Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks star in this cop comedy based on the cult '50s TV series. With his new laid-back partner Peb Streebek (Hanks), LAPD Sergeant Joe Friday (Aykroyd) is assigned to investigate the activities of a cult run by porn magazine magnate Jerry Caesar (Dabney Coleman) and television evangelist Reverend Jonathan Whirley (Christopher Plummer), who they believe may be responsible for a recent series of unusual robberies. Along the way the duo save the virginal Connie Swail (Alexandra Paul) and earn the enmity of Friday's uncle's former partner, Captain Bill Gannon (Harry Morgan), who is now their supervising officer.
In 1987 moviegoers had yet to be crushed under the weight of the 1990s TV remake mania, and Dragnet comes off as fresh and funny. The line between parody and tribute can be hard to draw, but any marginally hip baby boomer who has ever watched Jack Webb's straight-laced Detective Joe Friday caught a glimmer of the comedic vein waiting to be mined beneath Dragnet's gritty Los Angeles streets. Dan Aykroyd plays Joe Friday, the straight-arrow nephew of Webb's iconic cop. This part was made for him (in fact, he's given top writing credit), and under his steely exterior you can tell he's having a ball delivering those rapid-fire recitations of regulations and deadpan expressions of moral outrage. Tom Hanks plays Pep Streebek, the laissez-faire narco agent who is Friday's new partner. Their assignment: bust the Pagans, a wild-and-woolly gang of dope fiends, deadbeats, and beatniks behind a bewildering array of bizarre robberies. Hilarity ensues. Friday and Streebek outfox a corrupt televangelist (Christopher Plummer), bicker over chili dogs and cigarettes, alternately revile and fawn over a porn millionaire (Dabney Coleman), wrestle a 30-foot-long anaconda, and rescue the virgin Connie Swail--the only girl capable of stealing Friday's heart. --Grant Balfour, Amazon.com