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MOD SQUAD, THE

SYNOPSIS:
Capt. Adam Greer (Dennis Farina) has a problem. A large quantity of drugs has disappeared from the evidence room - and everything points to an inside job. The drugs are undoubtedly headed for L.A.’s streets, a world where conventional policing methods are unlikely to crack the case. So Greer hits on an unusual and controversial solution. He’s formed a team of three recently busted young people Pete (Giovanni Ribisi), Lincoln (Omar Epps) and Julie (Claire Danes) and he sends them out. While investigating a prostitution ring, they make a connection to the drug case. But when Greer is mysteriously killed, they’re on their own in hostile territory.

"No doubt to someone at some time, the idea of adapting the 70s TV series The Mod Squad into a feature film seemed like a good idea. But between the idea and the screen much can go amiss - and in this case, it has. Just about everything about this film is bad - there’s just no delicate way of putting it. The script is over-written, to the extent where just in case you miss the obvious set-ups, one of the characters will explain it for you in later dialogue. That dialogue is often so stilted, it elicited giggles during what were clearly meant to be serious moments. The plot is full of holes and lacks credibility. The editing is below par with even the shot transitions clumsy. And, worst of all, three fine young actors are caught in the quicksand. We all know Giovanni Ribisi, Claire Danes and Omar Epps can act; but their involvement in this is almost embarrassing. Ribisi in particular is badly treated, his character essentially being reduced to comic relief. Danes doesn’t fare much better in a muddled role, while Epps has the straightest character - and at least has a couple of funny lines. One can only hope the three put it behind them and move on to better things. AFTRS might like to acquire a few copies of this film - to show this country’s emerging talent what not to do when making a film."
David Edwards

"The original TV series felt right at home during the latter part of the sixties, in which three adolescent rebels become an angry trio of cops, symbolising the disillusionment of American youth during an unsettling time. So what's the relevance of bringing a show so identifiable with that era to the screen today? None, except to exploit the teen market. It wouldn't seem so bad had the filmmakers bothered to write a script with a sense of cohesion, but there's nothing like that here. Mod Squad is a vacuous jumble, a film made for an MTV audience. There's no clarity of vision, no sense of structure, and absolutely no sense of character. It's as if we're seeing three actors on some kind of medication, acting with robotic indifference to a series of situations that defy logic. The film is aggressively loud and visually dark and stagnant. Three writers worked on this film, and that may account for its haphazard structure. But essentially, Mod Squad is dull, man, like, really boring, and that is the worst sin. It's an action thriller with neither action nor thrills. MGM, which made this monstrosity, is 75 years old. The founders of that once beloved studio would surely be turning in their graves."
Paul Fischer

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 2
Mixed: 0

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TRAILER

SOFCOM MOVIE TIMES

MOD SQUAD (M)
(US)

CAST: Claire Danes, Giovanni Ribisi, Omar Epps, Dennis Farina, Josh Brolin, Steve Harris

DIRECTOR: Scott Silver

PRODUCER: Tony Ludwig, Ben Myron, Alan Riche

SCRIPT: Stephen T. Kay, Scott Silver, Kate Lanier

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Ellen Kuras

EDITOR: Dorian Harris

MUSIC: B.C. Riche

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Patrick Sherman

RUNNING TIME: 92 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: UIP

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE DATE: July 15, 1999

VIDEO RELEASE: December 7, 1999

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Warner Home Video







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