Starsky and Hutch (4/10)

Copyright © 2004 by Tony Medley

Poor Owen Wilson. Heís got talent and charm, but keeps getting stuck in these terrible films. Starsky and Hutch were TV detectives in the Ď70s, played by Paul Michael Glaser and David Soul along with a Ford Gran Torino car. Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson reprise the roles in 2004. Half of it is pretty good, the Owen Wilson half. Stiller is monumentally miscast as the anal retentive Starsky and thatís only one place where the movie falls apart. Wilson gets Soulís laid back attitude maybe better than Soul got it himself. 

Bad casting isnít limited to Stiller. Vince Vaughn plays Reese Feldman. He is intended to be a fearsome drug dealer. Instead heís a wimp, even though he kills people in cold blood. Snoop Dog plays Huggy Bear, who was Starsky and Hutchís informant. Heís as unconvincing as Stiller and Vaughn.

The story is as bad as the acting.  Starsky and Hutch are trying to nab Feldman but keep getting thwarted. Letís see, is there anything more? Well, nothing worth wasting electricity trying to explain. There are a couple of beautiful women, Staci (Carmen Electra) and Holly (Amy Smart), but they really donít have anything to do with the, uh, story, you should pardon the expression. Oh, yeah, Fred Williamson plays Captain Dobey, the boss of Starsky and Hutch. But he doesnít seem to have any raison díetre, either.

People were laughing at my screening, but I couldnít understand what it was they were laughing at. Stiller apparently does all his own stunt driving of the Torino. The problem is that Stiller is such a nebbisch heís just not believable as the tough guy Glaser so accurately created as the original Starsky. Itís really glaring when Glaser and Soul appear in cameos at the end. Whoever thought of the idea of putting Glaser and Stiller side by side where Stillerís deficiencies in the role are magnified immeasurably might be well advised to start looking for a job as a box boy at Ralphs. If you want better acting, a better script, a better story, more intelligent directing, well, better you stay home and watch reruns of The Rifleman.

March 2, 2004

The End