Penny Marshall's feel-good comedy, invoking parts of Dead Poet's Society, Sister Act, and Private Benjamin, features Danny DeVito as Bill Rago, a divorced advertising man who is fired from his job. During an appointment at the unemployment office, a counselor finds him a job as a civilian instructor at the local Army base. At the base, he is assigned a group of eight army hardcases. Rago is supposed to increase this group's "basic comprehension." Sweating it out and unable to interest his students in anything, he finally latches onto Shakespeare. He turns the lecture into a master class on Hamlet with the students converting the Shakespeare tragedy into a rap musical. Looking askance at all this is drill sergeant Cass (Gregory Hines), who feels that the whole class is a waste of time. Finally winning the respect of his students, Rago now has to win the hearts and minds of the contemptuous Cass and his staff.