Starsky And Hutch

Starsky And Hutch


Reviewed by: David Stanners

The Seventies most infamous cop double act is back behind the wheel of their trusty red Ford Torino, scouring the streets of California's dodgy underworld, and in fine fettle, too. This time around, Owen Wilson takes charge of Agent Hutch's doughy eyed, shaggy blonde haired, Happy Days attitude, while Ben Stiller takes care of his tightly wrapped, by-the-book partner in comedy, Starsky.

Arch nemesis and local kingpin, Reese Feldman (Vince Vaughn), starts the ball rolling by bumping off his own man Terrence (David Pressman) after a botched drug deal, which orchestrates the start of a brand new empire by pedalling an undetectable brand of cocaine.

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When Terrence's body washes up on the shore, Captain Doby (Fred Williamson) reluctantly assigns undercover hopefuls Starsky and Hutch onto the case - and there you have the plot in its entirety. The purpose is not to guess the formula; we've seen this a million times before - cops infiltrate drug baron in his mansion, or plush yacht, before the final showdown, where the heavy goods are uncovered and order restored. Instead, the fun plays tribute to a witty script, outstanding chemistry and comic banter between Wilson and Stiller, as well as quality gags, particularly one involving two sexy cheerleaders (Amy Smart and Carmen Electra), disco dancing and a dose of coke, idly posing as sugar.

The quintessential feel of the times has been captured masterfully from the grain and tint of the film to the outrageous costumes. Anyone who glimpsed this year's Oscars will have had a taste of Starsky's sartorial inklings, but more importantly the sharp quips and repartee exchanged by the pair.

Snoop Dogg makes an appearance as Huggy Bear, the untouchable source of invaluable information. Thin as a pole, he looks every bit the dodgy underworld maverick and his deadpan drawl works a treat, alongside his home boy entourage, who just happen to have a enclyopaedic knowledge of useless facts, including expert coverage of Luxembourg's "political sovereignty in Europe," which is cleverly written and hilariously delivered.

Director Todd Phillips has planned a cracking route here, letting the abilities of Stiller and Wilson run like clockwork. The script is tailor made for such an event and it is this, rather than the paper-thin plot, that comes up trumps.

Besides the star duo, the supporting roles scrub up well. Vaughn, as a small time Jewish drug baron, is well cast, adding the necessary light touch to the role. Chris Penn, as fellow cop Manetti, also adds comedy piss take value at the expense of Starsky and Hutch. Will Ferrell is game for a laugh, as a prisoner with a bizarre fetish for dragons and it wouldn't be the same without David Soul and Paul Glaser, who pop in at the end to settle a score.

You can't go wrong here. The ingredients for a good cops-and-robbers romp are all present and correct. The result may be light, but it fills the gap nicely.

Never before has a cop job looked like so much fun.

Reviewed on: 18 Mar 2004
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Comedy remake of the Seventies most infamous TV cop double act.
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David Haviland ****1/2

Director: Todd Phillips

Writer: William Blinn, Stevie Long

Starring: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Snoop Dogg, Vince Vaughn, Juliette Lewis, Fred Williamson, Chris Penn, Amy Smart, Carmen Electra

Year: 2004

Runtime: 100 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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