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Starsky & Hutch Review

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by Phil Hinton Jul 1, 2004 at 12:00 AM

    Starsky & Hutch Review
    This big screen outing for the Seventies Bay City Cops Starsky and Hutch was going to be one of two things, entertaining parody or downright stinker. I was in fact not sure if I really wanted to review this movie, I just had this niggle in the back of my mind that it might just fall flat on its face. But fear not, Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and the downright funky Snoop Dog bring 70's style and laughs a plenty to this comedic remake of a classic TV show.

    The plot is simple, but then most things were in the 70's, Starsky is an uptight, by-the-book officer who has no patience for flaunting the law, Hutch is a loose cannon breaking the rules at every opportunity, so both are soon doubled as partners on a drugs case. After finding a body in the ocean they are soon after the drug dealer Reese (Vince Vaughn) and their investigation involves cheerleaders, Huggy Bear, Disco Dance Battles and the brilliant Will Ferrell as a caged convict and informer (who likes dragons!). The story allows for some very funny in-jokes as well as some brilliant undercover scenes which parody everything that was wrong with 70's cop shows. Of course the star of the original show was always the Ford Gran Torino, which looks stunning on the big screen.

    The movie is played for laughs and the pairing of Stiller and Wilson brings some excellent comedic chemistry to the main characters. The film even has that earthy 70's feel thanks to director Todd Phillips who has lifted many shots (including some wobbly long pans) directly from the period and who has resisted going overboard with the costume and set design. It all feels natural and authentic and the real showstopper here has to be Huggy Bear. Snoop Dog brings some super fly action to the screen and certainly manages to keep pace with the lead actors, and at times steal the lime light. The movie works well, is simple yet funny and is certainly worthy of a purchase on DVD. Recommended.