Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB. USA, 2004. Dimension Films, Warner Bros., AR-TL, Weed Road Pictures, Red Hour Films. Story by Stevie Long, John O’Brien, Screenplay by John O’Brien, Todd Phillips, Scot Armstrong, based on characters created by William Blinn. Cinematography by Barry Peterson. Produced by William Blinn, Stuart Cornfeld, Akiva Goldsman, Tony Ludwig, Alan Riche. Music by Theodore Shapiro. Production Design by Ed Verreaux. Costume Design by Louise Mingenbach. Film Editing by Leslie Jones.
The popular cop show of the seventies is brought to the big screen as an uncomfortable mix of groovy parody and straight whodunit. Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson play the titular characters, two disciplinary cases on the force who are put together as an attempt by their superior officer to straighten them both out. They end up working quite well together, deciding to go after a suspected drug lord (Vince Vaughn) after one of his victims washes up on a beach. From there it’s all just hemming and hawing until they arrest the bad guy, with everything in the middle being just a bunch of silly excuses for SNL skit-style comedy, most of which is incredibly boring (though Ben Stiller on cocaine does provoke a few good laughs). The film never tries to be silly enough, nor does it try to take itself seriously either: the lack of creativity or direction anywhere makes one wonder just why they bothered making the darn thing in the first place. Stiller and Wilson enjoy the same chemistry they’ve always had together, but Zoolander‘s ratio of mundane to hilarious jokes was far lower. Also stars Juliette Lewis, a highlight cameo by Will Farrell, Carmen Electra and Amy Smart.