Mod Squad
Review by Ross Anthony

If you watched TV in the early 70's, you'll probably remember "The Mod Squad" TV series ... or at least Linc, because he was the coolest of the trio. "Mod Squad" the movie, borrows the hip idea of deputizing three prison-bound delinquents. The film starts out promising, but ends up forgetting its promises.

Here's what the picture did well: 1) Balanced an off the wall, "few cards short of a full deck" wild-mouthed, white guy (Pete) with Linc (a smooth black guy who didn't need words to be cool). Even though liberties where taken in completely changing the TV series' Pete character -- I still liked this balance. Add to that the straight-shooter Claire Danes and we've got a likable team. 2) Some of the action sequences were very nicely timed and shot -- heart-pumping. 3) Though Giovanni Ribisi played the same character from "The Other Sister" (okay, one notch sharper -- but a lot more dangerous). He's very funny.

Here's where the picture fell short: 1) Was this a "Mod Squad" of the 90's? If so, then why the use of "Right on" and "Solid" and the dust-buster on the wall? If not, then why the late model Cadilac? 2) Convertible through a car-wash -- been there/done that. 3) Twice our Mod Squaders catch the bad guys just openly revealing their scheming plans, making it painfully obvious what they are up to -- and repeating it twice for the tape recorder. 4) Then there's the scene where the fat old male drug dealer wants to slow dance with Linc -- What's that? I don't get it? Was it introduced to break the lull? 5) Lastly, the characters themselves bring attention to the worn cop show cliches that surround them: drug pimps, crooked detectives and abandoned warehouse shoot outs.

Did I miss something? Was this supposed to be a spoof? Then it took itself too seriously. If it wasn't supposed to be a spoof, then it threw itself away. Which was unfortunate, because it could have been a decent movie.

Starring Claire Danes, Omar Epps, Giovanni Ribisi, and Dennis Farina. Directed by Scott Silver.
Produced by Ben Myron, Alan Riche, and Tony Ludwig.
Executive Producers: Aaron Spelling and David Ladd.
A Metro-Golwyn-Mayer Pictures distributed by MGM.
Rated R.


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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:04:06 PDT