A Film Review By Jason L. King
|Rating: Rated PG-13 for drug content, sexual situations, partial nudity, language and some violence.
Starring:OWen Wilson, Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Will Farrell
Directed By:Todd Phillips
I once thought that if I were to become a film professor in a major university, I would do an entire class on the buddy cop genre of film. The Buddy Cop genre is a genre that is low on substance but manages to entertain audiences for years and years. Time and time again, I will find myself in line watching yet another film that pairs two cops, one who follows the rules, and another doing everything but following rules. It wouldn’t be a great buddy cop film unless they learn to work together to fight the ultimate bad guy and save the day. In the end, they become friends, the bad guys lose, the good guys win and the audience goes home with a big smile on their face. So when the trailer for Starsky and Hutch caught my eye, I wasn’t surprised to find myself in line for the show, and wasn’t surprised when I left the theater with a smile on my face.
Set in the 70’s Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson team up as detectives David Starsky and Ken Hutchinson in this wacky buddy cop comedy. Two complete opposites, the two gumshoes investigate a drug deal that is linked to a drug lord, Reese Feldman with the help of an informant named Huggy Bear (Snoop Dogg).
Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller work well together. They have chemistry on the screen that sparks a good time regardless of what script they are given. Starsky and Hutch gives them a chance to team up, which they did earlier a few years back in Zoolander, the story of a male model who has to assassinate the prime minister of Malaysia. I have been when a fan of Ben Stiller since the days of “The Ben Stiller Show” and even if his movies don’t pan out to be what I expect, I know I can always get some good laughs from the actor. Owen Wilson is equally as humorous, and his crazy antics make him a comedic king of the box office as well. So it shouldn’t come as too much of surprise when I say that Wilson and Stiller’s powers combined make an excellent team. They have a chemistry that works, and their antics compliment each other almost perfectly. When you mix that in with a great supporting cast of Snoop Dogg and the always funny Will Farrell, you have a film that is more laughs for your money than the average joe can handle. Will Farrell’s part is so small, but every time he is on the screen, he steals the scene. Farrell is quite possibly a comedic genius, only because he is not afraid to make a complete idiot of himself on the big screen. Vince Vaughn also does a great job as the smooth talking drug lord, who is always one step ahead and one deal ahead of our two heroes. Vaughn must have finally decided to leave behind his attempts at serious films (apparently he got tired of remaking Hitchcock films scene by scene) and re-tapped into his comedic side. The result is great, and watching Vaughn work is great.
The directing and the story hold up fairly well. You know how the story ends, and the director does a nice job of taking you to that point. If you are upset by anything in the film, it has to be the ending. Someone’s creative mind got a little over creative with the cameo scene at the end, and it drags on far too long and seems almost too ridiculous for even this lighthearted comedy to tackle. But while one is giving credit, it is important to give credit to where it is due, the costuming and set design department. They do a fantastic job of keeping the 70’s feel, making a few easy to spot blunders (I like to point out Vince Vaughn’s “car phone” as an example), but all an all a very convincing job.
In the End Starsky and Hutch is the spring break relief that audiences need. Now that the Oscars are over, the serious films give way to the light hearted fun just like the snow gives way to the springtime air. Starsky and Hutch does a nice job of helping everyone make that transition. If you haven’t checked this film out, go check it out and have some fun. You’ll probably be glad you did.