STARSKY & HUTCH, a remake of the corny 1975 television series, is directed by
the numbers by OLD SCHOOL's Todd Phillips. If you've seen its trailers,
there's no reason to see the movie, since you've already experienced most of
its funniest moments. And, in a film which rarely rises above the level of
small smiles and little giggles, having enjoyed its best parts is a real
demotivator for purchasing tickets.
The nominal stars of the movie are Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson, who play a
couple of crazy cops named Dave Starsky and Ken Hutchinson. Starsky is a
by-the-book kind of officer while Hutch never saw a rule that he didn't want to
break. Although both actors deliver far from their best work, they are cute,
as is Snoop Dogg who plays Hutch's criminal friend, Huggy Bear. The one who
steals the show, however, is a car -- Starsky's flashy, fire-engine red Ford
Grand Torino, which flies over every hill in Bay City, where the 1970s' story
is set. Lots of good old music is played to put you in the mood for soaring
The biggest laugh comes from a homoerotic scene inside a prison, where a gay
convict named Big Earl (Will Ferrell) wants Starsky and Hutch to show him a few
things before he'll spill the beans. The cops are not so safely on the other
side of a glass conversation booth. Although physically separated from them,
Big Earl gets the best of them. The most humorous part of this incident is
shown in the trailers.
The plot involves a new batch of designer cocaine that even police dogs can't
detect. Reese Feldman (Vince Vaughn), a wealthy Jewish drug dealer, sees the
new coke as a way to escalate the revenue for his growing empire. Our doofus
duo, of course, are plan on taking him down.
The film isn't bad. It's good-spirited, unpretentious and kind of funny. It's
just not quite funny enough.
STARSKY & HUTCH runs 1:37. It is rated PG-13 for "drug content, sexual
situations, partial nudity, language and some violence" and would be acceptable
for kids around 12 and up.
Copyright © 2004 Steve Rhodes