Starsky & Hutch (2004)

Genres - Comedy, Crime  |   Sub-Genres - Buddy Film, Parody/Spoof, Police Comedy  |   Release Date - Mar 5, 2004 (USA)  |   Run Time - 101 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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With Road Trip and Old School, Todd Phillips revealed himself to be a pedestrian image-maker, but also showed he had the confidence to let funny performers have enough room to do what they do best. Teaming him with the very talented Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller for a big-screen adaptation of Starsky and Hutch must have seemed like a decent idea, but the finished product lacks much spark. The usually potent chemistry between the leads never quite works like it has in the past (Zoolander, Meet the Parents). While their improvisatory banter in this film is generally amusing, it often falls short of actually producing laughs. Vince Vaughn, who provided the best moments in Phillips' Old School, comes off best by playing the bad guy exactly like a '70s TV villain. He makes no effort to break the fourth wall -- he is about the only actor not treating the film like a lark. Although the costumes get some decent laughs (the suit Vaughn wears at his daughter's bat mitzvah may be the funniest thing in the film), there is something perfunctory about Starsky & Hutch that makes it seem like an even greater disappointment considering the talent in front of the camera. The end-of-the-film cameos by David Soul and Paul Michael Glaser are handled by the old-timers without a whiff of embarrassment. That may be an indication of what is wrong with the film. A parody as affectionate as this will provide pleasant entertainment for those with a fondness for the source material, but for most people it will fail to produce enough laughs.