Film , Comedy
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The contemporary perspective is even less kind to '50s TV's sententious Sergeant Joe Friday than to Elliot Ness. Aykroyd really has the character down, too - the stolidly purposeful walk, the endless uninflected speeches about decency and proper procedure, punctuated with time checks - but where Jack Webb was little more than the Mount Rushmore of public service, Aykroyd's big soft nellie features and prissy mien trawl for laughs. All of which is wonderful, but little else is. Friday's new partner, Hanks, is not so much a character as an unnecessary intermediary between us and the joke. He is here to point up the risibility of the procedural rule book, so he's been issued with instinct and major dishevellment. Porn king Coleman and evangelist Plummer plan to rig the struggle of good against evil for profit, which somehow involves sacrificing an Orange County virgin on the altar. Entertaining enough, but a pity they didn't draft in more of the Eisenhower context.

Release details

Duration: 106 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Tom Mankiewicz
Screenwriter: Dan Aykroyd, Alan Zweibel, Tom Mankiewicz
Cast: Dan Aykroyd
Tom Hanks
Christopher Plummer
Harry Morgan
Alexandra Paul
Jack O'Halloran
Elizabeth Ashley
Dabney Coleman