Why is Hollywood not making comedies like this anymore?
Dragnet is an 80's crime comedy that although isn't that funny to be fair, still manages to produce a kind of fun story. Is this Dan Aykroyd or Tom Hanks best work in the funny business?, no, but what I will say is they give it there all and with some good one liners here and there it still is a highly enjoyable piece of entertainment.
The plot centres around, well quite a few things actually and that is why I felt it was OK, it not only produces thrills and also spills, but it also produces a nice setting to it too with LA providing a typical 80's backdrop that never gets old in movies. I thoroughly enjoyed the start and actually felt it could be a classic, the only problem is it really starts to decline in quality toward the ending and you feel with the last half or quarter that if it had been a little more precise with the script, it could have been very good.
Tom Mankiewicz directs and co writes this well but I did feel as previously said the script just isn't tight enough, bit of tweaking would have made massive improvements. Dan Accord is among them writers and also the star of the film playing Sergeant Joe Friday who although is a hard character I understand to be funny with, is massively overshadowed by others involved and you want to see more of Tom Hanks character Pep Steinbeck by the time he has fully established himself. Speaking on Hanks he is good here, a little crazy but pretty much delivers the jokes this entire film has that are funny.
Now whether or not it lives up to it's original TV series is only known by those who watched it, and I am not among those who have, but what I will say is that if this is anything to go by it probably hasn't. The film is just a little too messy, yes of course I did say it is OK and it truly is but is it really that great of a film, well probably no in all fairness.
Away from the comedy, and I stress this quite importantly, the plot is actually very thrilling and the story that we go through is very entertaining indeed. The whole thing about P.A.G.A.N is mysterious and is never truly solved until right at the end of the movie, the plot is worth it's own serious movie for that. One thing the movie can do rather well is make itself smart, I don't mean in terms of jokes but when you see some of the very long and drawn out quips by Aykroyd, you see not only the smart side of Mankiewicz but also the acting skill of Dan Aykroyd himself.
Overall I felt it was actually just about OK and definitely worth a watch for anyone who wants a fun, if not only slightly funny 80's comedy. Ridiculous from start to finish it does fail to capitalise on making itself a Naked Gun type film but does succeed in making itself rather fun and entertaining meaning although your belly wont hurt by the end from laughter, you'll still feel full of fun and a silly kind of feeling. Oh and one more point is on for me the best actor here, in a dramatic way, Christopher Plummer whose straight faced Reverend is both stern and fun and plays well into quite a few jokes too. He proves here why in years after he won an Academy Award(long overdue), and even in a rather failed comedy, still managed to act to his full skill and even potential.
(Full review coming soon)
VERDICT: "In The Zone" - [Mixed Reaction] These kinds of movies are usually movies that had some good things, but some bad things kept it from being amazing. This rating says buy an ex-rental or a cheap price of the DVD to own. If you consider cinema, ask for people's opinion on the film. (Films that are rated 2.5 or 3 stars)