Starring Harrison Ford, Josh Hartnett, Lena Olin, Isaiah
Washington, Dwight Yoakam, Bruce Greenwood, Lolita Davidovich, Lou Diamond
Phillips, Martin Landau, Master P and Keith David
Directed by Ron Shelton
Being a big fan of
Harrison Ford, I really wanted this film to be good. It's also important to
see him getting back to action roles since INDY 4 is supposedly right around
the corner. Sadly HOLLYWOOD HOMICIDE comes across as nothing more than
a weak attempt at a buddy cop flick, that's as forgettable as it is messy.
The biggest mistake is made at the very beginning of the film. We see Ford
and Hartnett as cops on the shooting range. It's apparent they're already
partners, and Ford is the smarter of the two. Note to writers: A buddy
cop film works best when we actually get to see the mismatched cops meet.
Cut to a Hip-Hop club where a rap group is brutally gunned down by two hitmen.
Detectives Joe (Ford) Gavilan and K.C. (Hartnett) Calden are called in to
investigate. It's established early on that both men have side jobs; Gavilan
is a realtor and Calden teaches Yoga.
Their investigation leads to a
slimy record producer played by the clearly typecasted Isaiah Washington.
(Hasn't he played this same role more than once before?) The script wastes no
time telling us exactly what's going on, and who is behind it, completely
taking any possible mystery out of the film. Throw in a hackneyed subplot
about K.C.'s father being gunned down years ago during a case, and an
aggravated superior officer (Bruce Greenwood, who deserves much better parts
than this) breathing down Gavilan's neck. The rest of the film is nothing
more than Joe and K.C. dealing with the various pressures of their everyday
lives, all while casually dealing with the murders. One of the most repeated
themes in the film is how no one in Hollywood wants to be bothered with
anything going on around them, despite how dangerous it may actually be.
There is more cel phone humor here that you've probably seen in any film
before, and the petty characteristics exhibited in each scenario may have you
wishing to avoid the L.A. area at all costs.
HOLLYWOOD HOMICIDE unfortunately just feels lazy. The two main characters
(like most everyone in the film) don't really seem to care much about
anything, and nothing ever seems too serious. There are some laughs,
including a few really good ones, but none of it ever seems to make much of an
impression. Ford has fallen well into the inevitable gruff older pro
persona. He looks like a tired guy, sick of everything in his life. Not much
of a hero, eh? Hartnett even seems pretty bored. His character longs to be
an actor, despite his lack of ability for such a job. One particularly
disappointing aspect of this film is in it's marketing. The commercials and
previews make it look like an action-packed LETHAL WEAPON-like
thriller, which it is very much not.
In fact the only real action
occurs in the last ten minutes of the film. By then we've lost interest, not
that these characters ever gave us a reason to have any. So how do I score
this one? The comedy elements are fairly good, but the script is silly. The
action, what little there is, plays fairly well. I'm bothered by the pacing.
Several times I asked myself "What is the point to all of this?" You know a
film is in trouble when the plot relies on a psychic to point our heroes in
the right direction. I'm happy to say that Ford still looks good in the
action scenes, and appears to be doing most of his own stunts. Hartnett just
looks way too young to be in this. The age contrast between the two main
characters is almost too much. Sadly none of the supporting characters are
all that interesting either. Lou Diamond Phillips appears ever so briefly in
a rather funny cameo, and judging by the press kit photos was supposed to have
a much bigger part. That leaves me to wonder if this thing was just juggled
back and forth in the editing room up until it's unsatisfying completion.
Certain actors like Martin Landau try to add a level of grace to this
otherwise disjointed script. HOLLYWOOD HOMICIDE is a buddy cop movie
gone bad. You can tell the idea was there to begin with, but ended up poorly
executed. Bring on INDY 4, but please let this on-screen team take a
permanent donut break.
SONY PICTURES 2003.
BIGFANBOY.com score - On a scale of
1 to 10, 10 being the best, I give HOLLYWOOD HOMICIDE a 5.
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