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Film / Starsky & Hutch

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In 2004, a Starsky & Hutch movie directed by Todd Phillips was released in North America by Warner Bros. and internationally by Miramax International through Buena Vista International, starring Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson as Starsky and Hutch (respectively), spoofing the original TV series. 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 (played by Snoop Dogg).

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, laid-back, and streetwise, and Hutch was very serious 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 (one is an uncredited cameo).


  • Artistic License ā€“ Biology: Canis familiaris isn't the scientific name of the German Shepherd, it's the scientific name of the common domesticated dog. The German Shepherd doesn't have its own scientific name, as it isn't a species—it's a breed. Regardless of breed, nearly all dogs are part of the same species; they just vary widely in physical appearance due to millennia of selective breeding by humans.
  • Bond One-Liner:
    • Starsky's is promptly lampshaded by Hutch:
      Starsky: Looks like you punched your last ticket, amigo.
      Hutch: Sir, did you just tough-talk a dead body?
    • Huggy gets one in at the climax of the movie.
      Huggy: I found your nine iron, bitch!
  • The Cameo: Will Ferrell has an uncredited cameo as Big Earl.
  • Celebrity Paradox: The Dirty Harry films exists in this film, judged by the presence of the poster to the first film hung in Starsky's apartment. David Soul, the original Hutch who makes a Remake Cameo in this film, has played The Dragon in the first sequel Magnum Force, which in turn led to his casting as Hutch in the television series itself.
  • Character Development: Starsky starts out as a serious cop and Hutch as a more laid-back, but as a result of various actions and events their personalities begin to switch by the film's end.
  • Cool Car: Starsky's Gran Torino and Huggy's '76 Lincoln.
  • Cultured Warrior: Huggy's beret-wearing mook: "I read it in a magazine."
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Lampshaded by Reese Feldman when he's showing the other gangsters his new brand of cocaine, which is undetectable to chemical tests and drug-sniffing dogs. He points out that, with the scientific mastery necessary to alter the coca plant's cell structure and remove its distinctive scent, he would probably be a candidate for the Nobel Prize if the stuff wasn't illegal.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: When Big Earl has the two do a homoerotic act to gain information, Starsky and Hutch are both visibly and incredibly uncomfortable afterwards and their captain even incredulously asks what the Hell is wrong with them when confronting them about it. While that could just be seen as being uncomfortable with homosexuality instead of straight-up prejudice, Reese Feldman displays some flat-out bigoted and racist behaviour, aggressively calling Big Red a "sick son a bitch" when Red moans upon Reese describing his outfit, and slapping Huggy Bear across the face and bluntly speaking down to him while Huggy is posing as his caddy.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Starsky and Hutch get very distracted while they're questioning a sexy cheerleader, for the very good reason that she strips naked in front of them, ready to take a shower. Their questions, the few they manage to articulate anyway, get farther and farther away from the investigation, including "What's your weight?"
  • Everyone Hates Mimes: The detectives pretend to be mimes to sneak into Feldman's daughter's Bat Mitzvah. Their act bombs and the guests obviously hate every second of it.
  • False Roulette: Starsky tries to pull this, letting the bullet fall out of the gun and into his sleeve... but then, improbably, the bullet falls out of his sleeve and back into the gun. The perp, having seen all of this, spends the interrogation desperately trying to inform Starsky what happened before he blows someone's brains out.
  • The Film of the Series: This example is a bit unusual since it is an origin story rather than a continuation.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Deconstructed in the movie. Tiny is exactly average sized.
  • Generic Graffiti: Averted. In the scene where the pair meet Huggy Bear, the tags in the background are very authentic-looking 70's style graffiti.
  • Girl on Girl Is Hot: Both In-Universe and out, that's probably the reason why Hutch encourages Holly and Staci to share a passionate kiss with each other when their after-disco threesome gets going. Given that they're played by Amy Smart and Carmen Electra, respectively, it's pretty hard to disagree.
  • Hates Being Touched: Huggy Bear. (see also Ironic Echo)
  • Hidden Wire: Parodied with the extremely bulky radio they attach to Huggy Bear when they send him to spy on Reese Feldman.
  • Hideous Hangover Cure: Hutch prepares one of these for Starsky the morning after he accidentally drinks a bag of cocaine. The last ingredient is a raw egg. As disgusting as it looks, the drink actually seems to work as Starsky's completely recovered in the next scene.
  • Insistent Terminology: It's not a boat, it's a yacht.
  • Intoxication Ensues: Starsky with cocaine.
  • Ironic Echo: When Huggy Bear goes to eavesdrop on Reese Feldman by posing as his caddy at the golf course, Reese chews him out and smacks him in the face for forgetting to bring his nine iron. At the end of the movie, Huggy takes Reese out by ambushing him in his boat and knocking him out with a golf club, quipping, "I found your nine iron, bitch!" before he does it.
  • Ironic Nickname: Discussed. When the boys try to interrogate Jeff, thinking he's actually Big Earl, he points out that he isn't big enough to have a nickname like "Big Earl". After some debate, Starsky and Hutch decide to believe him, realizing that he also isn't small enough for "Big Earl" to be an ironic name.
  • Juggling Loaded Guns: Starsky tries to intimidate a suspect by playing Russian Roulette with him. Said suspect rolls his eyes when he sees him empty his revolver and pretend to put one bullet in, but becomes wide-eyed and panicked quickly when one of the bullets Starsky puts up his sleeve falls into the cylinder. The scene is still played for laughs since Starsky thinks he still has an empty revolver. When the suspect tries to plead to Hutch when he comes in the interrogation room, Starsky ends up shooting the wall.
  • Knows a Guy Who Knows a Guy: How Huggy Bear got his hands on a '76 Lincoln.
    David Starsky: I like your Lincoln.
    Huggy Bear: It's a '76. Won't be out 'til next year. But I know some people that know some people that robbed some people.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: After Starsky and Hutch have to do some fairly embarrassing things to get information out of a con, Hutch starts to talk about it in the car ride back, and Starsky shuts him. "No! No! Let's not talk about it. In fact, let's never speak of this again." Of course, when they get back to the station, it's been recorded and is playing in the Captain's office with all of the other officers watching.
  • Mythology Gag: In the scene where Starsky is on cocaine, Hutch sings "Don't Give Up On Us", which was previously recorded by David Soul, the original Hutch.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: Minor example — The pony Reese Feldman gave for his daughter for her birthday? In the actual movie, that's for her bat mitzvah.
  • Opening Monologue: One for each of the titular heroes:
    Starsky: There's no such thing as a petty crime. No minor infractions. There's only the law. That's me in the leather jacket and tight jeans. See that guy I'm chasing? I hate him. And I'll do everything in my power to stop him. Because it's my job to stop him. And the city pays me a damn good salary to do my job. Besides, he crossed the line. And in Bay City, when you cross the line...your nuts are mine. My name is David Starsky, and I'm a cop.
    Hutch: I've always had this theory about police work: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Too many cops worry about the wrong thing: crime. Not me, though. I'm looking out for numero uno. I'm just a realist, that's all. And besides, you have any idea how little the city pays us? My name is Ken Hutchinson, and I'm a cop.
  • Outrun the Fireball: Averted, when Hutch's house is blown up, Willis is sent flying even though he was halfway across the street, and there was even a front yard's worth of distance between the house and the sidewalk.
  • The Precious, Precious Car: Starsky's Gran Torino. Unusually, the car belongs to a protagonist character, who accidentally destroys it himself (after being talked into an ill-judged jump).
  • Precision F-Strike: From one of Huggy's henchmen during the scene with the iguana. Justified, since the movie's rated PG-13 (a movie automatically receives an R rating if it uses the word "fuck" more than once).
    Starsky: Well, you should keep that thing in a terrarium!
    Huggy: Man, what the hell is a terrarium?
    Henchman: What the fuck is a terrarium?
  • Racial Face Blindness: Chau tells Hutch that white people look the same to him, and Hutch says the same about orientals.
  • Remake Cameo:
  • Rite of Passage: The heroes pretend to be performers at a Bat Mitzvah in order to infiltrate a suspect's home.
  • Roger Rabbit Effect: While accidentally under the influence of cocaine, Starsky sees a cartoon blue bird landing on Hutch's shoulder and shoos it away.
  • Secret Test: Subverted and parodied when Starsky and Hutch try to infiltrate a biker bar disguised as members of a local gang. When the barman asks them to answer a question to prove that they're actually members, Hutch wrongly assumes that it's a trick question and tries to think around it.
    Jeff: Tell me: if you two are Jesters, what's our credo?
    Hutch: The credo? Well, uh... You almost got me there. There is no credo!
    (Jeff gives him a weird look)
    Hutch: ...other than the secret credo.
    Jeff: That ain't no secret. It's written right on our damn crest.
    (they look up and realize that the Jesters' crest is hanging above the bar)
  • Show Some Leg: Parodied, in a male-on-male variant. When Starsky and Hutch go to interrogate Big Earl in prison, he refuses to tell them anything unless Hutch shows him his belly button, does a Supermodel Strut across the room, then growls at him like a dragon. Big Earl loves his dragons.
  • Stimulant Speedtalk: Starsky accidentally puts cocaine in his coffee instead of sugar and spends the rest of the night babbling endlessly.
  • Tantrum Throwing: At the beginning of the interrogation scene, Starsky throws a chair away, tosses those papers and and even dissolves a cigarrete Chau was smoking.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: Huggy's "I found your nine iron, bitch!"
  • Those Two Guys: The two cops who give Starsky and Hutch a hard time.
  • Topless From The Back: Heather, stripping while being questioned.
  • Turn in Your Badge: Subverted and Parodied in Starsky's first scene with Captain Doby. After Doby chews Starsky out for irresponsibly firing his gun into a crowded intersection while chasing a purse snatcher, Starsky rolls his eyes and tells Doby that he can have his badge if he wants it. When Doby casually goes to take him up on his offer, Starsky panics and snatches his badge back, realizing that Doby would actually do it.
    Starsky: Hey! Lighten up, will ya? I was just making a point.
  • You Know Who Said That?:
    Huggy Bear: Dig this man. Someone once said: "To err is human, to forgive divine."
    Hutch: Tch. What idiot said that?
    Huggy Bear: I believe that was God — the greatest mack of all.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: "You make a very convincing dragon. You should feel good about that."