innocent_man: (l&o&b)
[personal profile] innocent_man
Dragnet is an 80s comedy starring a very young Dan Ackroyd and Tom Hanks as the next generation of cops, if you will, in LA. Kind of a loving parody of the TV series of the same name (which I've never seen).

Ackroyd, nephew of the original Joe Friday, is an LA cop so straight-laced it hurts to watch him talk. Hanks is Pep Streebeck, his new partner, rolling in fresh from undercover work. THEY FIGHT CRIME.

The crime they fight is absurd; a kind of pseudo-terrorist group called People Against Goodness And Normalcy (PAGAN) perpetrate a reign of terror on the city, stealing cars and so on. Led by the good Reverend Whirley (Christopher Plummer, simpering, which you don't get to see often) and with the help of smut king Caeser (Dabney Coleman, because 80s movies were required by law to have him in), they're...doing some convoluted plan to discredit and then kill the mayor and replace him with the police commissioner and sacrifice a virgin...fuck, I dunno. It doesn't make a lot of sense on the face of it, but the absurdity works and is funny.

Lots of the standard buddy cop tropes; corrupt officials, stupid boss, mismatched partners. It's Ackroyd that really becomes the romantic lead when they rescue the aforementioned virgin (Alexandra Paul) and she starts dating Joe. (Hanks, FWIW, is already banging a fellow officer, so he gets to look on in amusement as two completely inexperienced people fumble their way through a relationship.)

As I've said many times before, these are good people, and that makes me like them. If this movie were done again now, I'm sure that there would be a lot of emphasis on how much Streebeck and Friday hate each other, and it would overshadow everything. As it is, there's friction but they still work together and even grudgingly like each other. That's fun to watch. Also they wrestle a snake.

My Grade: B+
Rewatch value: High-medium

Next up: Drop Dead Fred


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