Eye For Film >> Movies >> Starsky And Hutch (2004) Film Review
Starsky And Hutch reminded me of one of those TV impressionist sketches, like Alistair MacGowan's Royle Family, or Stella Street, where the accuracy of the impression is irrelevant and the comedy comes instead from the juxtaposition of recognisable characters in surprising settings. The movie is really nothing like the TV show, but the show provides a rich framework for what is a hilarious pastiche.
Ben Stiller plays Starsky, an uptight detective who takes a thermos of coffee to work to avoid wasting time in coffee shops at the taxpayer's expense. Starsky is forced to team up with Hutch (Owen Wilson), who has a much more laid-back approach; when they find a corpse washed up, Hutch steals the dead man's wallet before suggesting they push him back out and hope he ends up in the next precinct.
Naturally, the odd couple begin to bond, as they pursue a ruthless drug baron (Vince Vaughn), who has discovered an undetectable form of cocaine - yes, New Coke - with the help of Snoop Dogg's ghetto fabulous police informant Huggy Bear.
It's a slight premise, but it's played for laughs throughout, pastiching not only the TV show, but the buddy genre and the Seventies in general. Director Todd Phillips manages the tone perfectly.The script is knowing but played straight throughout and shot just like a TV episode. Some of the best jokes come from this, particularly one surveillance montage showing Vaughn being discreetly photographed in the most unlikely places, including the bottom of a swimming pool.
Stiller and Wilson make a classic double act, in this their sixth film together, and while we may have seen their schtick before, it's still very funny - people will be saying 'Do it' for months. The homoerotic overtones are never knowingly underplayed; at one point Hutch serenades Starsky with David Soul's 'Don't Give Up On Us', and Soul and Paul Michael Glaser make an amusingly pointless cameo late on.
Starsky And Hutch is a very funny movie and at 101 minutes a refreshing change from the interminable epics, which have been clogging up cinemas for the last couple of months.
You should go and see this film. Do it. Do it.Reviewed on: 18 Mar 2004