In the Army Now (film)

In the Army Now is a 1994 American war comedy film directed by Daniel Petrie, Jr. and starring Pauly Shore, Andy Dick, David Alan Grier, Esai Morales, and Lori Petty. The film earned US$28,881,266 at the box office, making it the fourth-highest-grossing film starring Pauly Shore (behind Encino Man, Son in Law and A Goofy Movie).

In the Army Now
Theatrical release poster
Directed byDaniel Petrie, Jr.
Screenplay byKen Kaufman
Stu Krieger
Daniel Petrie, Jr.
Fax Bahr
Adam Small
Story bySteve Zacharias
Jeff Buhai
Robbie Fox
Produced byMichael Rotenberg
CinematographyWilliam Wages
Edited byO. Nicholas Brown
Music byRobert Folk
Distributed byBuena Vista Pictures
Release date
  • August 12, 1994 (1994-08-12)
Running time
88 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Box office$28,881,266[2]


The film begins as two slackers, Bones Conway (Pauly Shore) and Jack Kaufman (Andy Dick) work at "Crazy Boys" discount electronics store in Glendale, California. While they goof off on the job, both have aspirations of opening their own electronics store in the future. Both are fired though, after destroying a rack of television sets.

Looking to score some quick start-up money for their store, and believing that the commitment will be minimal (they are easily lured by the recruiting slogan "One weekend a month, two weeks a year"), the two join the United States Army Reserves. Bones chooses water purification for their field since his brother was an experienced pool man and the field appeared to be devoid of combat. After surviving basic training, they attend water purification training. The two meet up with Christine Jones (Lori Petty), a female recruit longing for infantry, and Fred Ostroff (David Alan Grier), a skittish dental student. The foursome adopts the nickname of "waterboys". The group then returns to Glendale.

What Bones and Jack do not realize, however, was that Libya has been planning an invasion of Chad, and they are consequently called up for service overseas. They first try to get a military discharge by pretending to be homosexuals, but they fail.

Upon arriving in Chad, the four do not get along well with the full-time soldiers, particularly Special Forces Staff Sergeant Stern (Esai Morales). On a routine mission to resupply a forward base, their convoy is ambushed by a Libyan commando squad. The misfit reserves are thought to have been killed in action (KIA) and are left to fend for themselves. After a few days lost in the desert, they are captured by the Libyan forces and spend a night in a Libyan POW camp. There the reservists meet up with Staff Sergeant Stern who has been shot and captured in an ambush. He briefs them on his failed mission to rendezvous with two HALOed Fast Attack vehicles and destroy mobile Scud launchers carrying missiles armed with chemical warheads aimed at American bases in the region.

During an airstrike, the four reservists and Stern escape and find the Fast Attack vehicles. They make contact with the American headquarters and are ordered to finish the Special Forces' mission. After locating the missiles, they have a difficult time holding off a battalion of Libyans while painting the missiles with a laser for an incoming airstrike. The airstrike goes off-target, forcing the reservists to destroy the missiles themselves. Bones grabs an AT4 anti-tank rocket launcher and destroys the Scud launcher base in one hit, but not before accidentally firing one rocket backwards, forcing the group to use the last rocket they have.

The "waterboys" return home as heroes. At the end of the film, they open up their electronics shop next to an Army recruiting station — where two men like themselves are looking skeptical about joining the reserves.



In the Army Now was the last film that Pauly Shore did as part of a three-film contract with Disney, the previous two being Encino Man and Son in Law.

Filming locationsEdit

  • The two main characters play miniature golf at the Malibu Castle located in Hawthorne, California. It was torn down in 2005.[3]
  • The basic training scene was filmed at Fort Sill, located near Lawton, Oklahoma.
  • The water treatment training was filmed at Fort Lee, Virginia. Shore actually went through the water treatment training to better understand the job.
  • The desert scenes were filmed in Yuma, Arizona.
  • The camp in Chad was filmed at Vasquez Rocks in Agua Dulce, California.


In the Army Now received almost universally negative reviews. It holds a 6% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 32 reviews, with an average score of 2.34/10. The consensus states "This 1994 Pauly Shore vehicle stretches its star's thin shtick to the breaking point with a laugh-deficient screenplay that borrows shamelessly from Bill Murray's far superior Stripes".[4]

Year-end listsEdit


  1. ^ "In the Army Now (PG)". British Board of Film Classification. 1996-07-05. Retrieved 2011-12-04.
  2. ^ In the Army Now at Box Office Mojo
  3. ^ "Leuzinger High School Class of 1981 - Forum". 2008-05-13. Retrieved 2008-08-19.
  4. ^ In the Army Now at Rotten Tomatoes
  5. ^ P. Means, Sean (January 1, 1995). "'Pulp and Circumstance' After the Rise of Quentin Tarantino, Hollywood Would Never Be the Same". The Salt Lake Tribune (Final ed.). p. E1.
  6. ^ Craft, Dan (December 30, 1994). "Success, Failure and a Lot of In-between; Movies '94". The Pantagraph. p. B1.

External linksEdit