Dragnet review (DVD) ★★★½

Just the facts, ma'am. The wonderful Aykroyd brings the same dry, deadpan delivery that Jack Webb used in the TV series of the 1950s and '60s in this '80s big-screen update of Dragnet. And he's joined by the always watchable Hanks, who was still making more comedies than dramas back then.

Aykroyd plays LA police detective Joe Friday, the nephew of the original Dragnet star of the same name. Like his uncle, he's a blue-suited, by-the-rules cop who reluctantly joins forces with his footloose partner Pep Streebek (Hanks) to rescue the City of Angels from the power-mad Reverend Jonathan Whirley (Plummer) who is in league with a corrupt police commissioner (Ashley).

Movies based on TV shows are old hat now, but back in the '80s they were not as frequent, and Dragnet stands the test of time as one of the better ones. The hair, clothes and music (dig that synth on the soundrtack!) date it somewhat, but the situations and jokes are timeless and still seem fresh. Aykroyd and Hanks are perfectly well cast, having lots of fun and playing off each other perfectly. Plummer and Coleman both ham it up, and it's wonderful to see Morgan on board – if you don't know, he played Friday's partner in the TV series in the '60s, and he's playing the same character here (although now he is a captain and is Friday's boss).

It's certainly no Police Squad/Naked Gun, and it's not Aykroyd at his best (that would be Ghostbusters and Blues Brothers) but it's still packed with laughs.

EXTRAS Just some Production Notes, and Cast and Filmmaker's Biographies

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