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Starsky & Hutch

  • compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2004 1 Jan
Starsky & Hutch

from Film Forum, 03/11/04

In a spoof of the popular '70s cop show Starsky and Hutch, Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson are making audiences laugh just as they did in the fashion industry spoof Zoolander. Todd Phillips, who directed both films, has another hit on his hands.

But critics are at odds over the result. Some are laughing, some aren't, and some think that those who do laugh should feel guilty about it.

David DiCerto (Catholic News Service) calls it "relentlessly unfunny … vacillating awkwardly between outright parody and homage."

Phil Boatwright (Movie Reporter) says, "There are some laughs, but it's not smart enough to be considered satire. Most of the humor is devoid of subtlety, each gag hammered home, usually by crudity."

J. Robert Parks (Looking Closer) says, "The show really belongs to Stiller and Wilson. Though the gags aren't always funny, I usually had a smile on my face. Their camaraderie rings true, and their riffs on police-show clichés are fantastic."

Steven Isaac (Plugged In) calls it "a comedic spoof that feels more like Beverly Hills Cop IV than classic TV. [Stiller and Wilson] … infuse their characters with energy and edgy personality, things their decades-old inspirations sorely lacked. But it's most certainly a downer when it comes to content. Families will be exposed to things on the big screen they would never see in TV land."

Eddie Turner (Movieguide) lists problems of "foul language, some brief nudity, a sexually-charged scene, and another scene full of innuendo to cover up its boring stretches. It seems as if the filmmakers could not decide if they wanted it to be a spoof of a cop movie or an actual cop movie, so what's left is a lukewarm action movie with a handful of laughs."

Annabelle Robertson (Crosswalk) says, "Somebody please put me out of my misery. Despite the laughs, there are just too many scenes … where a depraved mind is assumed for enjoying this film."

Mainstream critics also disagree over whether the laughs are worth the ticket price.

from Film Forum, 03/18/04

Of Starsky & Hutch, Mike Parnell (Ethics Daily) says the film "is too much like the television show. It has a story, but the story is secondary to the interplay between the central characters and works only to give us the friction created by the two guys in the cool car. Maybe it would have been better left unmade." Other reviews were posted last week.