Ben Stiller is well known for his comedy, having appeared in many classic films as well as popular franchises. One of his big comedies was based on a hit mid-70s television series of the same name and can now be seen on Netflix.
Starsky & Hutch stars Ben Stiller as David Starsky and Owen Wilson as Ken Hutchinson, two Bay City police detectives who are always taking on the toughest cases. They tool around in Starsky’s famous 1974 Ford Torino, a car that became as popular as The Dukes of Hazzard’s 1969 orange Dodge Charger, the General Lee, and the Batmobile from the late 60’s series, Batman.
The movie is set in 1975 and tells the story of Starsky & Hutch’s first big case, making it a prequel to the television series. The case they are working on involves a former college campus drug dealer who has gone on to be a big-time white-collar criminal.
Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson’s characters are forced to work together based on their earlier antics and at first, it’s a partnership that doesn’t appear it will work out. Their styles are completely opposite with Starsky being the macho, over-the-top cop, while Hutch is laid back.
Ruthless drug kingpin Reese Feldman (Vince Vaughn) and his right-hand man Kevin Jutsum (Jason Bateman) have developed an untraceable taste and scent cocaine that is taking over the city. When one of Feldman’s dealers messes up a deal, Feldman kills him for it.
When the dealer’s body washes up on shore and Starsky & Hutch take on the case, which leads them directly to Feldman. Of course, he denies any connection to the crime, but Feldman’s wife mentions to the duo that the dealer was dating a cheerleader, helping their investigation.
Also helping with their investigation is another street criminal Huggy Bear (Snoop Dogg), who ends up playing a big part in the attempted takedown of Feldman and Jutsum.
Starsky & Hutch is, if anything, an uneven comedy. There are plenty of nods to the ‘70s as well as a nice touch at the end of the movie as David Soul and Paul Michael Glaser, the original Starsky & Hutch, make a brief cameo. In addition to Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller, the movie is peppered with fun performances by Vaughn and Bateman as well as Fred Williamson as Captain Doby, along with Carmen Electra, Amy Smart, Juliette Lewis, the late Chris Penn, and Will Ferrell in an uncredited role.
Todd Phillips both wrote and directed Starsky & Hutch which, while uneven, actually was a box office hit. Phillips was given a nice big $60 million budget to recreate the ‘70s and the film brought home $170 million.
Before Todd Phillips became a household name directing movies like The Hangover franchise and Joker, he was cutting his teeth on movies such as Starsky & Hutch as well as Old School, Road Trip, and School for Scoundrels. Phillips is also noted for writing the abovementioned movies as well as Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, Due Date, Hangover 2 and Hangover 3, War Dogs, and Joker.
Ben Stiller has been pretty quiet lately on the feature film front with his last movie being the 2017 drama Brad’s Status. Other than that, he made a few appearances on Saturday Night Live as Michael Cohen, he reprised his role as Tony Wonder on Arrested Development, and he had a small role in the 2021 Netflix movie Locked Down. In fact, looking at any future projects for Stiller and one would see nothing when it comes to acting projects.
Ben Stiller has spent most of the decade producing films and series. His name has been attached as Executive Producer to projects such as Another Period, Escape at Dannemora, Plus One, Celebrity Escape Room, La Flamme, and In the Dark. These are only a few of the numerous projects Stiller has worked on or is currently producing.
2004 was a very solid year for Ben Stiller. He starred in six movies that included Along Came Polly, Starsky & Hutch, Envy, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, and Meet the Fockers and in total, those movies grossed over $1.144 billion at the box office. Stiller was solid gold at the movie theaters.
Ben Stiller would continue to run up hit after hit following 2004 with movies such as Night at the Museum, the terribly underrated The Heartbreak Kid, Tropic Thunder, and Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian. Very seldom did Stiller disappoint.
While Ben Stiller has been pretty absent on the big screen, there has been talk of a sequel to his 2004 smash Dodgeball. He, along with the movie’s stars Vaughn, Justin Long, and Christine Taylor even teased fans with their Omaze YouTube video Play Dodgeball with Ben Stiller, prompting talk of a Dodgeball 2 movie.
For now, though, you can catch Ben Stiller in the hit comedy Starsky & Hutch on Netflix.