moments. Admittedly I didnâ??t laugh too much but I enjoyed the relaxed nature of the film in its complicated context and enjoyed the charm of its colourful energy.
From a visual perspective, Sgt. Bilko has a really thoroughly convincing military setting which makes the context of the story feel more genuine and get played out to a more successful comedic effect. The setting and scenery is very appealing and is all captured nicely with some strong cinematography, and the colour palette of the film is bright as well. Essentially, the visual appeal of Sgt. Bilko is effective and makes it an easy film to view. It is the kind of film to watch when there is nothing to do on Sunday and the film is just playing on TV. I wouldnâ??t say that Sgt. Bilko is worth going out of your way to see, but if its there it wouldnâ??t hurt to check it out because it is a simple and relaxed experience with a fairly good soundtrack too. So from a technical perspective, Sgt. Bilko doesnâ??t have any flaws and it has some memorable imagery such as a horse suspended in the roof of a warehouse and a hover tank.
The only consistently successful element of Sgt. Bilko is the cast which manage to making a refreshing effort with the exception of Gleanne Headley whose generic female character was simply annoying. It isnâ??t her fault though, it is the fault of the writers for putting her character in.
Steve Martin manages to perfectly embody the titular role of Sgt. Bilko for every second of the film. Thanks to his natural comedic skills as an actor, he manages to put a lot of charisma into the role and ensure that although the film is simply a star vehicle for him, that it was a good idea to cast him. As Sgt. Bilko he manages to make the role convincing due to his swift and sharp line delivery and ability to interact with the cast in a manner that seems impulsive and yet well thought through at the same time. Steve Martin makes the character convincingly effective at getting himself in and out of all kinds of crazy situations due to his natural comedic charisma, and it reminds audiences just how funny he is even when working with insufficient material. He breathes plenty of life into Sgt. Bilko and makes it more enjoyable to watch
While Phil Hartman isnâ??t the best choice for an antagonist because he doesnâ??t have too much of an aggressive nature, for a Steve Martin comedy he manages to do the job with ease and delivers his lines with a sense of natural annoyance at the character Sgt. Bilko. He plays the antagonist of the story with ease, and while it isnâ??t his finest effort it is good to see the late actor working with Steve Martin as the two make an enjoyable comedic duo.
Dan Akroyd is also a good cast member to have on board due to the nature of his past as a comedic actor and the easy nature of his performance and chemistry with Steve Martin. His line delivery is confident and swift, and when he engages with Steve Martin it is quite entertaining.
Chris Rock is also a good presence because of how he would later go on to experience massive comedic success in film and television.
So Sgt. Bilko is not worth going out of your way for because it is only a sporadically funny comedy which wallows in comparison to the successful source material that inspired it, but fans of Steve Martin should hopefully be pleased with it due to his charismatic and fun lead performance in the titular role.
Times get tough however, when the base is threatened with a shutdown, and a by-the-book adversary, Major Thorn (Phil Hartman), is intent on taking Bilko's reputation down with it. Now, all bets are on Bilko to drum up his biggest scheme yet to save Fort Baxter ... and clear his name!
also stars Dan Aykroyd, Glenne Headly, Daryl Mitchell, Max Casella, Russell Bobbit, Clifton Collins Jr. and Cheryl Francis.
directed by Jonathan Lynn.