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Overall Rating

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

11 reviews, 56 user ratings

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Starsky & Hutch
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by Marc Kandel

"A charmless remake of the only mostly charmless ’87 “Dragnet” remake."
1 stars

That I watched this flick in its entirety is a clear indication that I have learned nothing from this site. I have ignored the hard lessons of each and every gimmick picture desperately clawing at the nostalgic membrane of yesteryear that so many filmmakers are convinced Americans want and that so many Americans think they want due to the furious efforts of the filmmakers' marketing teams. Turns out we really don’t- at least not when it’s served up as the butchered hash of a “Flintstones” or “Scooby Doo” or “Bewitched” or our subject here, “Starsky and Hutch”.

As I said in the opening, “S&H” is an almost note for note, vulgared down, trendy rehash of the movie spoof/adaptation of the “Dragnet” TV show with Tom Hanks and Dan Ackroyd, owing less to the original “Starsky and Hutch” than to overtaxed buddy and cop film formulas. Same plot (cops vs. a corrupt administration), same character motivations climaxing in an unsurprising role reversal (see below character breakdowns), same car chase (there’s a boat instead of a plane with this one). Only instead of Hanks’ enthusiastic smirky loose cannon and Ackroyd’s tightrope straight man with a repressed edge to him, we have everyone’s favorite hipster comedians playing to type. Owen Wilson is an enthusiastic smirky loose cannon and Ben Stiller is a tightrope straight man with a repressed edge, for those of you who have not seen a single one of their films where they have played these roles ad nauseum, or for that matter, any film of the last 10 years that has these character types also on display ad nauseum. Stiller and Owen are simply the latest batch of repeat offenders in a rotting subset of movies.

Both actors and their partner in crime Vince Vaughn deliver their lines with their trademark self-deprecating wink and nod to their college audience that they too, are painfully aware they are saying nothing of true substance or wit, and isn’t that riotously funnyohgodpleaselaughorMTVexecswillshootus? Sorry boys. Bang. Bang. One to four times in some reasonably entertaining movies, fine. Dragging the schtick out post several irritating music/movie award shows and one “I Spy” later, no… no, not so much.

At one time I liked these actors in their respective roles, and honestly, I still enjoy them in a smattering of films where they are utilized smartly in a good ensemble (Old School, Anchorman) – but for the most part I can’t even remember most what I liked them from or when- it’s all run together into some amorphous blob of about 80% of their collective movies.

A quick note on the presence of “Snoop Dogg” as “Huggy Bear” in the film, the obligatory “we vaguely remember this character but turns out, we don’t care” role, (aka Uncle Arthur, Cooter, Kazoo, etc.- barely tolerated in their time, not really essential for my viewing pleasure now):

“Just Shoot Me,” my pick for the most terminally dull television series ever, just outreaching Suddenly Susan by virtue of continuing its crusade against mental acuity by a season or two more, (or at least by showing reruns with greater intensity, forcing me to have to click through it in desperate bid to find a channel not wading in sitcom dukey), already did the “Hollywood Shuffle” gag of the black man, in this case, Snoop himself, as the non-threatening, kind, cultured intellect beneath the dangerous negro gangsta facade. It is a strained joke that almost manages to reverse its once satirical point of view and actually becomes borderline racist through ceaseless repetition- in effect saying that the punch-line is now the exception rather than the norm.

Of course nobody’s being racist here, just tired and stupid. But when you are about 2-5 years behind a 30 minute episode of “Just Shoot Me” which is 30 years behind every other comedy and 30,000 times less funny… well, that’s about all that needs saying, isn’t it?

I have abused the privileges of Netflix, using this helpful, non-Blockbuster Video service for the purposes of insidiously molesting my DVD player with this bilge. The old girl won’t even speak to me now- ignoring my heartfelt apologies and offers of a Blake Edwards marathon or a viewing of the collected works of the Three Stooges and instead endlessly replaying special features from Van Helsing to punish me for this transgression. Funny thing is I took “S&H” in due to the ravings of a friend who, from her reaction to this film, you would have thought they discovered the fountain of orgasms and peace-flavor lollypops. Lies. All Lies. I’m recommending “About Schmidt” to her in retaliation; that’ll take some years off her life for this offense.

There is a really funny scene in the '87 “Dragnet” where it is inferred that Dennis Farina is repeatedly having his balls mashed in by a slamming drawer. Tom Hanks sells it with devious, quiet glee and Farina’s sweaty, teeth grinding facial expressions are hilarious, as is Dan Ackroyd’s tacit complicity in some good old abusive interrogation technique. But while hits to the groin are fun to watch, you certainly don’t want it performed on you through a terrifically awful movie aping an marginally better predecessor. Such is the sensation elicited from your time spent with “Starsky and Hutch.” You came in lured by the promise of some clever, funny nostalgia, and you got bashed in the scrote by some obvious, exhausted dreck.

Let’s stop with the goddam small- to big-screen stuff already. Go ahead people, ignore me. You’re roughly three ticket purchases away from “After Mash” the movie- don’t come crying to me when it happens. Although if you cast Elliot Gould and Donald Sutherland…

Paying to see this flick, even retroactively through a cable subscription is like paying to eat someone else’s sick. Oh, and Amy Smart fans, take careful note- we are rapidly closing in on the start of her "erotic thriller" career.

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originally posted: 11/03/05 09:40:34
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User Comments

4/25/16 Katrina Weiss Just watch the original series. 3 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
8/11/04 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
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  05-Mar-2004 (PG-13)
  DVD: 20-Jul-2004



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