COPS AND ROBBERSONS Add To My Top 10

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Release Date: April 15, 1994

Starring: Chevy Chase, Jack Palance, Dianne Wiest, & Robert Davi

Genre: Comedy

Audience: Older teenagers

Rating: PG

Runtime: 91 minutes

Distributor: TriStar Pictures

Director: Michael Ritchie

Executive Producer:

Producer: Ned Tanen, Nancy Graham Tanen & Ronald L. Schwary

Writer: Bernie Somers

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Content:

(H, LL, M, N, S, V) Humanism; 10 obscenities & 4 profanities; limited male & female nudity; child obsessed with vampire identity; daughter being promiscuous in car love scene with a cop who should know better; and, slap-stick violence.

Summary:

In COPS AND ROBBERSONS, two detectives on a stake-out become "live in" relatives among a quintessential suburban family in need of better relationships. Intended for "family" audiences, this passionless, predictable paint-by-numbers story contains too many empty and morally questionable moments.

Review:

The Robbersons, complete with three children and a dog, live in the quintessentially bland, suburban, middle-class neighborhood in COPS AND ROBBERSONS. Drifting and disconnected from each other by the forces of teenage rebellion, middle-class busyness and lack of family unity, Norman and his wife, Helen, are in need of something to spice up their marriage and help their children grow together. Into their lives come the detective duo of crusty Jake Stone and his eager beaver younger partner, Tony, who move in with them to conduct 24-hour surveillance. Soon, a counterfeiter and murderer, Osborn, moves next door. Norman Robberson, obsessed with television re-runs of police shows, jumps at the opportunity to play cop, but he botches everything up and then helps save the day as the criminal Osborn is captured with a minimum of violence and fanfare.

The role and set-up are ripe for some hilarious gags, but what we get is a zombie-inspired acting performance from Chevy Chase, with totally predictable and uninspired gags leading to an anti-climactic ending in which Chevy is no wiser to the problems that caused his family's predicament in the first place. Good comedy is supposed to help reinforce the social order. This film should have revealed the proper way to overcome family weaknesses.

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