"What?" you exclaim while kicking over all the candles in your Bill Murray shrine. Well, calm down, tiger. Yes, Stripes is a great movie, but look like two lines above. This article is about great movies. But if you remember all the things you love about this movie, I bet they're all from the first half. Think of your favorite parts. Is it Bill Murray leaving an angry passenger in his cab stranded on a bridge? Is it Harold Ramis telling the recruiter he and Murray are willing to try homosexuality or teaching his English as a second language class the words to the "Da Doo Ron Ron"? Maybe it's Francis at orientation or Bill Murray talking about his underwear. Maybe it's the training scenes and references to Old Yeller or what feels like the climax of the film when a rag-tag bunch of cadets finishes basic training with flying colors, while Murray proclaims, "That's the fact, Jack!" Holy crap, so many memorable, classic moments ... and they're all in the first half of the movie.
"That's the fact, Jack. You can go home now."
But after all that goodness there's a second half in which the boys hop in a super tank and run, uh, I guess ... some sort of a mission? Remember that? No? Of course not -- no one remembers that, because Stripes completes its story arc when Bill Murray and the cadets finish basic training. His character goes from being out of shape and undisciplined to highly trained and fit. It just happens too soon, so enter super tank and a couple of wacky Russian border patrol guards, and you have all the parts of the movie you don't remember. It's almost like we had Stripes and its subpar sequel combined in one movie.