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Review

THE MOD SQUAD review

The MOD SQUAD is....

A ripe pile of festering cinematic boils spewing puss upon the eyes of mankind.

I hate this film. The movie injured me.

There are two things I liked in the movie. 1. The way the movie just started (not beginning at the origin of THE MOD SQUAD but in the midst of a case) and 2. A two minute (possibly less) sequence in a car between a character named Sonny and Linc. Sonny was fantastic.

The bit I sort of liked... Linc, though his brooding, posing and neanderthal walk all got on my nerves.

What I hated? Everything else.

Here is a film that is soooooooo loathsome that you just want to take a leak on the screen, but you later realize that the images will be gleamed from the screen soon enough by the likes of MATRIX, THE MUMMY, STAR WARS EPISODE ONE, EYES WIDE SHUT, THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, etc...

How do films this shallow on plot get made. If you cut out ever instance of a character posing silently out of focus... the movie would be down to it’s 47 minute episode length.

This is a film that actually makes GO seem pretty darn brilliant (though it’s just a pile of poser coolness)

First off... the film insults us with an annoying new definition of MOD that incorporates the look of today’s youth into that term. SORRY NO DICE.

Mod is a very specific style and look inherant to the sixties and seventies. Once you take them out of that setting then the film becomes, THE SLACKER SQUAD (aka The SS). What the hell is LINC without his awesomely cool AFRO. I’m not talking about it in a “ewwwwww, it was so funny” manner either. That Afro of LINC’s was cool. He looked cool.... He was cool.

As for the others.... Somebody hurry up and cast Claire Danes back into the ocean please. My god, the amount of vacuous stares and bit bottom lips was enough to just make me sick. OH... But what about all those panty shots? Well, gosh it’s about as hot as a Sears Catalogue... which is of course bedroom reading for Quint, but for the rest of us.... it’s LAME!

And not since Marlon Brando and Val Kilmer embarrassed themselves beyond all realms of sanity in ISLAND OF DR MOREAU have I seen such a bizarre weird BADNESS than the dance scene between Michael Lerner’s character and Linc. When he says he’s not gay, it reminded me of a thing a friend of mine said once....

“Hey, we’ve got thirty minutes to kill, why don’t we jack each other off.... Nothing faggoty, just a way to kill the time!”

Of course he said it in jest and it caused me to rib-crack laugh to death, but I’m not even sure what the thought process of the scene was.

I could just see the director looking at the script (all 13 pages) and thinking, “S-T-R-E-T-C-H”.

BAD MOVIE!

BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD MOVIE!!!!!!!!!

Next time (God Forbid) set the film in the late sixties early seventies. One you have access to cooler music, styles and settings. The film will have some sort of reason to exist. And it might be cool. I’m fearing the same sort of shallow treading of water with THE CHARLIE’S ANGEL film. But imagine if it were set in the Seventies. Platform shoes, cool hair, tight braless t-shirts, two handed gun firing, and a Lalo Schifrin score! Pop-Art Titles....

God, this was a bad film. Bad film. Really really bad film. This is your garlic, cross and rising sun all in one. How not to make a cool movie? See THE MOD SQUAD!

Readers Talkback
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  • April 4, 1999, 8:14 a.m. CST

    fuckin' CHILL.

    by brain_bug

    I think the overblown hate-filled reactions to this movie have been absurd. Yes, the plot and dialogue were very bad, and no, this was not really a "good" movie per say, but it was likable and filled with nice touches. Could've used some more fireworks and more character scenes, but it was enjoyable. I enjoyed it more than Six String Samurai, to bring up an old standby of an overrated movie. I genuinely liked all three leads; Claire did what she could with an underwritten role, and looked adorable... Giovanni was a bit manic, but the scene with his parents was actually pretty touching in a non-forced way.. and Omar was cool, afro or no, he had the right sort of weariness down. The scene at the car wash, a couple scenes at the club, some of the stuff between Julie and Pete... yeah, it's mostly not worth more than a rental unless you're a big fan of any of the actors (*not* some self-righteous fan of the series talking about how "THEY RUINED IT!!" -- it's TV, get over it people).. but it's not *offensively* bad. It's pretty entertaining stuff. Stop whining with your 10,000 "BAD"s, jesus...

  • April 4, 1999, 10:48 a.m. CST

    It was bad.

    by bitchass

    Even my friends who aren't geeks thought this movie was a piece of shit. However, after the movie when we all got wasted and talked about it at 4am we realised there was one thing we all liked about this movie. The Soundtrack. It wasn't a "hey this is a 70's movie lets throw in the same 70's songs as every other try-to-be-cool 70's movie". Granted, some of the songs were brand new (DJ Icey, and I think I heard a Lauryn Hill remix) but everything seemed to fit in perfectly. I'm not going to buy this soundtrack because the movie sucked so bad, but I think it's worth the time to download and burn off the net.

  • April 4, 1999, 1:05 p.m. CST

    THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU

    by Spacey

    I haven't seen The Mod Squad, but I did see The Island of Dr. Moreau, and I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!! Your taste of movies baffles me, it is DISGUSTING!!! The Mod Squad can't be as bad as THE FACULTY, which was just a big a remake (of every horror/sci-fi movie ever) than The Mod Squad. The Island of Dr. Moreau is a great movie, it is DIFFERENT! I wish a cgi explosion would blow up all of Austin and all of its damn little theaters that show silent movies (not really, just letting out some anger, I really love The Island of Dr. Moreau).

  • April 4, 1999, 3:28 p.m. CST

    Well, no shit...

    by rob zombie

    Of course it sucked! Anyone with half a brain didn't even need to see the trailer to know this flick was DOA at the pitch meeting stage, let alone the tired casting choices. Honestly, why Harry picks on easy targets like this and then acts like Armageddon is godhead is beyond me. More reviews from Moriarity, please, as he actually seems to have a consistent sense of critical faculties about him and doesn't just jizz over CGI FX. I agree with Harry on a LOT of the smaller films he champions, but his enthusiasm for some of the fanboy dreck out there is just sad and unwarranted.

  • April 4, 1999, 4 p.m. CST

    coulda been better

    by bigguy22

    Alright Alright. So this was not the greatest movie of the 90's, but I actually found some of it to be entertaining. Namely, I enjoyed Rabisi's performance. He reminded me of a younger Steve Buscemi. Anyway, the film was not toooooo bad. It just left alot to be desired.

  • April 4, 1999, 4:37 p.m. CST

    Mediocre

    by AshFett

    The Mod Squad wasn't a good film, but dear lord it wasn't THAT bad, not nearly as bad as you're saying Harry. It was just cliched, predictable and boring. The first third was somewhat amusing, but after that it was just by the numbers. Ribisi was very amusing. Epps and Danes (who I adore and who looked great) had nothing to do acting wise. BTW: I too liked how the film opened with real TV show opening credits that told us all we needed to know about the set up. I'm sorry you hate Danes so much though. Not only do I have a "thing" for her, but I think she's a damn fine actress. Her death scene in Little Women was one of the sadest movies scenes to me, one that made me really cry, unlike say (hear it comes, the dreaded A movie!) Armageddon... Also once more have to add how much I love "Go." It IS a cool movie! Sure, Tarantino's influence is all over it, but they pulled it off (The teen movie meets Tarantino pitch that is).

  • April 4, 1999, 4:38 p.m. CST

    Mediocre

    by AshFett

    The Mod Squad wasn't a good film, but dear lord it wasn't THAT bad, not nearly as bad as you're saying Harry. It was just cliched, predictable and boring. The first third was somewhat amusing, but after that it was just by the numbers. Ribisi was very amusing. Epps and Danes (who I adore and who looked great) had nothing to do acting wise. BTW: I too liked how the film opened with real TV show opening credits that told us all we needed to know about the set up. I'm sorry you hate Danes so much though. Not only do I have a "thing" for her, but I think she's a damn fine actress. Her death scene in Little Women was one of the sadest movies scenes to me, one that made me really cry, unlike say (hear it comes, the dreaded A movie!) Armageddon... Also once more have to add how much I love "Go." It IS a cool movie! Sure, Tarantino's influence is all over it, but they pulled it off (The teen movie meets Tarantino pitch that is).

  • April 4, 1999, 10:11 p.m. CST

    Damn right, Harry. Odd, err...Mod sucked

    by Thunderball

    How in the world did this mess ever get green lighted? The original show wasn't all that great either (except for mighty fine Peggy Lipton) but it certainly had more substance that this crap.

  • April 4, 1999, 10:20 p.m. CST

    Hmm..

    by Corran Fox Horn

    Could Harry be exaggerating a little and be letting the only mediocre Mod Squad take the fall in his attempts to prove he doesn't like every film? PS - MATRIX ROCKS! See it or see it again!

  • April 5, 1999, 9:11 a.m. CST

    The Mod Squad

    by W. Leach

    Ya know, I don't really like to pass judgement on a film until I actually see it for myself. This is a lesson I learned a long time ago, when I was on my way to see, believe it or not, FARGO. The ads didn't really appeal to me, but I thought, what the hell. I loved MILLER'S CROSSING, why not give ol' FARGO a try? (Besides, it starred Steve Buscemi, and my girlfriend at the time had a thing for Steve Buscemi). Anyway, we get to the theater, blah blah blah. The film begins with that cool Muzak intro, and all of a sudden, I'm sucked into this truly awesome film. I loved it! After that experience, I tried to see every movie I could with an open mind, no matter what my expectations. I'd say it worked seven out of ten times, but hey, I can't predict the future, right? So I lost seven fifty when I went to see I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER (despite a pretty cool trailer); so I blew a free pass when I went to see 8mm (despite ANOTHER cool trailer) ... anyway, on to the subject at hand, I've rambled on long enough. I've seen plenty of previews and scenes from THE MOD SQUAD (including those weird clothing commercials), and all I can say is, if you wanted to call the movie THE MOD SQUAD, why not set it in the late 1960s, early 1970s, when the TV show aired? When I first heard about this project a little over a year ago, I assumed it would be set in the past. Why not? When do we use the term "mod" today? "Mod" was a term that was already passe in the late 1960s. To call a film THE MOD SQUAD, and set it in 1999, well, that's just silly. I think it really would have worked well had it been set thirty years ago. The generation gap would obviously still fit into the plot, and think of the tie-ins! MOD SQUAD fashions! A killer soundtrack album filled with acid rock!! Oh well. There's always the sequel. Maybe Julie, Linc, and Michael can find a time machine, and go back to 1970! There they could meet the ORIGINAL Mod Squad, and ... maybe that's not such a hot idea after all. To make a VERY long story short here, I plan on seeing the film anyway ... with an open mind, of course.

  • April 5, 1999, 9:57 a.m. CST

    Harry: Is GO really that bad?

    by HAL9000

    I couldn't help but notice your contention that MS makes GO look brilliant. Are you insinuating that GO is a mediocre film that will be easily forgotten in due time? I hope not, I was a big fan of Swingers, and the trailers for GO caught my attention (I'm a sucker for Katie Holmes).

  • April 5, 1999, 8:13 p.m. CST

    On The Subject of GO.....

    by mrbeaks

    .....since I will never subject my eyes to THE MOD SQUAD (unless someone I trust tells me it's the best buried treasure since HUDSON HAWK:) I liked it. A lot, actually. Having seen Harry note his displeasure with Doug Liman's sophomore effort, I'm curious to see what he thought was wrong with it. I mean, for all of the bad stabs at Tarantino "coolness" we've seen lately, this one came pretty damn close to approximating the level of, say, RESERVOIR DOGS. Awaiting your review, big guy.

  • April 6, 1999, 2:08 a.m. CST

    Worse than bad

    by Caligari

    Add a couple of "bads" from me. Bad casting... bad script... bad direction... and I'm still trying to figure out the plot. When I left the theatre, I was depressed because those are two hours of my life I will never get back. The only thing I liked about the movie was the soundtrack, otherwise... burn all existing prints.

  • April 6, 1999, 1:40 p.m. CST

    A bad movie?

    by Mr White

    They made Mod Squad into a movie? I thought it was a new line of Levi's clothes. I was all impressed that Levi's got those actors in a commercial. Where was I?

  • April 6, 1999, 5:50 p.m. CST

    THE MOD SQUAD + GO = Steaming pile of turtle turd!

    by Jimmer72

    I know I may get some flack for this, having NOT seen either film, but... speaking from experience, having seen both trailers to MOD SQUAD and GO ad infinitum: THESE MOVIES LOOK TERRIBLE!!! If there is one thing I hate more than teenybopper slasher flicks, it's "hip" teenybopper gun flicks. You know, the actors and moviemakers think they're making a Tarantino "homage" (or something) and they all stand around looking pretty, spouting bitchin' dialogue--that no one would ever say in real life--and pointing guns in each other's faces; that, or blowing people away indiscriminately. I say ENOUGH!!! I don't have to see either film to come to the conclusion that they're both GARBAGE!!! I think I'll treat

  • April 6, 1999, 8:53 p.m. CST

    Jimmer8

    by mrbeaks

    Do not judge GO on the marketing campaign. In fact, never judge a film on how it is promoted. The filmmakers rarely have any input; so, unless Leslie Nielsen has a starring role, or if it's based on an old T.V. show, you never know what you might be passing up. Give GO the chance it deserves. I guarantee it'll surprise you.

  • April 7, 1999, 6:13 a.m. CST

    -

    by Mule

    That may be the worst movie I have seen in ten years. I even thought that Bad Girls was more entertaining. I just wanted to slink out the back door of the theater after the first 15 minutes, and hope nobody had seen me going in. Luckily I snuck a bottle of Jim Beam in, because we needed it.

  • April 7, 1999, 8:16 a.m. CST

    GO

    by MediaPunk

    I rarely would call a movie a sure-bet but until Harry dissed 'Go' I would have recommended it as such. I had the privelage of seeing a bootleg cut on video (with a temporary soundtrack) and I can't imagine anyone NOT liking it. I'm already growing sick of the comparisons being made between it and Pulp Fiction. Just because a movie doesn't have a linear time line- sheesh. I think what made me really like Go, now especially, is that it treats teen characters honestly instead of bowing to MTV/Saved By the Bell stereotypes cranked out by people who THINK they are in touch with what's up with teens. I'm tired of teen characters that talk like chirpy Pringles pitchmen. The teens in 'Go' are selfish, cynical and not all that likeable...but very real. Where the Mod Squad TRIES to be cool 'Go' succeeds at being cool. Is it a crime for a movie to be cool? The script is tight and layered nicely- and considering the large ensemble...there is impressive characterization. It plays like an action movie but the comedy is there and the dialogue is great. Where you in a rotten mood when you saw it Harry?- because I really can't imagine anyone not thinking this movie was great. I'm eagerly anticipating seeing it on the big screen Friday. I'll be curious to see how the music has changed from the cut I saw which included the likes of Soul Coughing and Morcheeba (neither of which appears on the track list for the soundtrack CD). Can anyone else back me up on my opinion that Go is the first really quality fun movie of this year? I predict a slow opening week followed by a word-of-mouth inspired surge into a hit. As for Mod Squad- its not gonna' win any awards and the story was like a shelfed Miami Vice episode, but it was all that bad. Coulda' been better but it was very watchable.

  • April 7, 1999, 12:31 p.m. CST

    MOD SQUAD: Cure for Insomnia

    by Beh

    Let me clear my name by first letting you know that I did not see this film by choice! (double date, the other couple chose the movie). Without any doubt, this is the worst piece of garbage I have seen in at least a year, maybe more... With the exception of the opening credits I was struggling to stay awake the whole time. I felt like begging: "PLEASE!! ENTERTAIN ME!!" I will not repeat all the criticism spewed forth so far (though I agree with all of it). I do have one other thing to add, though. Am I the only one that feels uncomfortable with a Claire Danes love scene?? She looks like she is about 12 years old, for Christ's sake! Now I am dying to see The Avengers to compare it to the Mod Squad. My girlfriend claims that the Avengers is worse, but I can't imagine anything more dreadful than the Mod Squad. "Dunstin Checks In" was even better! ;) Beh.

  • April 7, 1999, 2:09 p.m. CST

    The Saddest part of this talkback...

    by Julius Caesar

    is the fact that I am reading comments from people who seem to feel if their favorite pretty or quirky star is in the movie, then it's okay if the films quality suffers. Hey folks? Wake up and stop this nonsense. You want better movies? Stop running out to the theater everytime Jennifer Love Hewitt, Brandy, Katie Holmes, Claire Danes and Ryan Phillipe do a fricking film. They do it for the bucks not for the quality of the project and as long as you "fans" keep pouring money into their pockets, they are gonna keep getting more and more money for crappy movies. If you really have a crush on Claire Danes, put on romeo and juliet and hit pause when she's on damn screen and stare at her like a mental patient and save the rest of us from having to almost go to her weak ass movies. We have to stop this pretty teen ager actors plague before it goes too far. Remember the Brat Pack, people? It's gonna happen again. Fresh Horses and Mannequin here we come. I am your Emperor! Julius Caesar and I command you to use your minds! Ouch! My back!

  • April 9, 1999, 7:31 a.m. CST

    so bad

    by seven

    Things I would rather have done to me than watch the Mod Squad again: 1: Shove a 10 inch wide stick through my eureathra. 2:Poke my eyes out with a unsharpened pencil. 3:Volunteer to deliver strange metal attaches for the IRA. 4:Snuggle up with a sleeping bag full of rabid wolverines. 5: Let Dr. Jack K. administer my IV line. And to those who say this film had no redeeming qualities sure it does ... it ended.

  • April 10, 1999, 8:37 a.m. CST

    not enough BADS

    by crashdavis18

    I wanted to make some witty comment about how bad this movie really was. I'm too hungover to top what's already here. One comment though, Harry, you need more BADS in your review, way more BADS.

  • April 12, 1999, 1:04 p.m. CST

    Amen Julius!

    by Andy

    Thank you! Someone being pretty does not equal a movie being good.

  • April 12, 1999, 1:06 p.m. CST

    Oh, the humanity!

    by Foster Zygote

    Why, oh why did my wife's younger sibs (12 & 14) have to come and visit while this "film" was in the theaters? We asked them if they wanted to see a movie and, well, obviously we ended up seeing this steaming heap of yak shit. (Why yak? Have you ever smelled a yak? It's close to seeing this movie in terms of experience.) I could have seen Matrix again but no, this movies target demographic had to be under my roof at the time it was released. When I saw the trailer weeks ago I had that "I nearly stepped in a big pile of crap but avoided it" feeling but as it turned out the gods shit right on my head. Why do I think that the suits at the pitch meeting used words like "proactive" and "paradigm"?

  • April 12, 1999, 4:13 p.m. CST

    GO!

    by Jack Burton

    Don't know if you've seen "Go" or not Harry, but the movie rocked. It managed to have a very "cool" attitude without seeming forced. It was also the funniest movie I've seen in a while (better than the good-but-over-rated Analyze This) and Scott Wolf and Jay Mohr were hysterical. I get the Pulp Fiction comparisons because the movie literally goes all over the place and you never know where you will end up, or how it will all come together. I'll definitely see it again, putting of a 3rd Matrix viewing for the occasion. I just bought the "Go" soundtrack and its worthy of your 12 bucks. At least half of it is damn fine.

  • April 13, 1999, 5:34 p.m. CST

    back atcha Media Punk

    by TOMMY TERROR

    I'll back u up Media Punk, GO was great - I enjoyed the superfine buzz for several hours after, and Sarah Polley makes it all happen, tho everyone involved is entertaining. I'm surprised Harry didn't GO for it, but I did have low expectations based on his earlier condemnation. Any movie that can start by deconstructing their own production logo, has got something interesting going on.

  • April 21, 1999, 6:57 p.m. CST

    "GO" blow Tarantino's nuts

    by negroenforcer

    To all these people who keep saying that movies are copying Tarantino's style, suck on mylong negro penis like a baby on tit milk. Tarantino has no style. He a white man making "black caesar" in the 1990's. "RDOGS" is the worst movie ever given the stamp of great by so many fat white film critics. Why don't some of the obese honky critics ever make a film of their own instead of bashing these people who work hard actually Making movies. Let me sit on my fat ass and complain about how terrible a movie is, what a great occupation. Shouldnt film critics be the best film makers of all time, they apparantly know what makes a movie good or bad. Use your knowledge to create the ultimate movie experience for all the popcorn eaters out there. To the next person who say " Pulp Fiction is the greatest movie ever created" - pop in the DVD and masturbate to every scene like it was 1999. What do you get when you mix Brain De Palma with a retard = Tarantino

  • April 21, 1999, 6:57 p.m. CST

    "GO" blow Tarantino's nuts

    by negroenforcer

    To all these people who keep saying that movies are copying Tarantino's style, suck on mylong negro penis like a baby on tit milk. Tarantino has no style. He a white man making "black caesar" in the 1990's. "RDOGS" is the worst movie ever given the stamp of great by so many fat white film critics. Why don't some of the obese honky critics ever make a film of their own instead of bashing these people who work hard actually Making movies. Let me sit on my fat ass and complain about how terrible a movie is, what a great occupation. Shouldnt film critics be the best film makers of all time, they apparantly know what makes a movie good or bad. Use your knowledge to create the ultimate movie experience for all the popcorn eaters out there. To the next person who say " Pulp Fiction is the greatest movie ever created" - pop in the DVD and masturbate to every scene like it was 1999. What do you get when you mix Brain De Palma with a retard = Tarantino

  • April 21, 1999, 6:58 p.m. CST

    "GO" blow Tarantino's nuts

    by negroenforcer

    To all these people who keep saying that movies are copying Tarantino's style, suck on mylong negro penis like a baby on tit milk. Tarantino has no style. He a white man making "black caesar" in the 1990's. "RDOGS" is the worst movie ever given the stamp of great by so many fat white film critics. Why don't some of the obese honky critics ever make a film of their own instead of bashing these people who work hard actually Making movies. Let me sit on my fat ass and complain about how terrible a movie is, what a great occupation. Shouldnt film critics be the best film makers of all time, they apparantly know what makes a movie good or bad. Use your knowledge to create the ultimate movie experience for all the popcorn eaters out there. To the next person who say " Pulp Fiction is the greatest movie ever created" - pop in the DVD and masturbate to every scene like it was 1999. What do you get when you mix Brain De Palma with a retard = Tarantino

  • May 18, 1999, 11:06 a.m. CST

    What Tha Fuck is Ribisi Thinking?

    by Kilroy Edmonds

    Giovanni Ribisi is probably the best young actor out there. He already has two great movies on his resume(Suburbia, Saving Private Ryan). So why in Mortimer Toynbee's name is he in a Godforsaken piece of dogshit like Mod Squad. Oh yeah, Claire Danes sucks. She ain't hot and she can't act. So why is she in every movie with a fucking kid in it?

  • June 3, 1999, 5:54 p.m. CST

    You thought it was that good???

    by Phineas

    I thought this movie was soooooo bad that it's not describable. And not that cool, funny, good kind of bad, just a terrible, really bad bad. The worst kind of bad. I still have nightmares of having to sit through that sad excuse of entertainment. I know everyone sees things differently, and art is subjective, but this is the one that sompletely kills that. Simple fact: this is bad. [shudder].

  • July 16, 2006, 8:50 a.m. CST

    Or the porno: The Rod Squad.

    by Wolfpack