Starsky & Hutch (film)
|Starsky & Hutch|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Todd Phillips|
|Produced by||Gilbert Adler
|Screenplay by||John O'Brien
|Story by||Stevie Long
|Based on||Characters by
|Music by||Theodore Shapiro|
|Editing by||Leslie Jones|
|Studio||Weed Road Pictures
Red Hour Productions
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.
|Release date(s)||March 5, 2004|
|Running time||101 minutes|
|Box office||$170 million|
Starsky & Hutch is a 2004 American crime comedy film directed by Todd Phillips. The film stars Ben Stiller as David Starsky and Owen Wilson as Ken "Hutch" Hutchinson and is a film adaptation of the original television series of the same name from the 1970s.
Two streetwise undercover cops in the fictional city of Bay City, California in 1975, bust drug criminals with the help of underworld boss, Huggy Bear. The film functions as a sort of prequel to the TV series, as it portrays when Starsky was first partnered with Hutchinson. The film also switches the personalities of the title characters. While in the TV show, Starsky was curious and streetwise, and Hutch was by-the-book, in the film, Starsky is the serious cop, and Hutch is laid-back. There are four Frat Pack members in this film, although not all are in major roles.
The exterior of the Metropolitan Courthouse at 1945 S. Hill St. in Los Angeles was used as the Bay City Police Headquarters.
The movie takes place in 1975. The story centers around two cops who eagerly work for the Bay City Police Department. The city has a distinctly southern California atmosphere to it and Bay City is very similar to Los Angeles. The two cops are, David Starsky (Ben Stiller) a loudmouth, wannabe macho cop who loves his Ford Gran Torino and is paired with the cool, easy going Ken 'Hutch' Hutchinson (Owen Wilson). The two are wary of each other in the beginning. Jewish-American drug kingpin, Reese Feldman (Vince Vaughn), and his partner-in-crime, Kevin (Jason Bateman), are planning to bring in a shipment of drugs worth millions of dollars. They have developed a new type of cocaine which is untraceable in scent and taste. When Feldman finds out that one of his drug pushers failed a drug transport operation, he kills him and leaves the body in the ocean.
Starsky and Hutch are called to the scene where the body of the murdered pusher washes up a few days later. A clue from the dead man leads them to Feldman's house for questioning. Feldman denies any knowledge of the crime and states his regret for the man's death. After meeting cheerleaders, Stacey (Carmen Electra) and Holly (Amy Smart), they learn from another cheerleader, Heather (Brande Roderick), that a jacket worn by the dead pusher was made by Big Earl (Will Ferrell). Their street-wise, underworld contact, Huggy Bear (Snoop Dogg) directs the two to a motorcycle bar operated by Big Earl. Starsky and Hutch go undercover to the bar dressed as the characters "Captain America" and "Billy" from the film Easy Rider. Discovering Big Earl is in jail, Starsky and Hutch go to the prison to speak with Big Earl, who has connections with Feldman's drug business. Big Earl then makes the officers do embarrassing things to get what they want. He gives them a packet of what they think is cocaine. When it is taken to the lab for testing, Doby (Fred Williamson), their captain, tells them it is 'artificial sweetener'. The duo invite Stacy and Holly to Starsky's place where Starsky puts the 'sweetener' in his coffee while Hutch sings Don't Give Up On Us (the original of which was actually recorded by David Soul, the original "Hutch"). Starsky, Hutch, Stacey, and Holly go to a disco where Starsky suffers the effects of the drug. Hutch takes him home and proceeds to have a threesome with Holly and Stacey.
Feldman continues to be the main suspect of the duo's investigation. They believe that Feldman stores drugs in his garage, and during his daughter's Bat Mitzvah, they go undercover as mimes attempting to locate the drugs. After confronting Feldman, Starsky shoots the lock off the garage door, accidentally shooting and killing a pony inside. As a result, Captain Doby indefinitely suspends Starsky and Hutch; the partners then argue, leading to a split in their friendship.
Meanwhile Hutch's neighbor, Willis (Jeffrey Lorenzo), is involved in a bomb blast in Hutch's house, and breaks his leg (the bomb was intended for Hutch). Starsky comes to visit Willis in the hospital where a "who's at fault" argument with Hutch finally leads to reconciliation. They both decide to go after Feldman and put an end to his drug business. With help from Huggy Bear, they learn that Feldman plans to sell the drugs at a charity ball by hiding them in Volkswagen Karmann Ghia's to be given away to preplanned dope pushers.
The disguised duo manage to enter the party and hold up Feldman, pretending to be winners of a car. Upon shooting open the hood of the car, a large amount of cocaine is found. Feldman takes Hutch hostage, and Starsky's attempt to rescue him, he accidentally shoots Captain Doby. In the confusion, Feldman and his girlfriend Kitty escape outside with the money that was used to buy the drugs. Starsky and Hutch pursue them in a car chase over a golf course.
Feldman and Kitty then take off in his yacht hoping to escape the partners. Not far behind, Starsky and Hutch decide the only way to catch Feldman is to ram Starsky's car into Feldman's yacht. Starsky gets the car up to speed on a pier and then hits a ramp, but jumps way off course and misses the yacht. It slams into the sea and sinks as the partners safely escape. However all is not lost; Huggy, who was hiding in the yacht, knocks out Feldman.
In the last scene, at a party celebrating the capture of Feldman, Starsky is still upset about the loss of his car. Huggy surprises him by buying him another Torino from the original Starsky and Hutch duo (David Soul and Paul Michael Glaser). The two happy cops roll out in their new car answering to the police radio.
- Ben Stiller as David Starsky, one of the protagonists of the film.
- Owen Wilson as Ken "Hutch" Hutchinson, one of the protagonists of the film.
- Vince Vaughn as Reese Feldman, the main antagonist of the film.
- Snoop Dogg as Huggy Bear Brown
- Jason Bateman as Kevin Jutsum, second-hand man to Reese
- Fred Williamson as Captain Doby
- Will Ferrell as Big Earl, associate of Reese (uncredited)
- Amy Smart as Holly Monk
- Carmen Electra as Stacey Haack
- Juliette Lewis as Kitty
- Molly Sims as Mrs. Feldman
- George Cheung as Chau
- Chris Penn as Manetti
- Brande Roderick as Heather
- Jeffrey Lorenzo as Willis lewis
- Har Mar Superstar as Dancing Rick
- Patton Oswalt as Disco DJ
- Paul Michael Glaser as the original Starsky
- David Soul as the original Hutch
- Frank Ferrara as David Starsky (Stuntman)
- Terry Crews as Porter
- Kimberly Wyatt as a night-club dancer
The film received mixed reviews but was ultimately a success. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported that 64% of critics gave the film a positive review based on a sample of 183 reviews, with an average score of 6/10. At the website Metacritic, which utilizes a normalized rating system, the film earned a rating of 55/100 based on 40 reviews by mainstream critics. Roger Ebert awarded it 3/4.
In the film's opening weekend, it grossed $28,103,367 in 3,185 theaters. Starsky & Hutch has had gross receipts of $88,237,754 in the U.S. and Canada and $82,030,996 in international markets for a total of $170,268,750 worldwide.