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Comedy - Police

Starsky and Hutch (2004)

Duration1h 41m
RatingsUK: 15, USA: PG-13, 
Source of storyThe long running TV series.
DirectorTodd Phillips
Writers/ScriptJohn O’Brien, Todd Phillips, Scot Armstrong
StarringBen Stiller, Owen Wilson, Snoop Dogg, Vince Vaughn, Juliette Lewis, Jason Bateman, Amy Smart, Carmen Electra, Paul Michael Glaser, David Soul, Will Ferrell, 
RatingsIMDb: 6.1 by 138,822 peopple.  Rotten Tomatoes: 62% by 193 votes.

Elevator Pitch: Starsky is a by the book cop obsessed with his muscle car a Gran Torino, Hutch is a laid back under cover policeman who drives a motor home. Because both have made serious errors they are made partners and set on the trail of Reese Feldman a drug lord who has developed a type of cocaine with no taste and no smell. Their various attempts to trap Feldman require them to visit a biker’s boozer in the desert and comply with Big Earl’s devious requirements when they meet him in prison. They take up with a couple of cheerleaders and continue to make embarrassing errors in pursuit of the drug lord.

Content: There is a scene where a young woman strips while the cops are interviewing her and at one point it is implied that Starsky has accidentally taken cocaine and after some exciting dancing has passed out while Hutch gets together with Stacy and Holly, the cheerleaders. Huggy Bear is a droll underworld lord, who acts as an informer. Hutch’s house is blown up and the duo drive about in the Gran Torino. They clumsily infiltrate Feldman’s gatherings and Starsky accidentally kills a pony which is a present for the criminal’s daughter. 

A View: I remember the original TV series well, and the two guys really look the part. So does the Gran Torino. It is a light-hearted romp occasionally gently making jokes about the original series, typically Owen Wilson as Hutch singing “Don’t Give Up on Us Baby” a song sung by David Soul  on his way to seducing Stacy and Holly. It cost a bit but made money, and while it is not Oscar material it is good fun, particularly if you have seen the original. If not, no matter, it is still fun.

Additional Info: About ten Gran Torinos were totalled during the filming., two survived. 

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels

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