Starsky and Hutch

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Movie Review by Nigel A. Messenger

Starring: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn, Juliette Lewis, Snoop Dogg, Chris Penn

Director: Todd Phillips

If you had to list the most famous TV series of all time STARSKY & HUTCH would surely be in the top ten. The lead characters were 70’s icons and repeat showings took them far beyond that decade.

But the two super cops were very much a product of their time so how would you successfully translate them into a movie aimed directly at an audience in 2004? To find out exactly how just watch this movie!

First of all the time frame is the same – the seventies – and as the time period is the same so are the fashions. Yes Starsky (Ben Stiller) and Hutch (Owen Wilson) wear exactly the same outfits so recognisable from the TV show. Then there’s Starsky’s hair, you can’t change that. The girls – they’re there too, along with as always a yelling Captain Dobey, the infamous Huggy Bear (Snoop Dogg) and most importantly Starsky’s trademark red and white striped Ford Gran Torino, the car that became so famous that it’s right up there with 007’s Bond car (all of them), the Batmobile, Magnum’s Ferrari and Scooby-Doo’s Mystery Machine.

Now throw in the same kind of crimes to investigate, this time it’s an undetectable type of cocaine that’s about to hit the streets and even some of the same undercover work, remember the episode when the pair were disguised as mimes, well that’s there too.

Now how do you make it fit today’s audience?

You make it funny – not just the kind of humour from the TV show – I mean really, really funny. Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson play their characters with a straight face but the situations they are put in and the way they play them out are hilarious. Couple that with the nostalgia value of looking back on a time that looks so… seventies and you’ll be wiping away the laughter tears.

Now back all I’ve said up with a perfect, I mean totally perfect supporting cast, and you’ve got a TV of the seventies to movie of 2004 masterpiece. From Snoop Dogg wearing the most indiscrete wire on film, complete with condenser microphone and whip aerial to Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn as the villains, together with Amy Smart and Carmen Electra providing the hot babes – seventies style – and Fred Williamson as the ever angry Captain Dobey.

Then finally just when you thought it couldn’t get any better and the movie’s about to end there’s probably one of the best on screen cameos ever. Yes Paul Michael Glaser and David Soul the original Starsky and Hutch turn up to sell Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson their red and white striped Ford Gran Torino and as they hand over the keys a new movie franchise is born… and I wish it all the best – a thoroughly entertaining TV to movie success!

6 out of 6 stars