May 09, 1994 12:00 PM

Tom Berenger, William McNamara, Erika Eleniak

In this forlorn comedy, Berenger plays a no-nonsense Navy shore patrol chief petty officer who speaks in monosyllables and mistrusts everyone, especially his new, smooth-talking partner, played by McNamara. The fun is supposed to start when the prisoner they are transferring to a Charleston naval base turns out to be a beautiful blonde (Eleniak) hell-bent on escaping an unfair jail sentence for going AWOL.

If director Dennis Hopper meant to inspire concern over post-Cold War military readiness, he has succeeded. Much of the clunky humor centers on the crusty Berenger having to purchase tampons or stand guard in the ladies’ room. He is not helped much with his dialogue; at one point he enters a tense conversation with this brilliant opening line: “Who farted?”

The creative energy in this film seems to have gone into ensuring an R rating. In one scene, where all three main characters are trapped in a deserted mine shaft (don’t ask how), they concoct an escape plan that involves taking off their clothes to make a garment rope. Back to basic training for everyone. (R)

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