While Amazon’s Comrade Detective is a TV series that heralds the headlining duo of Channing Tatum and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, don’t expect to see them. That’s because the series, a faux-vintage, retro-1980s Romanian cop show (a flourishing genre if there ever was one,) features Romanian actors onscreen with the voices of the headlining stars, along with an impressive array of supporting voice actors. Indeed, the Comrade Detective trailer plays to its odd retro vibes from the outset with the sight of Tatum watching the footage – out of necessity – on a VCR.
Comrade Detective Trailer
The Comrade Detective trailer immediately sets its audacious tone with a faux-fourth-wall-breaking prologue in which Channing Tatum (as himself,) receives a VHS copy of a “favorite forgotten Romanian television show.” What pops up is an over-the-top cop show, riddled wantonly with cliché, starring Romanian actors Florin Piersic Jr. and Corneliu Ulici, filled with hilarious dialogue from familiar voices.
All the unbridled jingoism associated with 1980s American action movies manifests in the Bucharest-set Comrade Detective, except it promotes Soviet-era Communist ideals, notably with an antagonist in a sniper-rifle-wielding villain wearing a Ronald Reagan mask. All in all, it’s a kooky concoction that hearkens back to voice-dubbed comedy offerings such as Woody Allen’s 1966 standard bearer What’s Up, Tiger Lilly? and Steve Oedekerk’s 2002 cult classic Kung Pow: Legend of the Fist.
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Comrade Detective Story
Here is Amazon’s official synopsis of Comrade Detective.
In the thick of 1980’s Cold War hysteria, the Romanian government created the country’s most popular and longest-running series, Comrade Detective, a sleek and gritty police show that not only entertained its citizens but also promoted Communist ideals and inspired a deep nationalism. The action-packed and blood-soaked first season finds Detectives Gregor Anghel and Iosef Baciu investigating the murder of fellow officer Nikita Ionesco and, in the process, unraveling a subversive plot to destroy their country that is fueled by — what else — the greatest enemy: capitalism. Though the beloved show was sadly forgotten about after the fall of the Berlin Wall, it has been rediscovered and digitally remastered now with its main heroes voiced by Tatum and Gordon-Levitt. Comrade Detective is a true portal into a time and place and a powerful reminder of what art can be—and it is now ready to be seen by the modern world on a larger scale than ever before.
Comrade Detective Cast
Besides lead dubbers Channing Tatum and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Comrade Detective also features the voices of Nick Offerman, Jenny Slate, Jason Mantzoukas, Chloë Sevigny, Fred Armisen, Jake Johnson and Colleen O’Shaughnessey. Additional guest voices include Bobby Cannavale, Tracey Letts, Richard Jenkins, Debra Winger, Mark Duplass, Katie Aselton Duplass, Jerrod Carmichael, John Early and Bo Burnham, as well as a duo of Oscar winners in Mahershala Ali and Kim Basinger.
The series was created by the duo of Brian Gatewood and Alex Tanaka, who wrote the screenplay for the 2011 Jonah Hill-starring comedy The Sitter, as well as TV shows such as Animal Practice and Dice. Rhys Thomas (SNL) serves as director.
Comrade Detective Release Date
Comrade Detective arrives to clean the mean streets of Bucharest of capitalists and other undesirables when it premieres on Amazon Prime on August 4.