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steve martin is one of the funniest men alive .
if you can take that as a true statement , then your disappointment at this film will equal mine .
martin can be hilarious , creating some of the best laugh-out-loud experiences that have ever taken place in movie theaters .
you won't find any of them here .
the old television series that this is based on has its moments of humor and wit .
bilko ( and the name isn't an accident ) is the head of an army motor pool group , but his passion is his schemes .
every episode involves the sergeant and his men in one or another hair-brained plan to get rich quick while outwitting the officers of the base .
" mchale's navy " 's granddaddy .
that's the idea behind this movie too , but the difference is that , as far-fetched and usually goofy as the television series was , it was funny .
there is not one laugh in the film .
the re-make retains the goofiness , but not the entertainment .
everything is just too clean .
it was obviously made on a hollywood back lot and looks every bit like it .
it all looks brand new , even the old beat-up stuff .
martin is remarkably small in what should have been a bigger than life role .
in the original , phil silvers played the huckster with a heart of gold and more than a touch of sleaziness .
martin's bilko is a pale imitation .
the only semi-bright spot is phil hartman as bilko's arch-enemy .
it's not saying much , considering martin's lackluster character , but hartman leaves him in the dust .