It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
Somewhere toward the middle of Bob Hope's "The Private Navy of Sgt. O'Farrell," it struck me that there are two kinds of movie comedies. One kind depends upon the situation to get laughs, and the other depends upon jokes.
In the first category are W. C. Fields, Chaplin and "The Graduate." In the second are the Marx Brothers (sometimes), Abbott and Costello, and Hope.
Whatever else it may be, "The Graduate" is a very funny movie. But there's hardly a one-liner in it, unless it's "Plastics, Benjamin, plastics,'' and that hardly holds up by itself. "The Graduate" is funny because it presents an essentially impossible situation and works it out logically, just as Fields did in "The Fatal Glass of Beer."
The new Hope movie takes the other route: a basically possible situation which is not worked out at all, but left as the backdrop for jokes. This was good on the radio, where the spoken word had to carry the humor, but in the movies it gets a little tiresome. And the striking thing about "The Private Navy of Sgt. O'Farrell" is how completely it neglects the humorous possibilities of film.