What You Need To Know:
(LL, S, V, A/D) 10 obscenities, 2 profanities, & vulgar sexual language & innuendo throughout; implied adultery & fornication; slapstick violence in roughhousing, hitting, kicking, & punching; and, alcohol abuse.
CAR 54, WHERE ARE YOU?, based on the original TV show, provides another example of aiming a comedy with adult situations at a younger audience that won’t understand its humor. In the movie, Gunther Toody (David Johansen) is a patrolman in Brooklyn’s tough 53rd precinct. His new partner, Frances Muldoon, is straight laced, and Toody tries to loosen him up by introducing him to a femme fatale, who has slept with almost the whole department.
Once again, an attempt to draw on the early days of television for a theatrical movie fails, probably because no one under twenty remembers the television show. The old B&W series was funny because of the innocence of TV and Fred Gwynne and Joe Ross were perfect in their roles. This movie is full of big name actors cracking bad jokes and exhibiting crude humor with sexual overtones, hardly the same thing as the earlier TV show, and certainly not suitable for a family audience. Rosie O’Donnell portrays Mrs. Toody at such a shrill and obnoxious level, the viewer can barely watch the film. Probably most of the actors in this film forgot they made it and were hoping it would never be released. This is an offensive film with its overabundance of distasteful jokes and sexual innuendoes along with a pathetic script–look for CAR 54, WHERE ARE YOU? on the year’s “Ten Worst Movies’ List.”