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Starsky & Hutch

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Todd Phillips
Produced by William Blinn
Stuart Cornfeld
Akiva Goldsman
Tony Ludwig
Alan Riche
Written by John O'Brien
Todd Phillips
Scot Armstrong
Stevie Long
William Blinn
Starring Ben Stiller
Owen Wilson
Vince Vaughn
Music by Theodore Shapiro
Cinematography Barry Peterson
Editing by Leslie Jones
Studio Weed Road Pictures
Red Hour Productions
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Dimension Films
Release date(s) March 5, 2004 (2004-03-05)
Running time 101 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $60 million
Gross revenue $170,268,750

Starsky & Hutch is a 2004 American comedy film directed by Todd Phillips. The film stars Ben Stiller as David Starsky and Owen Wilson as Ken "Hutch" Hutchinson and is a spoof adaptation of the original television series of the same name from the 1970s.

Two streetwise undercover cops in 1975, driving in a red 1975 Ford Gran Torino, bust drug criminals with the help of underworld player, Huggy Bear. The film functions as a sort of prequel to the TV series, as it portrays when Starsky was first partnered with Hutchinson. The film also switches the personalities of the title characters. While in the TV show, Starsky was curious and streetwise, and Hutch was very laid back and by-the-book. In the film, Starsky is the serious cop, and Hutch is laid-back. There are four Frat Pack members in this film, although not all are in major roles.



The movie takes place in the fictional city of Bay City, California in 1975. The story centers around two cops who work for the Bay City Police Department. The city has a distinctly southern California atmosphere to it and Bay City is very similar to Los Angeles. The two cops are, David Starsky (Ben Stiller) a loudmouth, wannabe macho cop that loves his Ford Gran Torino who is paired with the cool, easy going Ken 'Hutch' Hutchinson (Owen Wilson). The two are wary of each other in the beginning. Jewish-American drug kingpin, Reese Feldman (Vince Vaughn), and his partner-in-crime, Kevin (Jason Bateman), are planning to bring in a shipment of drugs worth millions of dollars. They have developed a new type of cocaine which is untraceable in scent and taste. When Feldman finds out that one of his drug pushers failed a drug transport operation, he kills him and leaves the body in the ocean.

Starsky and Hutch are called to the scene where the body of the murdered pusher washes up a few days later. A clue from the dead man leads them to Feldman's house for questioning. Feldman denies any knowledge of the crime and states his regret for the man's death. After meeting cheerleaders, Stacey (Carmen Electra) and Holly (Amy Smart), they learn from another cheerleader, Heather (Brande Roderick), who strips herself completely naked while preparing for her shower no less, that a jacket worn by the dead pusher was made by Big Earl (Will Ferrell). Starsky and Hutch go to a prison to speak with Big Earl, who has connections with Feldman's drug business. Big Earl then makes the officers do embarrassing things to get what they want. He gives them a packet of what they think is cocaine. When it is taken to the lab for testing, Doby (Fred Williamson), their captain of the fictional Bay City Police Department, tells them it is artificial sweetener. Starsky uses it in his coffee and he, Hutch, Stacey, and Holly go to a disco where Starsky suffers the effects of the drug. Hutch takes him home and proceeds to have a threesome with Holly and Stacey.

Feldman continues to be the main suspect of the duo's investigation. They believe that Feldman stores drugs in his garage, and during his daughter's Bat Mitzvah, they go undercover to attempt to locate the drugs. After confronting Feldman, Starsky shoots the lock off the garage door, accidentally shooting and killing a pony inside. As a result, Captain Doby indefinitely suspends Starsky and Hutch; the partners then argue, leading to a split in their friendship.

Meanwhile Hutch's neighbor, Willis (Jeffrey Lorenzo), is involved in a bomb blast in Hutch's house, and breaks his leg (the bomb was intended for Hutch). Starsky comes to visit Willis in the hospital where a "who's at fault" argument finally leads to reconciliation. They both decide to go after Feldman and put an end to his drug business. With help from Huggy Bear, their compatriot and informant, they learn that Feldman plans to sell the drugs at a charity ball by hiding them in 1974 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia model cars to be given away to preplanned dope pushers.

The disguised duo manage to enter the party and hold up Feldman, pretending to be winners of a car. Upon shooting open the hood of the car, a large amount of cocaine is found. Feldman takes Hutch hostage, and Starsky's attempt to rescue him, he accidentally shoots Captain Doby. In the confusion, Feldman and his girlfriend Kitty escape outside with the money that was used to buy the drugs. Starsky and Hutch pursue them in a car chase over a golf course.

Feldman and Kitty then take off in his yacht hoping to escape the partners. Not far behind, Starsky and Hutch decide the only way to catch Feldman is to ram Starsky's car into Feldman's yacht. Starsky gets the car up to speed on a pier and then hits a ramp, but jumps way off course and misses the yacht. It slams into the sea and sinks as the partners safely escape. However all is not lost; Huggy, who was hiding in the yacht, knocks out Feldman.

In the last scene, at a party celebrating the capture of Feldman, Starsky is still upset about the loss of his car. Huggy surprises him by buying him another Torino from the original Starsky and Hutch duo, (David Soul and Paul Michael Glaser). The two happy cops roll out in their new car answering to the police radio.



The film received mixed to positive reviews. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported that 63% of critics gave the film a positive review based on a sample of 183 reviews, with an average score of 5.9/10.[1] At the website Metacritic, which utilizes a normalized rating system, the film earned a rating of 55/100 based on 40 reviews by mainstream critics.[2]Roger Ebert awarded it 3/4.

In the film's opening weekend, it grossed $28,103,367 in 3,185 theaters. Starsky & Hutch has had gross receipts of $88,237,754 in the U.S. and Canada and $82,030,996 in international markets for a total of $170,268,750 worldwide.[3]


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