This has relegated me to blogging on something straight out of the seventies, with a keyboard not dissimilar to the early Tandy micro-computers. This of course is thoroughly apt for a short piece about Starsky & Hutch. Not just because my computer is an antique like the old television series. But like the film, it means I can do a short review of the film without ever really talking about the film*, much like the film makes nothing but the most superficial attempts to replicate the TV series.

Question: What would you rather see. A lovingly painstaking remake of a surprisingly successful because it was really rather mediocre cop show. Or a Ben Stiller/Owen Wilson buddy movie? The answer from all but the Starsky & Hutch Fan Club would be the latter. (If you want the former however, just go see S.W.A.T.) What the film of Starsky & Hutch gives us is a sitcom, the situation being that Stiller and Wilson are mismatched cops. Even the Marx Brothers, even Laurel and Hardy needed a situation. Stiller & Wilson, the nearest thing to a bona-fide movie double act we have in Hollywood at the moment, are good enough not to need much of a situation. Which is just as well, because what I could tell you about Starsky & Hutch could be written on a Matchbox (car of the Gran Torino – and I didn’t even know the name of the car til last weekend).

What results is set piece after set piece, stuck together by some impeccable banter between the leads. Actually from a comedy point of view the film should be an embarrassment of riches, with a cameo from Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn on tap as well as Snoop Dogg’s iconically obvious Huggy Bear. What you get instead is a few decent jokes buoyed up by goodwill and bonhomie. More than enough to give you a good time. Wilson and Stiller can do this stuff in their sleep, and it is just as well that they occasionally do. But don’t tell me it has anything much to do with the original. The whole point of Starsky & Hutch was its very generic nature. You can hang a comedy on that, because you have to hang it on something.

*I have realized of course that this analogy is a more than superficial commentary and hence destroys its own perspicacity in a fit of logic. Good.