STARSKY AND HUTCHPG-13
Another needless filming of a disposable old TV series, Starsky & Hutch has a few bright, wiseass moments, but is generally pretty lame. Here playing a bumbling pair of cops, Ben Stiller (Starsky) and Owen Wilson (Hutch) have apparently become this generation's Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, or Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. They may lack any discernible musical skills, but both are in full possession of a surfeit of…irony! This makes for some definite giggles, but sadly isn't enough to sustain a feature-length film (see Charlie's Angels 2). At least Starsky & Hutch is superior to and far less overblown than their straining Zoolander (although it does steal that silly disco dance-off shtick from its predecessor).
Of the two, Wilson is preferable. His relaxed, surfer-dude affability and obvious, yet cheerful, lack of gray matter help put over even his dumbest lines ("You prefer the blonde? That's cool, cuz I like anything!"). Stiller throws himself into the by-the-books inanity of Starsky with an intensity that engenders equal parts hilarity and embarrassment.
A good-sport cast does what they can to fill in the expositional blanks. Vince Vaughn, sporting, like Stiller, a really bad '70s perm and Fu Manchu moustache, is risible as a mob boss, whose bat mitzvah presentation to his daughter goes horribly awry. Juliette Lewis is game but wasted as his trashy mistress. (This is a boys' show all the way, with the women relegated to extraneous bimbo function.) Snoop Dogg and Fred Williamson bring their relaxed skills, Jason Bateman does nervous nerd, and Will Ferrell sinks his comic fangs into the role of a convict who dearly craves Wilson's navel and sundry other body parts.