Just a little note, to reiterate, this review is my own opinion of a film I have watched and enjoyed, more than once actually. I am not a professional or even a serious film critic, just a Mrs Averagely-Normal who wishes to tell you about this film.
I am in my (ahem) mid 40's and certainly remember the series and the hype that surrounded the programme Starksky and Hutch, back in the 1970's, so when the film got re-made in 2004 I was very keen to watch it.
To be honest, this film is exactly my kind of film, I love the leading actors, I love the comedy and the sillyness and I have watched this film an uncountable amount of times.
Starsky is played by Ben Stiller, he is a comedic actor and in my opinion, one of the best actors in the last ten years - he delivers comedy lines with superb timing, it is my opinion that, to date, this film is his best.
Hutch is played by Owen Wilson, he has a wonderful working relationship with Ben Stiller, they have starred in many films together and their on screen relationship totally compliments each other. Owen Wilsons Hutch is a much better Hutch than David Soul - his laid back approach and lack of discipline - against Ben Stillers Starsky, who is portrayed as an enthusiastic cop, who sticks to the rules makes for a great team.
There is a storyline to this film, Starsky and Hutch get teamed up together for the first time when they come across a dead body, Hutch isn't overly concerned about investigating as they could push the body downstream the river and make it someone elses problem! but enthusiastic Starksky insists they get involved.
This body leads them to a drug smuggling ring, which leads to hilarious scenes where the two men have to visit a motorcycle bar out of town, incognito, they have to interview gorgeous girl cheerleaders and visit a convicted criminal in prison to get further information - the criminal is reluctant to divulge the information that he knows, but manages to coerce Hutch to do something for him in return for the information - this scene had me in literal tears of laughter
As well as Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller, this film also stars Vince Vaughn, Snoop Dogg (as the even cooler Huggy Bear than the original Huggy) Will Ferrell, Carmen Electra - with cameo roles from Paul Micheal Glaser and David Soul.
I thoroughly enjoyed the soundtrack to the film too, Barry Manilows Can't smile without you has now become a song that I cannot hear on the radio without thinking instantly of this film, other songs include , I Want'a Do Something Freaky To You, Dazz, Old Days, Dancing Machine, Keep On Bumpin, The Weight, Folsom Prison Blues, I'm A Ramblin' Man, Afternoon Delight, Chevy Van, Right Back Where We Started From, A Fifth Of Beethoven, That's The Way (I Like It) Use Me, Send In The Clowns, We've Only Just Begun, Easin' In, Cocaine, Cut The Cake, Sweet Emotion, Starsky & Hutch Theme, Don't Give Up On Us
Performed by Owen Wilson, My Friend Toto, Dinner Music For A Pack Of Hungry Cannibals, Feel Like Makin' Love, My Eyes Adored You, Love Will Keep Us Together and Jersey Bounce
This film should not be taken seriously, it is a great film, full of fun - great retro memories and styling, if you saw the original Starsky and Hutch, then this is nothing like it... this is fun, that was deep and moody. Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson make an amazing team, this film is well worth a watch or two..
Certificate 15, 95 minutes long
This film is a comedy attempt at creating a movie of the classic seventies show of the same name.
Starsky and Hutch (Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson) are two cops with very different attitudes and ways of thinking, who are partnered up to try and stop a drug dealer who has created a drug that is un-detectable. With the help of Huggy Bear (Snoop dog) they spend their days getting to know each other, driving around in their cool red and white car and trying their best to actually do police work and find out what is going on.
Although I was not a fan of the show from the seventies, I found this film particularly funny, but from what I've found out, although the characters are based on the show, the comedy element has been taken to the extreme and the actual cops are very different to the people they were based on (sort of, more spitting image type versions).
Stiller and Wilson are at their best in this and keep the comedy and humour flowing constantly. They take the mick out of everything seventies and don't mind making themselves look as stupid as possible if it means getting a laugh.
Surprisingly for me, a person who is not a fan of Snoop Dog, I actually thought the guy did brilliant playing the part of Huggy Bear. He played the part as smooth as he could, but because of this he came across as quite funny when in the same scenes as either Stiller or Wilson.
I'm a fan of the main actors in this film and like the fact that they took on the roles they did. Stiller can do really well at playing tough almost crazy people and making them humorous because of his size and Owen is a natural at playing smooth, lazy fun loving characters.
You couldn't have chosen two better comedy actors to play these two cops.
I really liked this film and to this day find myself quoting lines from it.
If you've seen it you'll know what I mean!
At £3.99 from from my local shop this was a bargain. It runs for 1 hour and 33 mins and is rated a 15.
This will have you laughing and I recommend it to all to watch.
Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson I believe made their first due appearance in Zoolander (which by my recent review will know was a great film) and they obviously show great chemistry between them acting great as partners and enemies.
The same applies for this film where the two have haired up to become the infamous Starsky and Hutch.
The film originally got relatively bad reviews so I'm sure a lot of people were put off by that, as well as the fact they probably loved the original program, but fear not, the film is coined with a classic 80's style tongue in check jokes as well as a great story line.
The film starts off with a short clip to why the two love/hate being a cop and they are clearly the opposites in everyway possible.
They get paired up to solve a case because of their differences and the fun really begins here.
My first thought of the film were very positive. There are some very funny bits such as when the couple use hand towels as body towels and have them around their wastes.
They both play the characters very well and the cars and clothes are so classic to the time and original programme it really is a good laugh.
I really enjoyed watching it and found the acting to be great. I usually think Stiller plays a total Burk in most of his films but he is really bearably here and Wilson is his classic smooth talking player.
You can't really go wrong; it has all great actors and characters with a funny beginning middle and end. It is a one to watch with anyone as you can't go wrong!
FILM ONLY REVIEW
For a partnership you could not get two more different people. Both David Starsky and Ken Hutchinson are police officers but Starsky is a by the book good cop where as Hutch is more likely to be found hanging out with low lives and running late for work. The pair are teamed up after Starsky has gone through over 10 partners in a matter of months and soon the pair are having to work together.
Starsky and Hutch discover a body floating in the water and soon they are onto a massive drug ring which sees them needing the help of dodgy Huggy Bear. The pair start to get close to un covering the drug lord when they find they are having to run for their lives.
Will Starsky and Hutch be able to put their difference aside and work together to bring down the drug lord and will Starsky be able to keep his precious car clean?
I had no expectations from this film as I never watched the original series when I was on the TV as I was too young at the time. Hubby was quite a fan of the original so he was expecting to be as good as the series was. I was looking forward to see Stiller and Wilson acting together as I am fans of both their works and I have to say I was very impressed with this film. The storyline was good and I did enjoy it. I found it was quite predictable but at least this made for some easy viewing.
Ben Stiller took the role of Starsky and I thought he did a great job of portraying the by the book cop and I loved his look. He worked well with Owen Wilson who played Hutch and I thought that they bounced off each other very well. The fact that they were so opposite worked very well for the storyline. I loved how the two actors looked and dressed as this film was set in the 70's they did wear some very funny cloths and had some very strange hair! Snoop Dogg took the role of Hubby Bear and I think he was one of the best actors in the film. I loved how flamboyant he dressed and how he acted like he was so much better than everyone else. He really did bring a lot of humour to the storyline.
There were a lot of supporting actors in the film and they too gave good performances and they were all quite diverse which I think did add a lot to the storyline and the amount of additional characters did manage to give the film some depth. They all acted very well and fitted into the film well. I think the addition of the original Starsky and Hutch from the TV series was a very nice and fitting touch, not that I knew who they were Hubby had to point them out and tell me who they actually were!
As I said before this film was set in the 1970's and this was very apparent all the way through. I found some of the clothes to be very funny and some of the scenery and sights which we saw made for very authentic viewing. I think the best bit for me showing the year of this film had to be the club scene where there was a dance competition and the dancers were performing very funky moves all in lines and doing exactly the same thing.
There was some good funny moments in the film and I think a lot of these came from the banter between Starsky and Hutch but aside from them Huggy Bear did give a few good laughs of his own. Not all the humour was visual there were a lot of funny things to be seen by actors and the moves they made and daft things they did.
The music in the film was very good and I loved the 70's vibe it all had. It was all lively and at times it did have me singing along. The effects were one of the aspects which I felt let the film down as they were actually quite bad. This was most noticeable when they were driving around in the car. I could clearly see that the back ground was not real and had been added at a later date and for me this did spoil it. Talking about the car I have to say yes it was lovely and a nice car but I don't see why hubby nearly wet himself every time we got to see it!
As I said at the start this is a film only review so there are no DVD features to mention. The running time of the film is 101minutes which I found to be just long enough as any longer and I think I would have started to get slightly bored. The certificate which it has been given is a 15 and I think this is about right. This is available on DVD for just a few pounds on Amazon.
Overall I am going to recommend this film as long as you are not expecting it to match the original series. I could not compare it to the original but hubby did and said he enjoyed the film but it did not quite match the original.
This film is based on the original 1970's TV series of the same name. David Starsky (Ben Stiller) is a cop with his mum's reputation hanging over him who does everything by the book. Ken Hutchinson (Owen Wilson) is the laid back cop who steals from bookies and hangs out with criminals. Both are partnered together for the first time in this film. A body washes up on the shore and Starsky is determined to get to the bottom of it whereas Hutch feels they would be better off pushing it back out to sea. Hutch is told by his informant, Huggy Bear (Snoop Dogg), that a big cocaine deal is going down in the city. Their enquiries lead them to Reese Feldman (Vince Vaughan) who is importing odourless and tasteless cocaine that sniffing dogs can't pick up. In Starsky's souped-up 1974 red and white Ford Torino they race round trying to find out the origin of the cocaine.
This film really didn't live up to the high expectations that it had. Despite fairly good performances from Stiller and Wilson the script really doesn't allow them to bring out their great comedy personas and the film suffers. However Carmen Electra was clearly only in the film because of her looks and shows no acting skills at all.
The film is OK but as I was expecting quite a bit from it this could have been why. It is still a very enjoyable film to watch but there is so much wasted potential.
Directed by Todd Phillips this is a rehash of the popular 70's cop show for the big screen although this has been adapted as a buddy comedy, starring Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson.
Whats it about:
Set in Bay City, two police detective partners, Ken "Hutch" Hutchinson (Wilson), and Dave Starsky (Stiller) are outcasts, both being talented but unorhodox, Hutch is too close to criminal culture while Starsky is obsessed by his car and living up to his award winning mothers achievements as a police officer. Eventually they are paired up and fight crime.
They get on the case of Reese Feldman as moustachioed baddy (played by Vince Vaughan) who is importing tasteless, smellless cocaine onto the streets of Bay City.
Ben Stiller ... David Starsky
Owen Wilson ... Ken Hutchinson
Snoop Dogg ... Huggy Bear
Fred Williamson ... Captain Doby
Vince Vaughn ... Reese Feldman
Juliette Lewis ... Kitty
Jason Bateman ... Kevin
Amy Smart ... Holly
Carmen Electra ... Staci
George Cheung ... Chau (as George Kee Cheung)
Chris Penn ... Manetti
Brande Roderick ... Heather
Molly Sims ... Mrs. Feldman
Matt Walsh ... Eddie
G.T. Holme ... Bartender
I thought the film was well shot, colourful and had a decent story, Stiller and Wilson are fun as the leads and really have good chemistry, there are some great set-pieces involving hash cakes, shot horses and mime artists, it really is a very funny film, Vince Vaughan is in fine form as the villain, with Jason Bateman great as always as his accountant. Snoop Dogg is actually great as Huggy Bear and the whole cast look like they are having fun.
Its a fun film and well worth a watch. Definitely worth a punt for under £3.
The DVD is available for £2.98 from amazon and includes out-takes, trailers and commentaries, its great value.
STARSKY & HUTCH
When Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson announced that they were to star in the remake of the popular 1970's TV show, there was understandably a mixed response. On one hand, you've got a brilliant and much-loved TV show, and how often have we seen a brilliant first film or TV series only to be ruined by a sequel, or remake? But on the other hand, Stiller and Wilson are two brilliant actors with great on-screen chemistry, and together with director Todd Phillips, it seemed that if anyone could do it, it would be them.
It was always going to be tough to live up to the great expectations that were set by the series, but in my opinion, they nailed it. They completely captured the 70s feel of the film, and added many more laughs along the way.
Dave Starsky is a determined cop trying to live in the shadow of his incredibly talented mother, who had passed away but always seemed to be the target for him to step up to. He never gets to work late, never bypasses the police textbook, and values nothing more highly then his beautiful Ford Torino. The only problem is that he's simply not a great cop, lacking the skill his mum obviously possessed.
In contrast, Ken 'Hutch' Hutchinson is a rather shoddy and lazy cop. He abuses his power regularly, robbing bookies apparently in order to 'infiltrate the triads', as well as arriving late to work, running errands while on the clock, and generally having an incredibly lackadaisical approach to his job.
After they both mess up even worse than normally, Captain Doby decides that they can do no worse together then separately, and makes them partners. With their clearly contrasting approach to policing, things were obviously going to be a difficult. But with a huge cocaine deal going down somewhere in Bay City, it's up to the pair to deal with their differences and save the day.
Ben Stiller as Dave Starsky:
Stiller is fairly good as Starsky here. He picks up from where Paul Glaser left off, and as well as effortlessly incorporating the original style of acting into the modern performance, Stiller does what any great actor should and adds his own little thing to make the role his own.
He works brilliantly with Owen Wilson and the fact that they've worked many times before together is evident - the comic timing and chemistry is perfect. He manages to bring a lot of humor to what could have easily been a pretty bland performance, and delivers some of the best lines of the film brilliantly.
Owen Wilson as Ken Hutchinson:
Owen Wilson perfectly contrasts Ben Stiller's uptight Starsky with this laid back performance as Hutch. It's fair to say that Wilson's a fairly one-dimensional actor, but he has made that dimension his own and no one can do it better. He brings all of this across perfectly as Hutch, and is the perfect counterpart to Starsky.
As I said, Stiller and Wilson have worked together before and on-screen it's evident, and is absolutely necessary for the 'buddy-cop' roles that they're playing in. Wilson brings his own special style of acting for Hutch that is perfect for the role, with his cheeky, calm and simple outlook on life mirroring the exact opposite traits in Stiller's character perfectly. A great performance from Wilson.
Vince Vaughn as Reese Feldman:
Vaughn is another brilliant member of an illustrious comedy cast, and he adds another good performance as the villainous drug dealer Reese Feldman. Feldman is preparing a huge cocaine deal in Bay City, and Vaughn manages to keep the character refreshing and funny throughout the film. All in all it's a pretty good performance from Vince Vaughn.
Snoop Dogg as Huggy Bear:
Many musicians are cast in acting roles just to raise the profile of the film, and have little acting ability at all, and I thought that this may be the case with Snoop Dogg, but he proved me completely wrong. It turns out that he was absolutely brilliant in the role, and is another brilliant source of humor throughout, also delivering some brilliant lines.
Todd Phillips was a fairly untried director before Starsky and Hutch, having directed only a few films that were fairly successful but nothing special. In my opinion, he really finds his feet with Starsky and Hutch and proves that he is a very good director, and looks set to have a good career as a comedy director.
An important aspect of the film was that they kept the 70's feel to the film, and he does this perfectly. Right at the start of the film there's a scene where Starsky is chasing a criminal, and Phillips sets the mood for the film straight away with the scene that feels 100% 70's. It's hard to explain, but everything about the way it was shot fits in perfectly with the original TV series, and this should keep the original fans happy.
The good things:
--> Brilliant acting and comic timing from Stiller and Wilson gives the film the perfect backbone from which they can only go forward
--> Great cameo performances from names like Snoop Dogg and Will Ferrell adds a lot of humor
--> Brilliant writing and directing, as well as throwing in some brilliant spoof scenes of some of the classic movies whilst keeping it sensible enough
--> Brilliant iconic scenes that you can't help annoying all your friends with for the next few weeks
--> A brilliant red and white Ford Torino
The bad things:
--> Not many, but to some people I know the humor just doesn't hit, and it's simply a matter of opinion
--> Goes a bit over-the-top at times
--> Not really worth getting in blu-ray
Price - £5.98 normal edition, £14.98 blu-ray edition
Runtime - 101 minutes
Rating - UK15 / USPG-13
DVD Extras - None stated on Amazon, although on my edition there are deleted scenes, commentaries, and behind the scenes footage
I have to admit I had mixed feelings about this film, its one of those Stiller/Wilson vehicles with some funny bits and areas where you feel they simply painted by numbers:
Whats it all about
David Starsky (Stiller) is a cop who tries to hard because he lives in the shadow of his Police Hero mother, he goes to ridiculous lengths to solve tiny crimes and causes more damage than its worth. Ken Hutchinson (Wilson) also a cop is his complete opposite a man who is happy to work on both sides of the fence, infiltrating criminal gangs and thoroughly enjoying it, mixing with the wrong crowds, that feel right for him, he also is an outcast amongst other officers.
So lo and behold polar opposites and outcasts Starsky and Hutch are given one final shot at their jobs by being paired together, the film follows them in their attempts to nail Mr Big (Vince Vaugan) on a drug dealing charge.
The film is amusing and there are some great set pieces, Wilson recreating David Soul's 'Don't give up on us baby' while Stiller trips out on Coke, Stillers subsequent 70's coke fuelled dance off with Har Mar Superstar, Stiller shooting a horse meant as a little girls birthday present and the car chase where they try to work out the logisitics of jumping onto a boat.
The film revels much like Austin Powers in recreating the era, down to Hutches cardigans and Huggy Bears flares, it is amusing in points, Will Ferrel's Dragon obsessed prisoner being a highlight and the cast all seem to be enjoying themselves, however it doesn't quite add up to the sum of its parts. I did enjoy the parody of the 70's show with Starsky's ridiculous running technique, the musical flourishes and the checking out of every ladys ass who passes by but overall it isn't one of those films i'd go back to again. Definitely worth a watch for fans of either star or the original series.
Vince Vaughan is amusingly over the top as the villain, Jason Bateman is underused as his accountant/advisor. Similarly Juliette Lewis is underused as Vaughans (bit on the side), Ferrell is excellent as the weird 'Big Al', Snoop Dogg is made for the role of Huggy Bear and Fred Williamson is amusing as the chief of police.
Whos in it
Ben Stiller ... David Starsky
Owen Wilson ... Ken Hutchinson
Snoop Dogg ... Huggy Bear
Fred Williamson ... Captain Doby
Vince Vaughn ... Reese Feldman
Juliette Lewis ... Kitty
Jason Bateman ... Kevin
Amy Smart ... Holly
Carmen Electra ... Staci
George Cheung ... Chau (as George Kee Cheung)
Chris Penn ... Manetti
Brande Roderick ... Heather
Molly Sims ... Mrs. Feldman
Matt Walsh ... Eddie
G.T. Holme ... Bartender
The DVD includes extras such as Directors commentary, commentary by the stars, out-takes and interviews, the out-takes are very funny.
I love Ben Stiller's movies. I love Owen Wilson's movies. I loved Starsky and Hutch when it was on the television. Surely this film had everything that I could dream of? Bringing all three of those concepts crashing together? Wrong. There was just something about this movie that just wouldn't gel for me. I mean, don't get me wrong it did have lots of genuinely funny moments... but nowhere near enough for me to be sitting for over 90 minutes thinking that I was justified in going to see this film. Basically it tells the tale of a "By the Book" cop who is paired with a "Not really By The Book" cop. That is the basic crux of the movie there. After finding an informant dead, they go after a drug kingpin with what should be hilarious results. Unfortunately things don't really work out that way and I don't think I will really be watching this film again any time soon. It is absolutely not down to the actors abilities that this film failed for me. I'm really not sure why it didn't work. The script just wasn't good enough in my opinion. Even the cameo with the original Starsky and Hutch seemed painful to watch.
Since I was a kid I have always been a fan of Starsky and Hutch even though I was never allowed to watch anything more than the opening title sequence as it was shown at 9.25pm on a Thursday night on BBC1. So when they announced that Starsky and Hutch was going to be made into a movie I was more than happy that the famous TV series had finally got the leap from TV to cinema screen that it really deserved.
After I saw the film at the cinema, I was thinking the complete opposite.
The plot revolves around a new mix of Cocaine which cannot be detected by the sniffer dogs and therefore can be moved quite seamlessly. At the same time two cops are being partnered together for the first time, one of them is a straight talking by the book Police officer called David Starsky and the other is an Officer who assists on bank robberies to get a little bit of extra money! The duo finds a washed up body on the shoreline and after investigation get suspended. From here on they take things into their own hands.
The film starts off with Ben Stiller as David Starsky, narrating to the audience who he actually is and what he does; now Stiller's appearance is spot on to that of the series as is everyone's in the film as the clothing and details are correct. In the beginning Stiller plays Starsky well with all the characteristics of Paul Michael Glasier including the curly hair and the blue Adidas trainers. Throughout the film the use of disguises turns this character into a clown rather than a hero, with a few well known "Stilleri-sms" added in scenes which involve any sort of verbal sparring.
Owen Wilson plays Ken Hutchinson, who early on in the film meets David Starsky when they are partnered up for the first time. Wilson is a one trick pony, he plays all the parts in the same way and adds nothing except making Stiller look clever, Wilson and Stiller don't have as much on screen chemistry in this as they did in films such as Meet the Parents or even Zoolander which is a shame. For me Wilson's best film by far was Behind Enemy Lines released in 2001.
Huggy Bear is played the legendary Snoop Doggy Dog. He looks the part right down to the big fur coat and the cars he drives. It is a relief when he comes on screen as you get the idea that Starksy and Hutch have gone so off tangent that he is here to guide them back onto the correct path.
The rest of the cast are made up of Vince Vaughan as the main villain Reece Feldman, Jason Bateman and Will Ferrell in an unaccredited cameo role. Also actress Juliette Lewis is in the film, but it seems her part is not much more than a cameo appearance either as most of it was cut out. Captain Dolby is played by Fred Williamson who takes an immediate dislike to Starsky and Hutch throughout the film, until the last 10 minutes. The last 10 minutes being probably the best thing out of the whole film, as it's played with a relatively straight face compared to the rest of the film where it is played for laughs.
The film is directed by Todd Philips who has previously directed films such as Road Trip and Old School, having personally watched these can see that he has employed the same methods here as well; interestingly the camera angles used do tend to replicate the scope similar to ones used in the cinema and TV of the time of the original series. A good example is the scene where Starsky and Hutch are on a stakeout and taking photos of the villain in question, as the camera takes the photo, the cinema screen pauses to show the picture being taken and at one point where the villain is underwater a photo is taken. This was something that was seen in a number of series throughout the seventies and although it is refreshing to see this type of detail in the film, it does tend to get overlooked based on the amount of comedy that you see.
But the issue is that in some scenes you cannot really believe that the story is set in 1975, although I do have to say that the details that you see on screen do emphasise the era well as the costumes that are worn throughout are linked to various episodes of the original series. The vehicles used all represent what was being driven at the time. We even get to see the cops out with their girlfriends, this leads to a dance off at the disco, this is a key scene in the film, which sets up the remainder of the story, but any tension is lost as the scene is aimed at comedy and this dilutes any tension that had been built up.
Todd has also taken the option to exaggerate all the car stunts so that the cars seem to take off when going over the brow of a hill and also perform unnecessary skids and turns when parking. There are a lot of references to the original series that are done in a less than subtle manner; a few good examples are the clothes that the two main characters wear and also a song by David Soul that is performed by Wilson. The song is called "Don't give up on us baby" and was originally a hit in the British charts in the late seventies when Soul took full advantage of his fame.
One thing that I feel that I should mention is that the original and superior Starsky and Hutch make an appearance as well in the final scenes, I am at a loose end to attempt to decipher how they got here, but they seem to play the older Starsky and Hutch. Time travel is one theory, but the fact that these two appear for about a minute completely blows Wilson and Stiller off the screen entirely, although the whole scene it doesn't really make much sense at all. This is a shame, even though the original actors had to appear in the film, another approach could have been taken, such as making this a flashback movie.
The soundtrack is spot on, and replicates the seventies sound completely, lots of guitars and piano music giving the lonely and evil harmonies that work well with what is happening on screen, with the theme tune being utilsed in just the right place.
Overall the film is not what I would have expected. Personally I was hoping that the film would be in a similar fashion to that of the first series, where it was a gritty, dark and the somewhat violent telling of two cops tackling crime, I think I would have also preferred this to be set in the modern day rather than a period piece, even a story set twenty years after the series finished would have been good. Unfortunately none of this has happened and we have is a basic Saturday Night Live wash out with Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson which didn't really work for me. To give an analogy; if the original Starsky and Hutch were Coca Cola, the new pair could be considered Tesco's Value Cola.
The problem I have is that the film never takes itself seriously at all and manages to get lost somewhere between a spoof and a comedy. Although it is good to see the Ford Torino, which really is the star of the film speeding about again, the whole film seems to be a bit pointless and from the audience point of view I couldn't really judge to decide whether it is a remake or even a prequel story to that of the seventies series. The main characters are made to look inept and are the butt of jokes from colleagues who ridicule them for what they have done. This is not the Starsky and Hutch that we are used to at all as fans of the series will see that for a lot of the scenes and some of the situations such as Starsky's accidental drug overdose in the film have been lifted from similar situations in some of the original episodes which takes away the reality of the film and turns this into a homage, some would say even so much as to call this "The Best Of Starsky and Hutch" rather than an original film.
Bottom line is that Starsky and Hutch deserve more than this in terms of a cinematic release. Fingers crossed for the future.
I don't think I have seen a single episode of the original Starsky and Hutch, I was born in the 80s after all. So I won't be comparing it to the original.
Starsky and Hutch is the ultimate comedy which will have you rolling around in laughter, with the perfect partnership and chemistry of Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson.
Ben Stiller plays David Starsky who lives and breathes being a cop and is completely dedicated. Ken Hutchinson played by Owen Wilson is at the completely other end of the spectrum and will break the rules if there is something in it for him. After being paired together by Captain Doby (Fred Williamson) the first case for them to investigate is a mysterious washed up body.
With the help of Huggy Bear (Snoop Dogg) they uncover numerous crimes leading to a new type of cocaine which cannot be detected being introduced to Bay City and the man behind it, Reese Feldman (Vince Vaughan). Can the duo uncover the criminals are prove it?
If you are after a great plot and a cinematic masterpiece you won't be in luck, but if your after some laughs from great one liners and visual gags you wont be disappointed.
Now your all already thinking "Iama...stop reviewing this DVD and get back to CD's like you said you would, your DVD ones suck". well you know what, tough!
Starsky and Hutch the movie is obviously based loosely around the characters of the TV show shown from 1975-1979 (and repeated often since). For people my age (yeah I'm a young 'un) who don't remember the TV show this was a bit like a new thing to me, you know the classic feel of something that still somehow feels new yet feeling like an old friend, a bit of an odd juxtaposition I admit.
Starsky and Hutch are two cops patrolling "Bay city", though unlike proper cops...these guys suck. They bump into the evil master-mind of Reese Feldman who'se trying to make undetecable cocaine. The movie follows the cops as they get tipped off by Huggy Bear just like the TV show.
Starsky and Hutch get partnered near the beggining of the movie after is shows both ot their last cases going wrong (in both they were each working in their own cases). The detective partners them together to keep the rule breaking Ken "Hutch" Hutchinson on the right side, and to give the some what floundering Dave Starsky a final chance.
The movie shows their friendship and relationship floundering to an almost homo-erotic extreme in places, as Starsky gets a look into the dirty world of Hutch's. This includes socialising at strip clubs and with pimps such as the great Huggy Bear. In return for this Satarsky tries to lead Hutch into a more normal style of policing, even using make up artists (and ending up making their own alter ego's).
The slapstick advantures as our hero's have pranks played on them by fellow cops, find a dead guy, take a car for a swim, get attacked by a knife throwing "midget", pretend to be mime artists, get in a bar brawl, kill a horse and pretend to be dragons. In somewhat typical Todd Phillips style,. the comedy at times is just over the edge of believe ability, which means you giggle a little more due to it's bizzareness.
Although not brilliant the storyline is good enough to keep you watching, although that may have more to do with the comedic interludes and the chemistry of the leading men rather than the story. The script is well written overall, with some brilliant dialogue. The car chases (the Ford Grand Torino looks lovely all these years on) are pretty limited to be honest, although one does have a nice ending.
The acting on the other hand is often incredibly and with the cast that the movie has, you can't even think about doubting it. The leading roles played by Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller (Hutch and Starsky respectively) are brilliant together and have such natural chemistry that you can actually believe their roles are real. The supporting cast which includes Snoop Dogg as "Huggy Bear", Vince Vaughn as "Reese Feldman", Chris Penn as "Maneti", Amy Smart as "Holly", Juliette Lewis as "Kitty" ,Carmen Elektra as "Staci" and Will Ferrell as "Big Earl" (uncreditted). Are overall brilliant (and huge name actors for their roles), despite the women not being given enough of a part to play really in more than maybe 3 scenes.
What makes or breaks the movie
Well if your a fan of the original TV show I'd presume that you won't really enjoy this so much, despite the characters being pretty much unchaged personality qise, the whole new cast may put you off. It's more to do with the start and the history/back story of the Starsky and Hutch relationship that I feel may also harm the movie for you.
Those, like myself, who nevercaught the TV show, will find the overall direction of the movie as quite typical light hearted comedy, with a standard storyline. The cast and acting should really blow you away as should certain scenes (the dragon scenes with Will Ferrell for instance as well as the dance scene with Hama Superstar), but between some god-like wonderful scenes the pace of the movie is pretty fast lasting just under 1 3/4 hours and having a lot in it.
Overall the movie isn't Todd Phillip's best, or the best that many of the cast members have been in (says a lot for the resume's to be honest), but it is a very acceptable and fun movie to watch. Plenty of hilarious moments as well as some less-than-brilliant tales of emotion.
Overall the movie is a good buy on DVD despite the extra's being a bit flat with only really the commentary and deleted footage (and the easter egg) worth watching. The commentary by cast and the director, is really insightful and well worth watching the movie with it on for yet more laughs, but that really is the stand out extra. The Frat Pack* (do your own bloody research :-P) connection is obvious throughout (despite this being my only reference to it).
The car Huggy Drives is Snoop Doggs own car
"The Dan Band" make their second appearance in a Todd Phillips movie
Seven 1975-76 Ford Gran Torinos were either destroyed or damaged beyond repair during the production of the movie.
Will Ferrell did all of his scenes in one day.
Originally, Todd Phillips wanted the knife-throwing scene to feature ninja stars instead. But the idea was scrapped when learning that any scene featuring ninja stars would automatically get an 18 Rating in the UK.
Paul Michael Glaser and David Soul (the original Starsky & Hutch) have cameos at the end of the movie, but even though Antonio Fargas (the original Huggy Bear) also expressed an interest at making some sort of cameo, he was not used.
A very decent movie thats worth a few watches, and is available for around £5 from Morrisons brand new (or was it 2 for £5, cant remember) so it's well worth picking up at that sort of price.
*The "Frat pack" was a term coined by USA Today to describe the group of actors which include many of this movies key stars. It also arguably include Todd Phillips the director.
David Starsky (Ben Stiller) is one of the most dedicated and straight talking cops on the Bay City force; he lives and breathes the law, just like his mother did before him. At the other end of the scale is Ken Hutchinson (Owen Wilson) a cop who doesn't mind stepping breaking the rules if he gets something out of it. After Captain Doby (Fred Williamson) pairs them up as partners, their first case finds them discovering a mystery watched up body. After some investigating, they find that the dead man was involved in a huge drugs deal, transporting a new type of cocaine. With the help of their man on the street Huggy Bear (Snoop Dogg) they uncover a whole web of crimes which leads them too one of the most influential men in Bay Water, Reese Feldman (Vince Vaughn).
So yet another remake of a classic American series, to think in 20 years time, we could be watching remakes called "Hill Street Blues" or "ER". Anyway, back to the film, as a like for like remake, this film is terrible, but as a parody of the original Starsky & Hutch it works really well. It has substituted any seriousness that was present in the 70s series and replaced it with some very good comedy. A little disappointing is the lack of any substantial storyline, but this is made up for by the number of set piece gags in the film. In a way, the film comes across more as a vehicle to showcase the comedy talents of Stiller and Wilson, which isn't a bad thing; although I wish they had used the talents of Vaughn a lot more.
Some of the best bits of the film come from references to the original series. Firstly, to see the Gran Torino again, with its red paintwork and white stripe is purely magical, I'm sure a lot of men who watch this will remember wanting one. Next is the fashion sense, and the lovely cream cardigan that Starsky wore as well as the radio headphones. Then there is the music, including the song "Don't Give up on Me Baby", that brings back a few memories. One of the references which works, but is a huge disappointment is the character of Huggy Bear. Although the new interpretation is good and works well in this film, it just doesn't feel right having such a completely different character compared to the original.
In the role of David Starsky is Ben Stiller (Dodgeball) who provides the majority of the humour in the movie, probably one of the funniest moments is when he enters a dance competition. Opposite Stiller is Owen Wilson (The Wedding Crashers) who partners Stiller to perfection. His best scene is in my opinion is where he is singing "Don't Give up on Me Baby", it's not a hugely funny scene, but for those who remember David Soul singing it originally, it brings back some great memories. One of the disappointments of the film is Vince Vaughn (The Wedding Crashers) as the bad guy, Reese Feldman. Although Vaughn puts in a good performance, I don't feel that his comic ability was utilized enough. Another disappointment was the character of Huggy Bear played by Snoop Dogg (Training Day). Again Snoop Dogg put in a good, enjoyable performance, but I didn't like that they changed the character from the original played by Antonio Fargas. The rest of the cast all provide good performances with the likes of Juliette Lewis, Will Ferrell, Chris Penn and Fred Williamson standing out from the crowd, along with brief cameos from Paul Michael Glaser and David Soul.
The film is directed by Todd Phillips, who also directed Old School. Thankfully he hasn't relied on the use of over the top humour to satisfy the audience but gets the laughs through parodying the 70s. I think he made the right choice in making this a comedy rather than a direct remake, as I don't think that anyone could have done the original series justice. Another good part of the film, is the soundtrack, which mainly features music from the era such as "Can't Smile Without You".
Ben Stiller .... David Starsky
Owen Wilson .... Ken Hutchinson
Vince Vaughn .... Reese Feldman
Snoop Dogg .... Huggy Bear
Fred Williamson .... Captain Doby
Juliette Lewis .... Kitty
Jason Bateman .... Kevin
Amy Smart .... Holly
Carmen Electra .... Staci
Chris Penn .... Manetti
Will Ferrell .... Big Earl
Paul Michael Glaser .... Original Starsky
David Soul .... Original Hutch
Length: 101 mins
Conclusion & Rating
I approach most remakes, with caution as most of the time I usually find myself feeling very disappointed. This could have been the same with Starsky & Hutch, except for the fact that it comes across as a good comedy rather than a remake. For those of you who remember the original series, you may feel a little disappointed that it is not a straight remake, but you will enjoy the humour and the numerous references to the old shows. If you have never watched the original Starsky & Hutch shows you may find this hard going as it does rely on you having a bit of background knowledge to make the gags work. At £8.97 on Amazon this is still a little expensive for my liking, but if you can get it for under £6, I would definitely recommend you getting it.
Todd Phillips was having a hard time finding a blueish 1976 Lincoln for Huggy Bear. When he revealed this to Snoop Dogg, he was surprised to learn that Snoop actually owned a car of the right color and it's his car that appears in the movie. - courtesy of IMDB
Let me make it known from the start, I dont remember ever having seen even a single episode of the original TV series of Starsky and Hutch, so you wont find any comparisons to it here. What I can tell you is that its a very entertaining and enjoyable film, though I felt it could have been even better.
Starring Ben Stiller as the totally straight-laced cop (except when hes driving) David Starsky, while Owen Wilson is the rather more criminally-minded cop (as in he doesnt mind augmenting his pay checks with the occasional illegal profit) Ken Hutchinson (or Hutch, as Hutchinson just isnt cool ) Due to the law that says all detective partnerships on film shall always be made up of diametrically opposite cops, they of course end up being partners.
Fred Williamson plays Captain Doby, who is not very amused by what the pair get up to. Hutch has an informant on the wrong side of the law (but with a good heart) called Huggy Bear, played wonderfully by Snoop Dogg (I cant stand him normally but hes brilliantly cast in this role.) Theres a bad guy called Reese Feldmen (Vince Vaughn), and a plot to smuggle cocaine on a scale never before imagined. There are also a couple of Cheerleaders who take a shine to our Detective friends, Holly (Amy Smart) and Staci (Carmen Electra). And all the normal stunts and plot devices you would expect from a tongue-in-cheek detective show.
The film is pretty funny throughout, with good on-screen chemistry between Stiller and Wilson (who both do very well in their parts, though Stiller particularly impresses), and a couple of very funny moments. However, the film had the potential to be a lot funnier than it was the main problem is that the pacing is slightly off track. However theres certainly plenty to enjoy here. Snoop Dogg and his cronies were hilarious, and he gets the best line of the film when he looks at Starskys car: Youve just gone up a notch in my book. That puts you up to notch one. (He also got the second best line - when asked what people did in Big Earls Biker Bar, his reply was: Croquet, play darts, whatever it is that you white people do.) The whole thing is done with tongue firmly in cheek, and this added to the feel-good nature of the movie. Apart from the one-liners and general cop humour there were also plenty of sight gags, one or two of which were inspired. Fred Williamson was also brilliant as the long-suffering Captain, and Vince Vaughn was effective as the baddy hammy, true, but the role called for it. (Jason Bateman as his sidekick deserves some mention too he is very good indeed but unfortunately his character was somewhat underused.) Its a shame but none of the female characters were used to one iota of their comedic value they were just there, fluttered their eyelids a few times, and that was it. Properly utilised they could have added so much more to the film, enjoyable though it was. (If you want a comparison to Charlies Angels, this was enjoyable whereas that was risible dross anyone not quite sure how much I disliked that film can email me :-O)
Such plot as there was held together okay, it was nothing special but not bad either. Special effects were good but the stunts were played for laughs as much as for the thrill factor. It has a good soundtrack and theres a great twist at the end (just when the film seemed to have slowed right down). Watching this has even made my wife and I actually want to watch some of the original series. There were some moments of genuine originality, especially when Huggy Bear and his comrades are first introduced to the viewer. It could quite easily have been a 5-star film but due to slightly sloppy pacing, under-use of good characters, and a couple of plot inconsistencies marred it not fatally, but enough to mean it was a good but not great film. It does create a real retro feel with the music, cars, clothes, and hairstyles (especially the hairstyles!), which also helps to make it enjoyable.
Starsky & Hutch will never be considered a film classic, but you will certainly enjoy watching it, and will still enjoy it on repeated viewing. I cant say how much you will like it if you were a real fan of the original series, but if you're willing to
The USA rating is PG-13 for drug content, sexual situations, partial nudity, language and some violence (that makes it sound worse than it is, I think). The UK rating is 15, which seems a little harsh - while there were a couple of moments not suitable for children it really wasnt any worse than most 12-rated films. Another example of the inconsistency of the reveiw board at times!
Thanks as always for reading / rating / commenting!
"Starsky and Hutch" is the cinematic equivalent of bubblegum. It's great big silly fun that tastes good and has a sort of childish daftness that you can't help but enjoy. ...even if you really should know better...
Before I start, I should admit one thing to everyone. I don't actually remember the 1970's TV series staring David Soul and Paul Michael Glasier. Like the target demographic of this film (late teens), I'm just a little bit too young. Although I may not know the original show it is easy to tell that where this film succeeds is in being a complete pastiche of the original, rather than trying to recreate Soul and Glasier's performances.
The vague impressions I do have of the show involve a red car with a white stripe crashing dramatically into cardboard boxes and two men: one blonde and one brunette; striding purposefully away from said car dressed in 70's threads.
In this case the blonde is Ken Hutchinson (Owen Wilson) - otherwise known as Hutch - who is has an unconventional way of supporting his cop's salary. David Starsky (Ben Stiller) is living in the shadow of his Mother's career at the same station - in an attempt to live up to her memory he reprimands even the smallest crime; whilst at the same time making a fool of himself in front of the rest of the squad. Captain Doby (Fred Williamson) makes them partners in an attempt to knock some sense into them; with the film soon turning into the old story of opposites clashing and then slowly coming together to become firm friends. When they find a "floater" in the sea it is up to the duo to try and discover, with the help of Hutch's informant Huggy Bear (Snoop Dogg), the link with Reese Feldman (Vince Vaughn) and his special brand of cocaine.
The majority of the sense of fun and humour come from Stiller and Wilson's interactions. Although both do seem to be playing the parts that they are known well for. Wilson is the charming yet slightly dim character, whilst Stiller is the one who appears to take the brunt of most of the slapstick humour. It would have been interesting to see this turned on its head if this partnership didn't work quite so well. I have heard that the original series did seem to draw upon the close relationship between Glasier and Soul. As with any pastiche, this relationship is heightened to the point of it having a slight gay subtext; and is especially evident in the moment where Owen sings (one of Soul's, rather than Hutch's songs) "Don't Give up on us Baby" to Stiller.
Not only does the film camp up the original relationship of Hutch and Starsky in the TV show, but it also pokes fun at the seventies itself. As Starsky runs along the beach there is the visual gag of enormous radio earphones, along with the way in which women were portrayed. Every woman seems to have Farrah Fawcett hair and their brains located in either their breasts or their bum. Funny as the gulf between the two eras of portrayal is, I did find myself wanting a few more clearly drawn female figures.
Second billing must go to the "red tomato" which screeches its way through the majority of the film causing humour through its overblown manoeuvres. Without it "Starsky and Hutch" would be just another cop buddy film, but with it the nerdy Starsky is ultra-cool. Somehow this car also manages to link the various gags through spinning, revving and performing all number of stunts, in a way that the wafer thin plot never quite manages. ...then again, what do you need for a plot when you've got a car like that...
Vince Vaughn as Reese Feldman is clearly enjoying every moment of playing the villain, and is an absolute joy to watch. Unfortunately there are two weak links when it comes to performances. Juliette Lewis as Reese's bit of fluff, Kitty, feels like a two dimensional model who simpers through her scenes and Snoop Dogg's Huggy Bear. Although some might argue that Huggy Bear could just be thought to be too cool to need the sort of screen presence that I felt was lacking. This was most evident in the one scene where he wasnt acting alongside Owen and Wilson. This section was left feeling slightly amateur - as if the director, Todd Philips, hadn't quite managed to coach the best out of the music-star-come-actor.
All in all, anyone going to see "Starsky and Hutch" hoping for a recreation of the hit TV show will be disappointed. The closest you are going to get is a brief walk-on cameo by the original actors. Personally I am intrigued to know what Soul and Glasier's hoped for reunion film would have been like. I'm suspecting it would have been a somewhat less manic affair, but would it have been any more successful? In its place is a film that uses the era, the car, and that special buddy cop relationship to string a series of gags together. The stream of visual sketches, such as the dragon act and the horse present, will have you laughing throughout the film - although as often as not you'll be cringing in the same way as you might have done in another Stiller vehicle, "Meet the Parents". Essentially, if you go to see this film for a bit of fun and good entertainment then you'll have a great night out. If you look for a plot and an enduring film, then you won't.
So, how to rate this film:
Art: 2 stars at best
Entertainment: 5 stars
Comedy and Laughs: 4 stars
...that leaves me giving it 3.5...