Monday, March 29, 2004

Movie Review(Starsky and Hutch)...

Starsky and Hutch

Director Todd Phillips was charged with the task of updating seventies television show Starsky and Hutch for the big screen. The hugely successful show ran from 1975 to 1979 and made stars of David Soul and Paul Michael Glaser. While the subtle comedy of the television show was almost tongue-in-cheek, the movie aims to make fun of everything from the fashion of the time to the technology and the indisputably ‘close’ relationship between the two cops.

Ben Stiller replaces Glaser as uptight Bay City detective David Starsky while Owen Wilson steps into Souls shoes as laid-back Ken Hutchinson. This is Stiller and Wilson’s sixth movie together and there is no denying that the pairing works, as anybody who has seen ‘Zoolander’ can confirm. Todd Phillips’ previous movie ‘Old School’ featured particularly outrageous performances by Vince Vaughn and Will Ferrell, who both return here in equally hilarious roles as an enterprising cocaine dealer, and a lonely prison inmate, respectively.

For such a hilarious concept though, the laughs do not come as frequently as they should. There are long gaps between laugh-out-loud moments where the movie veers off course completely. On the other hand, when the good gags arrive, such as the pony and mime scene, Stiller and Wilson seem unstoppable. Snoop Dogg does and admirable job as Hutch’s streetwise informant Huggy Bear, while the red Gran Torino steals nearly every scene it appears in.

All in all, Starsky and Hutch succeeds in its efforts to poke fun at a decade remembered for its grandiosity and excesses, but nothing more. It’s fun while it lasts, but ultimately forgettable, and I can’t help but feel that this was a missed opportunity for Stiller and Wilson.

2.5 out of 5