Writers Nat Hiken (who wrote the original television series) and Andy Breckman tried to recreate to long running and original success of the television series starring Phil Silvers which ran on CBS from 1955 to 1959 for 142 episodes, a real product of its time against the backdrop of the Cold War. Directed by Jonathan Lynn, it is an enjoyable film with lots of laughs but it does not quite come off; the world has moved on a bit since then and Bilko is an ulikely character, as is his superior Col Hall.
Not intending to ape the original too much meant they had to move away from the characters and the end result of that is they are not the characters and the characters were the source of the humour.
An entertaining evening but not a classic. Steve Martin is a great comedian but, as soon as actors put on other's costumes, they become a straight-jacket preventing their real skills from coming out. The same happened with Inspector Closeau and his attempts to recreate Peter Seller's character. An impossible task, one which only the brave or foolhardy would attempt; even Peter Sellers did not quite pull it off in later Closeau films.
Steve Martin obviously has his heroes but he is a good enough comedian to create a few of his own.