Biloxi Blues Review

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In 1945 Biloxi, Mississippi, a group of young recruits (though the film focuses on one: Matthew Broderick's Eugene Jerome) are put through their paces by a tough-talking drill sergeant (a typically unhinged Walken).


The funniest Neil Simon comedy for years has Matthew Broderick as a World War II draftee being sent from the comfort of middle class New York to the hell of basic training in Mississippi; where losing his virginity to a prostitute, standing up to his moronic, lower-class comrades-in-arms and pacifying a psychotic sergeant (Christopher Walken, in his best showing in a long while) hold more terrors than combat ever would.

The situations are stock-in-trade for this kind of rites-of-passage comedy, but the fact that the war is almost done (it's 1945), coupled with Neil Simon's resurgent wit, playing as he does on the futile and the domestically absurd, means that Biloxi Blues has found its own little niche amid the war-film superpowers.

The combination of Neil Simon and Mike Nichols has the pair of them back to somewhere near their best.