Car 54, Where Are You?

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What a bad way to reboot Car 54.

Car 54, Where Are You? is a 1994 comedy film directed by Bill Fishman and stars David Johansen and John C. McGinley, it was released on 28, January 1994. It is based on the television series of the same name starring Joe E. Ross and Fred Gwynne that ran from 1961 to 1963.

Reprising their roles from the original series are Nipsey Russell, whose character Anderson is now a captain, and Al Lewis, whose officer Schnauser now spends his time watching TV reruns of The Munsters (in which Lewis and Gwynne also starred).

The film was originally produced as a musical comedy but released without the filmed musical interludes.

Plot

Partnered in Car 54 are the amiable, unreliable Gunther Toody and the prim, proper Francis Muldoon, who wants to know, among other things, if Toody has been helping himself to free kebab from the neighborhood food vendors.

As everyone gets on their case, including Dave Anderson, their captain, an assignment comes their way. Toody and Muldoon are told to protect citizen Herbert Hortz, who apparently has incurred the wrath of the local crime godfather, the claustrophobic Don Motti. And while the cops from Car 54 ineptly do their jobs, Toody gets an earful from his wife, Lucille, and is hot and bothered by a woman all their colleagues seem to have already frisked or handcuffed, the vixen Velma Velour.

Why It Sucks

  1. Laughable performances, especially that of Rosie O'Donnell.
  2. Extremely weak jokes.
  3. No actors from the original TV series, except Nipsey Russell and Al Lewis.
  4. Bad soundtrack by Pray for Rain and Bernie Worrell.
  5. Way too many pop culture references.
  6. Pointless cameos of Pen and Teller and The Ramones.
  7. Poor storyline.
  8. Weak main characters.
  9. Uninteresting supporting characters.
  10. Poor grasp of original source material.
  11. False advertising: The poster shows the characters on a rollercoaster, but that rollercoaster isn't seen in the movie.
  12. At times it can feel like a rip-off of the Police Academy franchise.
  13. Blatant product placement.
  14. Very uninteresting plot.
  15. It was put on the shelf for too long: it was filmed in 1990 but not released until 1994, at which point the film had gone through extensive re-editing, including the removal of all musical interludes. This makes the film dated in some areas.

The Only Redeeming Quality

  1. Nipsey Russell and Al Lewis, two actors from the TV show, returned.

Reception

The movie failed both critically and commercially, holding a 0% Rating on rotten tomatoes.

Awards and Nominations

Rosie O'Donnell won the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actress along with Exit To Eden and The Flintstones.