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Still shot from the movie: Starsky & Hutch.

Starsky & Hutch

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Overall: D+
Violence: C-
Sexual Content: D+
Language: D+
Drugs/Alcohol: D+
Theater Release:
Video Release:
MPAA Rating: PG-13
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Some things are better left in the 70s. Shag carpet, bell-bottoms and disco dancing to name a few. Maybe even Starsky & Hutch should have been left to rest in rerun heaven.

But Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson, who've joined forces before (Meet the Parents, Zoolander and The Royal Tenenbaums), are teaming up to spoof the 1970s undercover cop show and they're doing it with plenty of modern-day edge.

Stiller plays Dave Starsky, a high-strung detective who gets his thrills from bringing down street thugs. Unfortunately his uptight approach to policing has cost him a whole string of partners who can't handle the tense cop. After pushing the limit of acceptable behavior once again, Captain Dolby (Fred Williamson) decides to put Starsky with officer Ken Hutchinson (Owen Wilson).

To every degree that Starsky lives by the books, Hutch is willing to bend the rules in his favor. He supplements his city employee salary by knocking off gambling parlors and betting joints in his free time. His idea of showing up to work on time happens somewhere around midmorning and he isn't opposed to using the attraction of his badge to collect sexual favors from a couple of Bay City cheerleaders (Amy Smart, Carmen Electra).

After meeting with the Captain, Starsky and Hutch's first job is to check out some leads on a huge drug deal rumored to be in the works. Unhappy about his new partner, Hutch's bad mood is slightly eased when he sees Starsky's souped up red and white Ford Torino. The muscle car is a far cry from the clunky camper/truck combo he drives and proves to carry a lot more clout when they pull up in front of a street informant's place of business.

But while Huggy Bear's (Snoop Dogg) tips help, the detectives soon discover that Reese Feldman (Vince Vaughn) is no small player when it comes to moving cocaine on the black market. He's also known to conveniently dispose of anyone who gets in his way.

First airing in 1975, the original Starsky & Hutch series upped the ante for this genre. Car chases, hip fashions and a dose of attitude made the television drama one of the first in a new style of police show. The script for the movie tries to recapture that same sense of the 70s but the addition of homosexual themes, shootings, and nonstop profanities take away from the nostalgic feel of the original. A locker room scene with an amply gifted cheerleader also includes nudity, and two police officers act out sexual fantasies for an inmate in exchange for information.

Although the film offers a few humorous moments, it unfortunately relies far too much on crude sexual jokes, frequent violence and goofy depictions to resurrect the once famous duo.

Starsky & Hutch is rated PG-13: for drug content, sexual situations, partial nudity, language and some violence.

Cast: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson

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About the Reviewer: Kerry Bennett

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