Sunday, October 05, 2008

Starsky and Hutch

2004, US, directed by Todd Phillips

It says something about this version of the 1970s cop show - fondly remembered though it only ran, in the end, for four seasons - that I didn't remember I had actually seen the film before until around the halfway mark. I'm not sure if that's a reflection on my indiscriminate movie-watching or the way that the film feels like an extended trailer rather than a coherent story. Like many of the films featuring stars Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller, Starsky and Hutch has the air of a sketch comedy: several sequences work extremely well, even when they are completely unconnected to the original TV material (a wacky disco scene, for instance, or a very funny segment that brings the show's latent homoeroticism to the fore), but other sections are terribly over-extended, poor ideas poorly executed. Wilson and Stiller are amiable enough, though they only rarely push themselves, and they are reliant on help from the support cast, especially the reliable Jason Bateman and Snoop Dogg and his henchmen, who play their thin material for all its worth.

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Boston, Massachusetts, United States