With their latest release of Starsky & Hutch, Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson have fully established themselves in the comedy duo hall of fame alongside such greats as Abbott & Costello, Cheech & Chong, and Phillips & Wharfe. This week’s edition of Focus On takes a look at their budding friendship and the great comedies it has already spawned.
Starsky & Hutch
Although this movie has some amazingly funny scenes, a hysterical set of characters – including a re-birth of Stiller’s “Do It” character from his Ben Stiller Show days – and some spectacular car chase sequences, the raw comedic presence of Stiller & Wilson is held partly in check by the director’s insistence of sticking to a more serious storyline similar to the original show’s heyday. Unlike Zoolander (see below), where Stiller, Wilson, and Will Ferrell are let loose Starsky & Hutch relies more on one-liners to deliver the laughs (although the Ferrell jailhouse scene is one for the books, I’m not sure which books, but I’m sure that they’re very important and well-read). That being said, this movie is still very funny.
Stiller & Wilson form a solid reluctant-buddy-cop duo and Snoop Dogg, Will Ferrell, and Vince Vaughn fill out the rest of the cast in excellent fashion. Definitely worth seeing, although you might want to wait for the DVD.
Unlike Starsky & Hutch, in Zoolander Stiller, Wilson, and Will Ferrell are set free and allowed to push comedy to its limits. This movie is hilarious and is absolutely worth the rental price. In it, Stiller & Wilson play two intellectually challenged male models caught in an international terrorist attack on the Prime Minister of Malaysia due to his decision to stop child labor, which would ruin the fashion industry. Pretty standard really. This movie is perfect for the duo, as they are both quite adept at playing dumb. If you haven’t already seen this film, stop reading this article right now and head out to see it.
The Royal Tenenbaums
This movie is extremely weird and somewhat dark, but it is outrageously funny. It also comes equipped with some of the most creative characters played by Hollywood’s elite: Gene Hackman, Bill Murray, Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Angelica Huston, Gwyneth Paltrow, Luke Wilson, Danny Glover, and Alec Baldwin round out an all-star cast. Although the movie centers around an estranged family of prodigies, the plot and storyline are fairly weak, which is just as well since that might distract you from the onscreen hijinx that provide hilarity throughout this film. This is definitely a must see film.