Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
100 Greatest Characters
Your all-time favourite heroes and villains
Subscribe To Empire
Sign up now and save up to 63%
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
PG
Cast
Tom Hanks
Christopher Plummer
Harry Morgan
Dan Aykroyd.
Directors
Dan Aykroyd
Tom Mankiewicz.
Screenwriters
Tom Mankiewicz
Alan Zweibel.
Running Time
106 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Hitman: Agent 47
2 Star Empire Rating
Barely Lethal
3 Star Empire Rating
Addicted To Sheep
4 Star Empire Rating
45 Years
4 Star Empire Rating
We Are Your Friends
3 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Man With A Movie Camera
5 Star Empire Rating
Salt Of The Earth, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Song Of The Sea
5 Star Empire Rating
Look Of Silence, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Mad Max: Fury Road
5 Star Empire Rating

Dragnet


submit to reddit


Plot
Sergeant Joe Friday, nephew of a legendary by-the-book Los Angeles cop, is partnered with Pep Streebek, a rule-breaking loose cannon. Their first case brings them up against a malign anarchist cult.


Review

A stab at a comedic/parodic remake of a classic television show, a full decade before the ironic revivals like The Brady Bunch Movie and Starsky & Hutch, this highlights Dan Aykroyd’s spot-on impersonation of deadpan Jack Webb in the role of the supposed nephew of Webb’s clipped Joe Friday, hero of the seminal 1951-59 police procedural Dragnet (famous for its dum-dah-DUM-dah theme) and a slightly less seminal hippie-busting 1967 revival. 

Tom Hanks, before he grew serious acting muscles, plays fast and loose as the easygoing ‘80s policeman whose modern attitudes (including a willingness to torture a suspect) contrast with the uptight, hat-wearing conservatism of Friday (he also gets to do a lot of schtick – impersonating Freddy Krueger and the like).  Harry Morgan, a sputtering veteran of the original series, is promoted to a desk job, barking orders to the mismatched cops, and Alexandra Paul is an unusually funny heroine, a ‘Republican virgin from Orange County’ who is even more stranded out of time than Friday. 

The most fun supporting turn comes from a game Christopher Plummer as a giggling ‘moral majority’ televangelist who dons goat-leg britches to officiate at the ceremonies of the wonderfully-named PAGAN (People Against Goodness And Normalcy) cult (their catchy chant is ‘Kill the good! Kill the good!’).  Aykroyd’s script has more than its share of clever, witty ideas, but the film still feels the need to descend way too often to Police Academy-style heroes-dress-up-like-idiots sequences (Aykroyd and Hanks get into ‘80s punk gear to infiltrate a concert).  Despite this lampoon, Dragnet returned seriously to television in 1989 and again in 2003.


Verdict
Fun spoof but it's been surpassed in the TV-series film spoof since then.


Reviewed by Kim Newman

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Vanity Projects: The Musical Edition
A dozen more hits and misses from the rock and pop world

Inside The Martian: Empire Meets NASA
Prepare to science the shit out of it...

Deadpool: A Complete History
Empire's guide to The Merc With A Mouth, in comics and on screen

Evil Media: Haunted TVs, Tapes And Tunes
Ten sinister reasons to go off-grid

Spectre – Everything You Need To Know
Empire's essential briefing on James Bond's 24th outing

Exclusive Deadpool Trailer Breakdown
Director Tim Miller guides us through his crazed superhero promo

The N.W.A-Team
Empire visits the set of Straight Outta Compton

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe now and save up to 63%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)