Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Done In 60 Seconds Competition 2015
Guide To Marvel's Infinity War
The Making Of The West Wing
Get 12 Issues For Only £25 Today
The perfect gift this Christmas
Farewell To Middle-earth
Full details of our Peter Jackson-edited issue
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
Stations Of The Cross
3 Star Empire Rating
Concerning Violence
4 Star Empire Rating
Horrible Bosses 2
3 Star Empire Rating
My Old Lady
2 Star Empire Rating
Mary Is Happy, Mary Is Happy
3 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Leviathan
5 Star Empire Rating
Le Jour Se Lève
5 Star Empire Rating
Tony Benn: Will And Testament
5 Star Empire Rating
Nightcrawler
5 Star Empire Rating
Babadook, The
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.

SUBSCRIPTION OFFERS

6 issues for £20 plus free Gourmet Society Membership worth £69.95!
Get 6 months of Empire for just £20 and not only receive the world's greatest movie magazine and exclusive subscriber covers but you'll also receive up to 50% off restaurants nationwide and more with a free Gourmet Society Membership worth £64.99!Click here to find the perfect offer for you


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Empire's Jurassic World Trailer Tour
Updated: Director Colin Trevorrow guides us through the first trailer

Vote Now: The Jameson Empire Awards 2015
Tell us your favourite films and stars of the year

The Gift Guide 2014: 50 Must-Have Items This Christmas
Box sets, hardware, clothing, books and stocking fillers to buy

Empire's Hobbit: Battle Of The Five Armies Covers
Five armies. Five covers. The eagles, dwarves, elves, men and orcs prepare for battle in our Peter Jackon guest-edited issue

Empire’s Peter Jackson Issue Subscribers' Cover Arrives
Five Armies, three elves, two heavenly creatures and one giant ape

Josh Hutcherson On The Hunger Games Phenomenon
'I've done my fair share of young adult material now'

What Is A Squidward? A Beginner's Guide To SpongeBob SquarePants
If you aren’t already a massive fan, prepare to become one

Subscribe to Empire magazine
6 issues for £20 plus free Gourmet Society Membership worth £69.95!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  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)