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Overall Rating
2.88

Awesome: 9.02%
Worth A Look: 24.59%
Average33.61%
Pretty Bad: 10.66%
Total Crap: 22.13%

11 reviews, 56 user ratings


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Starsky & Hutch
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by Scott Weinberg

"Comedy is like police work: you gotta rely on your partner."
4 stars

What is it that would make for a BAD McDonald's meal? All fast food must do is taste somewhat good and be cooked properly, health be damned. The same holds true for Junk Food Movies; I don't expect Filet Mignon from a big-screen adaptation of the old Starsky & Hutch TV show. Give me a colorful ride, a few pretty girls, and a solid amount of chuckles...and I'm a happy guy.

Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson: Two very funny men who are often cast in atrocious movies with nearly unsalvageable screenplays. For every one instance of a Meet the Parents or a Royal Tenenbaums, you'll find a half-dozen Duplexes and Big Bounces and I Spys and Along Came Pollys. Clearly these two guys don't "fit" into just any comedy.

The duo has appeared together several times before (rather humorously in the case of the rather underrated Zoolander), and it's with the appearance of this new Starsky & Hutch movie that one hopes Ben & Owen will stick together for a few more movies. They certainly seem to have better luck together than they do apart.

Obviously Starsky & Hutch is a silly affair, but it's also an entirely enjoyable little farce that features several funny people, a kooky and colorful tone, a handful of great tunes, and enough solid chuckles to warrant a 7-dollar investment. It sure isn't high art, but this is a flick that capably accomplishes precisely what it set out to do in the first place...which is to deliver good, goofy laughs in a light and amiable setting. With a dash of the disco beat.

See, most movies based on television shows... Well, they suck. Normally. Because very little besides suckiness can occur when your entire project is based on the fiscal-centric ravings of a production company desperate to repackage an old product, all in the name of Name Recognition Marketability. The Mod Squad? The Avengers? Puh-leeze. Soulless husks hoping to steal a few pennies from some nostalgic baby boomers.

But the lesson learned from 1995's The Brady Bunch Movie (and to a lesser degree, the first Charlie's Angels movie) was simple: deliver your nostalgia package wrapped up in some satirical post-modern wrapping, toss in a little naughtiness to keep things spicy, and hire the right actors for the gig. Were any of the "Brady" faithful offended by the ribbing that the series took in that film? Of course not, because being that in love with a kooky old 70s show is just too bizarre to contemplate.

It's clear that director Todd Phillips (coming off the one-two box office punch of Road Trip and Old School) had this approach in mind when he tackled the old and dated (yet fondly remembered) Starsky & Hutch series. I mean really; who could conceive of a big screen version that wore a straight face and fired real bullets?

Taking a page from The Brady Bunch Movie and Tom Mankiewicz's 1987 comedy version of Dragnet, Starsky & Hutch is both affectionate to its source material, and snarky enough to poke fun at its forefather with consistently amusing results. Sure, the bulk of the movie's charm comes courtesy of Stiller and Wilson (not to mention a great little performance from Vince Vaughn, another hilarious guy who's generally misused in movies) but Philips has some fun poking at the very plot constructions of the old 70s cop shows. Starsky & Hutch doesn't have so much of a 'plot' as it has a series of silly encounters, each yielding one clue regarding the next potential suspect. Certain scenes fade out as if a commercial break is on the way, and it's evident that Phillips is shooting for something that tweaks convention without stomping all over it.

There have been so many atrocious movies based on TV shows that it's tough to believe a Starsky & Hutch adaptation could yield anything other than head-slaps and groans. But thanks to a winning pair of comedic cops, an impressive collection of supporting players, and an overall sense of silly good fun, Starsky & Hutch turns out twice as enjoyable as it probably should have been.

The teens will dig the interplay between Ben and Owen, the parents will appreciate the knowing winks at TV Land of Yesteryear. It may be just another 'unnecessary movie based on a kitschy old TV show'...but compared to most of its ilk, Starsky & Hutch is a damn solid little comedy indeed.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=8800&reviewer=128
originally posted: 03/05/04 18:29:03
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User Comments

4/25/16 Katrina Weiss Just watch the original series. 3 stars
4/08/10 PAUL SHORTT HUMOUROUS BUT ULTIMATELY UNSATISFYING COMEDY 2 stars
3/08/10 Samantha Pruitt surprisingly funny! some gret one-liners 4 stars
8/29/08 Shaun Wallner Funny Flick!! 5 stars
11/30/06 lovestospuch sucked balls 1 stars
11/11/06 David Pollastrini boring, dull, etc. 1 stars
6/09/06 Anthony Feor A funny remake of the exeptionaly done television show 4 stars
1/06/06 JM Synth Of the 100-odd movies Stiller made in 04, this was the best. 5 stars
11/22/05 Kurtis J. Beard Weak film. Chemistry is there. Light Entertainment. 2 stars
11/05/05 JamesCole Any 5 minutes of Zoolander is funnier than this whole movie. Yuk! 1 stars
11/04/05 baseball-nut Definitely a waste of money, should've stayed home! 1 stars
11/03/05 Matt DO IT! it is a great movie, i got my first kiss while watching it. that felt good. 5 stars
7/18/05 jimmy Wicked film! - do it! 5 stars
2/24/05 ELI Extremely unfunny. Didn't laugh once 1 stars
11/16/04 Dunce Stunt casting + dull script = snoozer. The show wasn't very good. Don't waste your time. 2 stars
11/16/04 lucas jodoin di maria the best 5 stars
8/23/04 Jim Snoop Dogg & Will Ferrell walk away with the movie 4 stars
8/13/04 kRISTINE mEINHARD i WANT TO SEE ANOTHER ONE THE BOYS ARE GREAT 4 stars
8/11/04 bsho76 wake me up when it's over 2 stars
8/03/04 Kitina Blues stiller&wilson are a good duo, but vince vaughn was the best! he's adorable! 5 stars
7/27/04 lespacified I am still waiting for a plot to materialize!!The story/plot/writting sucked!!! 1 stars
7/21/04 Steve Adams DO it! Dooo it! Doooo it! 5 stars
7/20/04 Chris very funny movie 4 stars
7/19/04 twilliams606 Boring and just plain silly. 2 stars
7/18/04 ithaka peyru c'mon stiller, get your comedic balls out of the perverbial money mouth 1 stars
7/18/04 Onyeabo Monago It could have been better considering the show certainly was. 3 stars
6/02/04 Marcia Lartz Reasonably enjoyable, though far from the best that either Stiller or Wilson is capable of. 4 stars
6/01/04 James Kustes Not as funny as the other movies Owen has been in but pretty good. 4 stars
5/24/04 Butterbean Has it's moments. Those that know anything about the TV series appreciates this more. 3 stars
4/19/04 E-Rock A fun flick. Worth the money just for Snoop Dogg as Huggy Bear... 4 stars
4/12/04 Rusty Grizwald If you've seen the trailer, you've seen all the jokes that might get a laugh. 1 stars
4/09/04 Michael "Hutch" Hutchinson I loved the T.V. show and I loved the movie. Freakin hilarious! 5 stars
3/28/04 Littlepurch LOVED IT! Never saw the tv series but this was brilliant and absolutely hilarious!!!! 5 stars
3/26/04 rojo Funky Fun, even if you didn't live thru the 1970's. 4 stars
3/21/04 argnoowarp This movies captures none of the excitement nor the buddy chemistry of the original. 1 stars
3/19/04 Chris Stiller is a vinager douche 1 stars
3/18/04 Nikolai I was alone in the downtown LA theatre and I left when the candy ran out. 1 stars
3/17/04 kevin watts i thought it was very good.chemistry is there among the stars. 4 stars
3/17/04 Jin Stiller continues his downward slide. 1 stars
3/17/04 Alfred Guy Starsky and Hutch was 70s style at its best. The stuff that is copied poorly today. 4 stars
3/16/04 alex it's not awesome, but worth a look, Y2M is right about them two having good chemistry 4 stars
3/09/04 KingNeutron "Menage" wasn't needed, but Vaughn made a good villain; tighter direction needed in spots. 3 stars
3/09/04 Wendranh so much more fun than the TV show was 4 stars
3/09/04 W. Frederick Zimmerman the series was good, the movie a horrible idea 1 stars
3/08/04 veddermatic Pretty funny if you are over 30. Semi funny if not. 4 stars
3/08/04 nick2k i liked it....liked it more than 'old school'. 4 stars
3/08/04 Aunt Ralph Breezy, Funny, add a star if you're gay 3 stars
3/08/04 Carver S. Stiller and Wilson need to get off each other's jocks. 1 stars
3/08/04 cathy paterson i loved the series, i liked the movie 4 stars
3/07/04 Siamese Toga Princess STARSKY!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
3/06/04 Kooler Stinky. Stiller and Wilson's stock has completely dried up wtih this one. 1 stars
3/06/04 Andrew Dunn Abomination..... but I still love that car after all these years.. 2 stars
3/06/04 Scrunci Funny as hell 5 stars
3/05/04 Brian worth a few chuckles 4 stars
3/05/04 Ray This movie was a mistake 2 stars
3/04/04 ajay saw a sneak preview last week. pretty funny, but not "zoolander" funny. :) 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  05-Mar-2004 (PG-13)
  DVD: 20-Jul-2004

UK
  N/A

Australia
  08-Apr-2004




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