A/V Room









Starsky & Hutch - US reaction

Compiled by: Jack Foley

IT boasts a great trailer, a tried and tested comedy double-act and is based on one of the biggest shows on the Seventies - but is the formula a success.

Starsky and Hutch is the latest TV to big screen revival, and stars Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson as the eponymous duo, with Snoop Dogg as Huggy Bear. It is directed by Todd Philips, of Old School/Road Trip fame.

And while we, at IndieLondon, love it, the US reaction has been decidedly mixed, thus far...

The good reviews were led by the likes of the New York Times, which wrote that 'the big-screen adaptation of the 1970's television cop show Starsky & Hutch has a crafty, can-you-dig-it? spirit'.

While the Hollywood Reporter felt that it 'cruises along agreeably on the easy chemistry between Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson'.

Village Voice, meanwhile, opined that 'S&H's chief pleasure is the spontaneous, sometimes quite touching rapport between the two stars'.

But Variety wrote that 'like most movies derived from 1960s and '70s TV, Starsky & Hutch doesn't possess the kind of ingenuity necessary to sustain feature length'.

And Entertainment Weekly wrote that 'Phillips, who started out making creepy (and funny) documentaries, has become a canny repackager of yesterday's schlock - a mall-friendly purveyor of arrested comedy for an arrested world'.

Returning to the positive vibe, however, USA Today wrote that 'although Stiller and Wilson may be today's most overexposed actors, they have infectious chemistry here'.

And Rolling Stone felt that 'while the gags in Starsky and Hutch are more hit-and-miss than nonstop inspiration, the movie does get a fair share of laughs'.

Time Magazine, meanwhile, felt that 'Starsky & Hutch has moments of hilarity a little greater than you might expect of a movie that is just out for a lazy good time'.

And E! Online wrote that 'the laughs are spotty and feel like a stitched-together series of sketches, but the highs outweigh the flatfooted lows, and the duo definitely works the comedic beat'.

However, back to the negatives, and the Chicago Tribune concluded that 'if a movie rises and falls solely on the basis of its laughs, it better have a lot of them. Starsky & Hutch doesn't'.

While the Los Angeles Times felt that 'no one involved with Starsky & Hutch actually seems to care about the movie'.

LA Weekly, meanwhile, noted that 'Hollywood's latest McMovie - name-brand recognition as raison d’être or, if you will, creative bankruptcy on a very large scale'.

And Newsday rounded on it, by saying that 'being a period piece hardly excuses Starsky & Hutch from being a cliche-ridden, uncharming and tiresome exercise in recycled humor'.

But the final word goes to Eclipse Magazine, which stated that it is 'mildly amusing and true to the spirit of both the show and its host decade'.

The film opens in London next week, before going nationwide a week later.

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