The Mod Squad

Review Date:
Director: Scott Silver
Writer: Stephen Kay, Scott Silver, Kate Lanier
Producers: Ben Myron, Alan Riche, Tony Ludwig
Claire Danes as Julie Barnes, Giovanni Ribisi as Pete Cochrane, Omar Epps as Lincoln Hayes
Three young hoodlums are taken in by a cop who is willing to give them a second chance. He tells them that they could either work undercover for him or go to jail. They choose the former route and begin their investigation of the stolen drug evidence. Soon enough, they find themselves in over their heads, and without any legal authority to do much about it.
This film has no character development. We are given no reason to give a rat’s ass about any of its leads. This film has a plot line no more intricate than any weekly mediocre episode of “Miami Vice”. With Aaron Spelling executive producing, this is no big surprise. This film has bad dialogue, pretty bad acting, and a horrible haircut by way of Claire Danes. When you consider that this is a remake of a popular TV series, this might be caused by the lack of clarity on whether or not this movie was trying to be serious on its own, or a parody of said show. But most importantly, this movie is not entertaining in the least, hasn’t a single memorable moment in its entire short runtime of 94 minutes, and only saves itself from being a complete loss, by the way of Giovanni Ribisi’s funny lines.

Oh yeah, and another thing. The number of irrational scenes in this movie is staggering. Why would anyone give these “kids” any information on the streets, you might ask? Who knows. One guy gave up all his information without ever being shown a badge, a gun, or even a viable threat. Also, early on in the movie, the kids have an opportunity to bail on their given ultimatum without any repercussions, but without much explanation, they remain on the case, for in my humble opinion, the sake of this most uninspirational screenplay. No hip clothes, no hip songs, no slick style, this film has very little mod about it. In fact, my dictionary definition of mod reads: “boldly modern and unconventional”. This movie is anything but this! It’s a boring, standard, TV show-remake gone wrong, starring Claire Danes in a role not meant for her, Omar Epps brooding and walking funny, and Ribisi as the film’s only saving grace. And did I mention that there’s barely any action in this movie? You have better chances of being amused in a dentist’s office.

(c) 2021 Berge Garabedian

The Mod Squad



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