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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 Collin Souter

"In case you forgot, the '70s were pretty lame"
3 stars

Time once again for me to plead ignorance. This year seems to be the year in which I claim to have little-to-no knowledge of history or pop culture. I had virtually no recollection of the 1980 World Olympics hockey game (“Miracle”), I was raised with very little religion (“The Passion of the Christ”) and I’ve never seen an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond (“Welcome To Mooseport”). The only piece of knowledge I’ve accumulated over the past 20 years that has served me well in this film reviewing endeavor is everything and anything that has to do with 1984’s “Breakin’” (“You Got Served”). Now, I must confess that I have never, ever—no, not once—seen an episode of “Starsky & Hutch.”

Do I feel left out? Not in the slightest. I saw “Bad Boys II.” Does that count? Didn’t think so. The reason I ask is because I feel as though I have seen a dozen versions of this formula (good cop/bad cop) in various movies and TV shows I find it hard to believe another movie—even a parody—can add anything new. This “Starsky & Hutch” adds nothing new, really. We all know the formula for a buddy-cop movie/TV show and we don’t necessarily need a parody to remind us how formulaic, even homoerotic, they can be.

Nevertheless, “Starsky & Hutch” made me laugh in spite of it all. Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson play Starskey & Hutch, respectively. Both actors do what they always do, although this represents the other Ben Stiller movie (similar to his cult TV show in the ‘90s), not the rom-com Ben Stiller movie. He utilizes his over-the-top technique to make fun of the “serious” elements of the story while Wilson continues to be the most welcome one-note actor in the business. They have been in a half-dozen movies together already and miraculously the coupling still works, but I’m not exactly clamoring for a sequel anytime soon.

“Starsky & Hutch” stays so close to a formula involving the buddy-cop element and the druglord they’re pursuing (played by Vince Vaughn) that the rest of the movie feels restrained as a result. By casting Snoop Dogg as a streetwise drug dealer who also acts as a secret aid to the Starsky and Hutch, the movie makes probably its most unconventional move. Kinda sad when you think about it. With Stiller and Wilson at the forefront, the movie could have taken the whole cop-buddy genre into a whole other weird direction.

Of course, the writers try to add the silly homoerotic element to the fun, but never taking it to an extreme, which, in this case, is a smart move. We get the gist of it without the joke being pounded into our heads and without it crossing into homophobia (as in “Bad Boys II”). The movie also seems content with sticking to an easy target for satire: The ‘70s. Yes, the fashions back then surpassed hideous. Yes, disco knew no bounds in terms of silliness. No, I don’t really need another comedy to that points these things out to me.

Todd Phillips directed “Starsky & Hutch” as well as one of my guilty pleasures from last year, “Old School.” Phillips works well with some gags, but seems restraint on others. For instance, when Starsky accidentally ingests some cocaine into his system while partying with Hutch and a couple hotties, Starsky hallucinates. This scene could have played for so much more than it does. It never fully achieves a comedic high and neither does the rest of the movie, really. In fact, this marks the third Will Farrell movie in the past year in which I have to qualify my review with, “It’s funny if you love Will Farrell, which I do, but I’m still waiting for the GREAT Will Farrell comedy.” His next project: “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.” What is it? A parody of the ‘70s.

It does hold true, though. “Starsky & Hutch,” like “Old School” and “Elf,” has its share of big laughs, but not enough to recommend it for more than a 99-cent rental. Most of the movie’s charm comes from Stiller and Wilson, even though one gets a clear sense of déjà vu. As a parody, it does okay, especially with Stiller at the helm. As I said, I have never seen an episode of the TV show, but I get where this movie is coming from. I’ve seen The Ben Stiller Show many times and this movie plays like a full-length sketch. Unlike a Saturday Night Live feature, this one doesn’t quite wear out its welcome, but you’ll certainly forget about it once you reach the exits.

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originally posted: 03/06/04 01:07:45
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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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