Remember when Tom Hanks used to star in funny movies? Remember when Dan Aykroyd was funny, period? Dragnet is a model of its kind on both counts, a (for the most part) clever spoof of the much-beloved ’50s cop show. Aykroyd — who indeed might be more Jack Webb-ish than Jack Webb himself ever was — plays Sergeant Joe Friday (nephew of Webb’s original Sergeant Joe Friday), a square-jawed, by-the-books L.A. detective who investigates a series of occult-themed crimes with the help of his smart-aleck new partner, Pep Streebeck (Hanks). Together they rescue a virgin (Alexandra Paul) who came this close to being sacrificed, wrestle a giant anaconda (L.A. is crawling with them, after all) and take on the corrupt televangelist, Reverend Jonathan Whirley (Christopher Plummer), who’s actually the secret leader of the evil organization known as P.A.G.A.N. (People Against Goodness And Normalcy). There are laughs aplenty here, though nothing in the movie ever quite tops the music video made for the soundtrack’s hit single, “City of Crime.” Remember when Aykroyd and Hanks used to rap, too?
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