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Starsky & Hutch

I think it's probably fair to say that 'Starsky & Hutch' could quite rightly lay claim to be the first 'grown-up' TV show that I ever really became aware of. I'd have been around five or six years old by the time the BBC started showing episodes around 1976 or 1977 and I thought that the two detectives were the coolest, funniest men on the planet. Of course, it didn't hurt that they drove around in that fantastic red Gran Torino with the white stripe down the sides... My dad's Ford Corsair seemed very tame after that I can tell you.

So here we are in 2004 and, in the finest tradition of recent cinema, Hollywood is once again mining old TV shows for inspiration. This time, however, we are not subjected to a shameless spoof of the original (a la 'The Brady Bunch Movie') nor have the makers tried to up the action ante (as happened with the 'Mission Impossible' movies). Instead, this movie is set before the original series - a kind of origins story, if you like. Dave Starsky is introduced as a hard-line cop, someone who takes his job far too seriously and is constantly ridiculed for this by the rest of the force. Ken Hutchison, on the other hand, is so laid-back that he's almost horizontal. These two polar opposites are thrown together when a dead body is found floating in the bay - Hutch is keen to push the body back out to sea, so that another precinct will have to deal with it, whilst Starsky is keen to crack the case.

To be fair, the plot itself takes a very secondary position and the film gives those of us who were growing up in the late 70s chance to wallow in some childhood memories. Obviously, starring Stiller and Wilson, the movie is a very funny comedy but the actors themselves demonstrate admirable restraint by playing the characters relatively straight, allowing the humour to come from the situations and settings themselves. Snoop Dogg is an inspired piece of casting as pimp informer, Huggy Bear and Vince Vaughn bags the bad guy duties as the crime overlord behind the whole crime. And, of course, there's the car - the famous 'striped tomato', which is a character in it's very own right. Throw in a couple of well placed cameos at the end of the movie and you're left with a very enjoyable nostalgia-fest - although quite what 'kids today', more used to "2 Fast 2 Furious" will make of the relatively sedate pace is anyone's guess.....



Sean G

Picture from official site click to visit.