The Mod Squad
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From 1968 to 1973, Aaron Spelling produced a hit TV series about three delinquents offered a shot at redemption by serving as undercover cops. More than a quarter-century later, he's back with a big-screen version of The Mod Squad that stakes out familiar territory—with a few modern twists.
"Our story is a darker one because we're in a darker time," says screenwriter Stephen Kay. Indeed, L.A.'s club atmosphere is murkier, dialogue has spiraled into the gutter (with more than a dozen f-words) and automatic weapons now furnish a higher body count.
Danes' character, a former junkie whose hip look borders upon heroin chic, drowns her pain in alcohol (contradicting earlier statements condemning substance abuse). In the hallway of a seedy nightclub, Ribisi is shown pinning a woman to a wall, groaning as he simulates sex with her.
Beyond being crippled by inappropriate content, The Mod Squad is dull and predictable. This limp, recycled script assumes that it's okay to fill a movie with cliches so long as a few cynical, self-aware lines tell the audience it's intentional (it doesn't work). Crooked cops. Frame-ups. A guns-a-blazin' showdown. It concludes by hinting at a Mod franchise.
Will the talented trio of Danes, Epps and Ribisi return for a sequel? Unlikely. On-screen, each seems visibly chafed by this material, keenly aware that they've wasted their time on a stinker. Keep teens from making the same mistake.
Crude or Profane Language
Drug and Alcohol Content
Other Negative Elements
Other Belief Systems
Readability Age Range
Giovanni Ribisi, Claire Danes, Omar Epps, Dennis Farina, Josh Brolin
Scott Silver ( )