Straight-arrow, straight-laced cop Starsky (Ben Stiller) is partnered up with the laid-back,ethically bent Hutch (Owen Wilson). Despite initial matter/anti-matter friction, the two soonbond (surprise!) and will stop at nothing to bring down vicious drug dealer Vince Vaughn.
Not much more of a storyline than that, and the point here is to revel in 70s kitsch. Thoughthere are a couple of very funny moments and lines, by and large the film just sits there, too staticto…be an action film, too flat to be a comedy. Stiller and Wilson adopt their patented neurotic andslacker personas, but don’t do anything new with these modes. That yet another revived TV showis a dud shouldn’t be a surprise, but one hopes for better with these leads. And what the hell isJuiette Lewis doing with here with a completely superfluous, nothing role?
A very clean, distortion-free soundtrack. Like the film, however, it could be more exciting.There are some nice surround moments involving the car, with nice placement of the engineroars, but there isn’t that much by way of environmental effects otherwise. The overall volumeis rather low, draining energy from the music as well.
The picture, however, looks marvellous. The colours are very strong, though they still havea slightly gritty, 70s feel to them. Contrasts and blacks are excellent, as are the flesh tones. Thereis no grain or visible edge enhancement. The image (in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen) isextremely sharp.
Director Todd Phillips’ commentary track is very informative, filling us in pretty thoroughlyin the hows and whys of the film. It is ironic that he discuses the necessity of using the drug-dealplot as a way of grounding the film in reality, in order to make the jokes work. Good idea, lousyexecution. Two of the featurettes are parodic: “Fashion Fa Shizzle wit Huggy Bizzle” is a mockfashion show; and “Last Look Special” is a merciless take-down of the usual promotionalfeaturette, where here everyone talks about what a hellish experience making the film was andhow they hate everybody (this feature is funnier than the film itself). There are 6 deleted scenespresented in a montage, along with a rather uninteresting gag reel and the theatrical trailer. Themenu’s intro, transitions and main screen are animated and scored.
Though not a terrible film, this is so flat and mediocre that it can only be considered anenormous disappointment.
Special Features List
- Director’s Commentary
- “Fashion Fa Shizzle wit Huggy Bizzle” Featurette
- “Last Look Special” Mockumentary
- Deleted Scenes
- Gag Reel
- Theatrical Trailer