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I don't normally go to the cinema for this type of film, the last comedy I
watched in the cinema was Robin Hood: Men in Tights. I hadn't seen the
original TV series before so to me this was just Ben Stiller and Owen
Wilson's latest film, based on a 70's TV show. I thought the film captured
the 70's look very well, the hairstyles and clothes had that 70's essence
and the only modern thing I could spot was a slightly too modern-looking
skyscraper in the background of one scene. Starsky and Hutch isn't one of
those laughs-per-minute films so I wasn't laughing all the time, but it is
generally a good film; where some comedies can peter out halfway through
this one keeps up the energy, and the ending had a few unexpected
Snoop Dogg didn't have to stretch his acting talents so his character works. I really liked the car and I'm not a person who normally likes large V8's (eg. I drive a Toyota MR2), I hope they didn't trash too many in making the film.
Overall it's another above average Owen Wilson/Ben Stiller film.
Starsky and Hutch was, to put it mildly, dire. It basically consisted of
Stiller and Wilson reprising their roles from Zoolander with a supporting
cast of pop stars and models who brought the already poor movie down a
couple more notches.
The plot is incredibly dull, with a basic chase-the-cocaine story played out with crude attempts at humour, including several sexual innuendos (which were just not at all funny), poor physical comedy and typical typecasting, all of which added up to an unfunny movie if you're above the age of eight.
The one guilty pleasure in this movie was a scene in which true physical comedy - the only scene in the film in which this was displayed - was shown, where darts are fired at the heroes. This, however, is the worst example of childish potty humour and loses it's effect after repeat viewings. Ending on an anti-climactic ending, the true worth of this movie is shown in the fact that several people in the audience with me walked out halfway through and those who stayed were more content with throwing popcorn at each other than watching the screen.
Here we go again. Another lame attempt to resurrect another classic
television series. Haven't producers, writers, even Hollywood's top
learned from their mistakes yet? Charlie's Angels mindless jiggle
anything from the groundbreaking TV actioner. And after falling flat on
face in I Spy with Eddie Murphy, you would think Owen Wilson (Hutch here)
would have told his talent agency to send his agent off scouting actors in
Japanese No theater after delivering him this script. Then again, there
Scooby Doo 2 on its way, so...anything is possible in Hollywood!
The problem is the actors who look to do some homage to a series they grew up with - and in some respect have a genuine affection for - don't have the moxy or the talent to do it straight. Starsky and Hutch the series was not a cop comedy with action. It was an action cop show with vestiges of comedy. Pau Michael Glaser and David Soul were the hippest cops on the beat, and it's only in retrospect, with nearly thirty years of pop culture behind us since the show topped prime time ratings, that there is any kind of inside joke about the show's era. Trying to inject farce, satire and parody into Starsky and Hutch the movie, a film adapted from the show, almost feels like everyone involved is biting the hand that feeds.
Starsky and Hutch supposedly takes us back to the beginnings of the team's partnership. David Starsky (Ben Stiller) is a no-nonsense, by-the-book police detective, the kind of cop who mindlessly reacts immediately when a crank call comes in about kids stealing from a gumball machine. Hutch, on the other hand, is a laid-back, quasi-criminal (in the opening moments, he's arrested trying to rob a local bookie) whose free-for-all attitude clashes headlong with Starsky's disciplined approach to fighting crime. They're partnered and embark on an investigation into a dead body that's washed up on shore, which leads them to a drug kingpin (Vince Vaughn).
Along the way, there is the usual list of suspects from the show, including the precinct captain (former football and one-time '70s action star, Fred Williamson) who takes every opportunity to yell and berate our titled team. And of course, their prize informant, the outrageously attired, cooler than the other side of the pillow, Huggy Bear (played with suitable subtlety by the biggest pimp of all, Snoop Dogg).
But the whole enterprise feels like an over-extended skit from The Ben Stiller Show, with Stiller in particular simultaneously saluting and ridiculing his source material. He dons the brown leather jacket, aviator shades, and belted sweater coat Glaser made so famous in the original show, but they don't add anything to his character or the movie. The costumes give him no sense of nostalgia or empowerment. The look is just another means of supposedly honoring his character, but given the lampoonish nature of the movie, the implication beneath it all seems to be, `look how stupidly this guy dressed.' Likewise, the soundtrack abounds with sickly sweet 70s love songs (`We've Only Just Begun', `Don't Give Up on Us Baby') that really does little to either recreate the era, or comment on it. The songs are here solely as a jibe at the people and the times in a fashion entirely inconsistent with the original show.
Director Todd (Old School) Phillips, and his writers, would have done better if they had gone completely in one direction or the other - a total goof, or a serious updating. By taking such a lame, half-baked approach to the material, the audience is left uncertain as to what's on the plate. The finished product, which could have been served up with relish by taking one approach or the other, is just bland. (**)
That about sums up my thoughts on this film. It was not quite a spoof, maybe it would have played better for bigger laughs. I like the idea of including the old guys at the end. That won points. But overall, I wasn't all that entertained. The story line was, I suppose, much like the old shows. Writing this, I don't remember much of it. There were moments of nostalgia, but overall, I could have lived without the experience. Owen Wilson played his character with some depth, but Ben Stiller has done better, I think. Snoop Dogg was entertaining, actually. And for a female over viewer that's amazing. Sorry, not so entertaining, wait for the DVD.
Was expecting much better, its no-where near the class of zoolander. This
signals the end of the stiller-wilson franchise. Ofcourse perhaps I can't
appreciate the film fully as its set before my time and all the jokes are
associated with the 70's.
Alot of the scenes are taken straight from zoolander, as is the realationship between the two, one of the reasons why i felt like I was wasting my time.
Another reason was the story. The whole concept stolen from a tv series or something. Yea anyway the story and even the script is boring simply because its all been done before. Its very predictible and just plain boring.
In fact its pretty awful. Rarely funny. Avoid. 5/10
Would someone please explain to me why when Hollywood makes a remake of a
show they don't stay true to the TV show and make up something so
from the original that it may as well have been something else in the
place? Examples: `I Spy', `The Wild, Wild, West', `Battlestar Galactica',
`McHale's Navy', `The Hulk', and I'm sure there are even less memorable,
that's possible), retellings of hit TV series.
Hollywood should remember something about doing a big screen version of something made for the small screen: it was made for the small screen.
It was shot, scored, edited and written for television which has nothing in common with films other than using your sense of sight and sound. Let's also keep in mind what makes a show a hit in one decade more times than not won't translate to a new generation. I'm sure shows such as `Queer Eye for the Straight Guy' or `The Sopranos' won't be popular in ten years let alone in 29 years such as `Starsky & Hutch.' However, there are exceptions such as `Charlie's Angels' and successful comic book adaptations.
John O'Brien has penned the upcoming remake of `Dukes of Hazzard', Director Todd Phillips is directing next year's remake of `The Six Million Dollar Man', toting his writing buddy Scott Armstrong around who also worked on this slipshod piece of shtick. There isn't enough originality here to start a chain letter.
On the other hand, the man that created the characters and the original TV series, William Blinn, unfortunately wasn't given the pen. As usual, Hollywood discriminates against its elders and the 66 year old writer who worked on a few hits such as `Gunsmoke', `Rawhide', `Bonanza', `The Big Valley', `The High Chaparral', `Brian's Song', `The Rookies', `Roots' `Eight is Enough' and `Fame', didn't get to go to the big screen although he was allowed to be one of the eight producers which included Ben Stiller. Heaven forbid an AARP member still gets to create in Hollyweird.
`Starsky & Hutch' is a mess. It doesn't know if it's satire, or waaaaay over the top, or straight comedy or shoddy slapstick. At times the film borders on the `Airplane' or `Naked Gun' satires of the disaster and cop genres, but at least they stuck with their premise and played it for all they were worth.
The film had a lot going for it but only for fans of the mid-70's series and even then Director Phillips and his cohorts of writers that probably couldn't sign a deal to write Bazooka Joe comics, screwed up monstrously.
`Starsky & Hutch', like `I Spy', (both of which starred Owen Wilson who has less talent than a script supervisor), were buddy stories. The chemistry between Paul Michael Glaser as Hutch and David Soul as Starsky is what made the show as was the chemistry between Bill Cosby and Robert Culp in `I Spy.' Even though Wilson and Ben Stiller have done a few films together, they just don't work off each other well.
I was in my late teens when the show was airing and I don't remember paying much attention to the plot. Hell, it was a Spelling/Goldberg production which weren't long on story but were long on turning their actors into stars - that's why you watched. You could pretty much take any plot from his shows such as `The Mod Squad', `Charlie's Angels, `The Rookies', `Hart to Hart', `T.J. Hooker', `The Love Boat', `Fantasy Island', `Melrose Place', `Dynasty'and `Starsky & Hutch', and just toss the dialog into different characters' mouths and you had the same show with different faces. Again, you watched the stars: Farrah Fawcett, Robert Wagner, William Shatner, Ricardo Montalbon, Kate Jackson, and Peggy Lipton. And that's what the country wanted in the 1970's - pure escapism with lovable faces to make us forget the Viet Nam War and a terrible economy. Today's mugs of James Gandolfini, Sam Waterston, Richard Schiff, and dozens of reality TV shows, says regurgitated plotted 1970's fare is anemic.
OK, having said all that there is a plot. Starsky & Hutch have to catch a drug dealer. Hmmm - maybe I was wrong on the originality aspect of the screenplay. Catching drug dealers is a new and exciting concept - in 1960.
Theodore Shapiro's score is very accurate to the type of TV background music of the original series though the theme was never heard and there are some inside gags for true fans.
I feel for `Starsky & Hutch' fans except for the cameo appearance by Soul and Glaser which brings up an important point when making a remake: don't give cameos to the originals - it makes their replacements look like stand-ins.
I went to see the new Starsky&Hutch with an open mind being a diehard fan of the original and came away with a sadness experienced when witnessing the destruction of the legacy of another great t.v. show from the 70's.Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller are great for their parts and I agree with the casting of the other parts as well but the movie just wasn't funny. I went to a matinee to see this and I'm glad I did.Hollywood should be very worried about lost business when they churn out mindless drivel like this and who laughs at overtones of Homosexuality over and over again as a punchline anyway? I see why the movie makers tried some of the material that they did and that was to capture the younger audience but I feel they alienated anyone who has ever seen the t.v.show. I would definetly wait for video on this turkey. The best part of the movie was the last five minutes and I won't spoil it. Save your money for a real blockbuster in two months: Spiderman 2.
I'm as against the remaking of movies and old 70's TV shows as movies, but I
was intrigued by Starsky and Hutch. It would be Ben Stiller and Owen
Wilson's sixth collaboration together, yet it's directed by Old School's
Todd Phillips (FYI, the former is good, while the latter is bad). I had
heard it touted as hilarious, yet buddy cop comedies almost always fizzle.
So I walked into it with an open mind, knowing that it could go either way.
Thankfully, it came out great: out of the mold of buddy cop movies,
TV-to-movie movies, and Todd Phillips movies.
Stiller and Wilson star as the title characters, respectively. They're mismatched cops: David Starsky is a strict, by-the-books cop, while Ken "Hutch" Hutchinson is more laid-back and doesn't mind crossing the line of the law every once in a while. They're brought together on a case involving murder and cocaine. With assistance with their inside man Huggy Bear (Snoop Dogg), they crack (pun partially intended) down on the case while some bickering and clash of ideas ensues.
There are two ways that Phillips could have played this: either as an action movie with some somewhat witty lines thrown in (as the TV show was, as I am told), or a comedy with a couple action scenes in it. Thankfully, it goes for the second, because there's a lot of promise here. Although it's set up like any other buddy cop movie, with two opposite poles being forced to work with each other and then realizing that they can work together, but after a mistake made by one of them, they break apart, only to get back together. However, in this movie, the jokes actually work. There's a good mix between physical comedy (including a midget throwing knives!) and verbal humor (including an allusion to the New Coke), which is what works best in the movie.
Not being a child of the 70's, I not only haven't seen the show, but I can't really comment on the authenticity of the set. It wasn't extravagant, as I was expecting it to be. It's just enough to remind you that, yes, it does take place in the 70's. A couple jokes were thrown in about it, such as the lack of technology, but not much. There's obligatory cameos by the original Starsky and Hutch. Stiller and Wilson can bounce off each other well, and obviously have great chemistry (without it, the film would fall apart). In his small role, Snoop Dogg is pretty funny, and Will Ferrell's cameo about a man in jail sexually excited by dragons is about as long as it should be.
The only real problem I had with this film was the character of Willis, who randomly pops in and out and only is there to service the plot. Other than that, Starsky and Hutch is a surprisingly funny, entertaining comedy, that's unlike most other buddy comedies out there.
My rating: 8/10
Rated PG-13 for drug content, sexual situations, partial nudity, language and some violence.
Not a bad film. I don't remember much of the tv show other than the car and who the actors were. The original team look old as hell and they could have had a little more to do in this. Will Ferrell was great and at last showed a little range. The problem I had was that Stiller and Wilson aren't really oozing with any kind of sexual charisma. Soul and Glaser had a sexy 70's appeal to them in the tv show. There were some funny bits, one or two where I laughed out loud pretty hard. Could have had a better car chase, that's what I was really expecting. And speaking of the car: it's still the bomb, baby. The soundtrack went well with the film without being overpowering, or in some cases, more important than the action. Some great old songs mixed in well. Fans of the 70's will find much to appreciate.
Don't be fooled by the trailer and TV spots. This movie is bad. I know your want to see something lite and funny after viewing "Passion" last weekend but in the end you will feel worse before you feel better. And you'll be $16 bucks liter in the pocket. That sucks! This is purely a formula film that Hollywood constantly fools you with. "Show them a trailer with some laughs and action and we'll get their dollars before they know what hit them". Personally I like both stars but it wore thin in this film. The story is also filmed/played out like a long TV show. Who wants TV shows in the theatres? We want movies. I hate when they do this. SAVE YOUR MONEY!!!!!!!!!!
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