1970's, 1980's, Action, Comedy

DRAGNET (1987)




DIRECTOR: Tom Mankiewicz

May contain spoilers!

“Just the facts, maam”

I was kid when I was first introduced to this 1980’s comedy interpretation of the 50’s/60’s cop drama Dragnet. And I loved it. But it is a little hard for me judge this in the context because of this. Yes, it is ludicrous, the plot is more 80’s than 50’/60’s and whilst some comedic scenes work by shining a modern light of what was funny by modern standards about classic TV, other jokes such a the Police fighter jet complete with a flashing blue light are step too far.

But then again, this is Tom Hanks in his all but forget comedy era and one which I remember well. Starring along side Dan Aykroyd to boot, this was an A-list pairing at the time yet this film has all but fallen into obscurity. It has all the hall marks of another adaptation, the 2004 Todd Phillips directed Starsky And Hutch, which made a comedy out of a relatively serious cop show.

Both have there merits and by doing this, they both serve to breathe some life into franchises which had long since died and I think that aiming the comedy at the generation gap is fair game but with Dragnet, it plays it a bit too broadly. There are plenty of Tom Hanks moments and Aykroyd’s poe-faced Sgt. Joe Friday, nephew of the original’s Lt. Joe Friday, making this a sequel to the TV series, is great fun but this is as much a comedy vehicle for these two as it is an homage to the original, and to be honest, homage might be strong word.

All bar the title, this is a generic cop comedy based on the genre, something with The Heat (2013) may have also done a little better by spoofing the entire genre rather than just a specific title.

As a fan of 80’s comedy, Hanks and Aykroyd, this a worth seeing again but as a dragnet fan, probably not worth wasting your time.

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