I can't honestly say I have ever sat through an episode of the original Starsky and Hutch so I can't compare anything in this with the original, which is probably a blessing because obviously I realise this is a highly comic interpretation of the original show and that means I can just sit back and laugh much in the way we all did with Dragnet back in the 80s, obviously this films closest predecessor.
This film came out just as this particular group of comedians were beginning to establish themselves as a successful group, later dubbed the frat pack, in a very similar vein as the post SNL group of Murray, Aykroyd, Candy and Martin did in the 1980s. There have been hits, misses, attempts at different genres, off the wall masterpieces discovered on DVD like Zoolander and Anchorman and serious turns in naval gazing indies like Stranger than Fiction and Greenberg. Each individual, also, has seemingly gone on to have big, multi-million dollar summer and winter blockbuster movies which may have made them very rich but has not necessarily kept them fresh or funny.
Starsky and Hutch which stars Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson, with turns from Vince Vaughn, Jason Bateman and Will Ferrell, although barely mentioned anymore (much like Dragnet) is amongst the early funny ones of this group and stands up surprisingly well a few years down the line. It has its weak spots (the cocaine/ dance off scene goes on way too long and has an unsatisfying pay off) but mostly it is a series of ludicrous sketches strung together under the banner of buddy cop comedy.
Stiller and Wilson are at their best playing absurdly stupid yet confident people in ridiculous situations and the way the film is set up, much like Zoolander, it allows both actors to play to their strengths with Stiller being the real genius of the pair, there is something about his ernest leaping about and attempts to be threatening that are just brilliant.
There is not much to say about the film really as it scarcely matters whether the plot holds up or if the acting is top notch, what matters is if it's funny and while it is certainly not as inventive or bonkers as Zoolander or Anchorman, for example, it does have several legitimately laugh out-loud moments, even if a lot of the gags and set-ups are heavily reminiscent of scenes we've seen before in previous comedies.
It's a great touch to have Fred Williamson as the enraged seventies police captain and Snoop Dog is not above donning a silly wig and doing ridiculous scenes with the rest of them.
A fairly good and jolly way to pass the afternoon if needs be.
6.5 out of 10 prancing dragons
Points from the wife 5 out of 10