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Starsky and Hutch

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Starsky and Hutch

Starring: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson
Director: Todd Phillips
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 100 Minutes
Release Date: March 2004
Genres: Action, Comedy

*Also starring: Snoop Doggy Dogg, Vince Vaughn, Fred Williamson, Chris Penn, Terry Crews, Richard Edson, Raymond Ma, David Pressman, Amy Smart, Carmen Electra, Brande Roderick

Review by Steve Rhodes
2½ stars out of 4

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 car silliness.

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

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