2003 - PG-13 - Mins.
|Director: Ron Shelton
|Producer: Allegra Clegg, David V. Lester, Lou Pitt, Joe Roth, Ron Shelton, Robert Souza
|Written By: Rpbert Souza and Ron Shelton
|Starring: Harrison Ford, Josh Hartnett, Lena Olin, Bruce Greenwood, Isaiah Washington
|Review by: David Trier
Sometimes I’ll pick up a box of cookies or something at the grocery store because they’re on sale. I may not know if they’re any good; maybe I won’t like them. But I at least expect them not to be all crushed up and defective. Similarly, I didn’t feel strongly about the free screening to Hollywood Homicide, but I at least expected a few good laughs. But I can’t think of a term to more accurately describe this film than “defective merchandise”.
Joe Gavilan (Harrison Ford) is a mediocre detective who moonlights as a mediocre real estate agent. His partner K.C. Calden (Josh Hartnett) is a young mediocre detective who hopes to one day be a mediocre actor instead. When an up-and-coming rap group is murdered, Gavilan and Calden are assigned to the less-than-fascinating case which quickly leads them to a ruthless producer modeled after Shug Knight and looking like Puff Daddy (Isaiah Washington). While Gavilan tries to juggle his two careers, he is also subjected to persecution by a relentless internal affairs officer (Bruce Greenwood) for possible corruption. While Calden juggles police work with yoga classes and play rehearsals, he also hopes to solve his cop father’s murder. The film culminates in a chase through multiple forms of transportation and a series of weak fight scenes.
Harrison Ford is only pressured to make two of his three or four facial expressions and he makes them with reasonable comic timing, despite the scenes themselves not being funny. Why a movie star like Indiana Jones and Han Solo would want to sign on to a piece of dreck like this is beyond me, but maybe the money was good. Josh Hartnett is a pretty decent dramatic actor and that even occasionally comes through here, which is unfortunate since it’s supposed to be a comedy and he has the comedic timing of a bookshelf. And although he’s playing a young cop and would realistically be old enough to be one, this is still a movie and he looks like he’s in high school. Terrific actor Bruce Greenwood (Thirteen Days, Ararat), classic supporter Keith David, versatile Lou Diamond Phillips and veteran Martin Landau are all completely wasted on two-dimensional or irrelevant characters. Much dialogue is given to rapper Master P, who unfortunately cannot act.
This is one of the least motivated movies I have ever seen. What is the point? This looks like the kind of script that would come out of a cheap screenwriting class. Characters are so pointlessly intertwined (Galivan’s girlfriend is also the girlfriend of the internal affairs officer who was once partnered with the security guy of the bad guy and was responsible for the death of the father of Galivan’s partner). Everybody knows who the bad guy is and that they’re going to take him down. Jesus, the climax begins because a psychic puts our heroes on the same street corner as the bad guy! This is writing?
But plot holes and cliché’s aside, the problem with this film is that it isn’t funny. It’s supposed to make me laugh and the few chuckles that erupted were usually during ridiculous turns in the investigation, not jokes. A film like Rush Hour, for example, won’t get many marks for intelligent cop adventure, but it at least put a smile on your face. Hollywood Homicide just makes me feel less comfortable being near Hollywood.