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Laramie Movie Scope:
Major Payne

Not much of a story, but a great character

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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April 4, 1995 -- ``Major Payne'' is the latest film from ``In Living Color'' star Damon Wayans. Wayans' last comedy film attempt, ``Blankman'' was a failure, but this one actually succeeds.

Wayans plays an unbelievably dedicated U.S. Marine who can't seem to adjust to civilian life. He is totally unable to maintain normal human relationships. His idea of fun is to hang upside down and assemble and disassemble his gun until his nose bleeds.

Major Payne is so out of touch he's funny. As unlikely as it seems this strange character becomes endearing after a while. While Payne does soften and become more human as the movie goes on, he still maintains his own wacky integrity.

The story is a familiar one. Payne gets a job as a drill instructor for an ROTC program at a boarding school. The kids hate him and try to get rid of him the same way the recruits did in ``Heartbreak Ridge.'' There's a girl. There's a military contest with another school. You know the rest. The thing that makes this movie work is the unique character created by Wayans and his scary, but funny dialogue. It's not much of a story, but it's a great piece of acting. This movie rates a C+.

Click here for links to places to buy this movie in video and/or DVD format, the soundtrack, books, even used videos, games and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)