Review by: Jack Foley | Rating:
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Making of featurette; 'Hollywood Homicide
Confidential' featurette; 'LAPD Stories' featurette; Director's
THE downward curve that continues to represent Harrison Fords
career shows no sign of easing up with Hollywood Homicide, a mundane
and occasionally embarrassing action comedy that struggles to
make up its mind about what it wants to be (much like its characters).
Part urban thriller, part offbeat comedy, and part all-out action
flick, the movie struggles throughout to find a consistent tone,
squandering the talents of just about everyone, while failing
to sustain the interest beyond the first hour.
Ford stars as career veteran, Joe Gavilan, the type of weary
but tenacious detective we have seen countless times, with an
internal affairs investigation hanging over him, a crumbling social
life, and, rather more originally, a less-than-successful real
estate business on the back-burner.
His partner, KC Calden (Josh Hartnett), is another of those Hollywood
cops who conforms to cliché, coming complete with a dead
policeman father (whose shooting remains a mystery), as well as
a crisis of identity over whether he should continue to be a cop,
or pursue his dream of being an actor. Oh, and he teaches yoga
to get laid on the side.
The quirky lifestyles of this kooky partnership is given added
zest by the gangland-style slaying of a high-profile rap group,
which forces both to confront some demons from their past, while
also sorting out their present problems.
Yet the ensuing trip through Tinseltown excess feels more like
a kerb-crawl than a joyride, which falls victim to just about
every contrivance possible.
Director, Ron Shelton, who also co-wrote the film, must shoulder
a lot of the blame, given that he fails to provide his principles
with anything substantial to work with - a major disappointment,
given the style he brought to Dark
Blue earlier this year.
Whereas that provided a fresh take on a well-trodden genre (the
corrupt cop scenario), this merely feels like a tired re-tread,
designed to provide some easy-on-the-eye thrills at the height
of the blockbuster season. Sadly, it doesnt.
Ford looks uneasy during the comical interludes, while his chemistry
with Hartnett is virtually non-existent, and his action scenes
look beyond him (especially when the stunt double is so clearly
Hartnett, too, seems lost amid the material, flitting from sensitive
yoga instructor one minute, to all-action pretty boy the next,
and only really convincing when called upon to play the bad
actor; merely because he seems so bad!
None of the support players, including Bruce Greenwood, Isaiah
Washington, Lena Olin and Martin Landau, are given anything to
work with, and several plot strands fail to find a satisfactory
Indeed, one gets the impression that Shelton, himself, may have
run out of patience with it, given the length of the final chase
sequence, which runs on forever and falls victim to the same sort
of loopholes as the rest of the movie.
Perhaps he thought that by dazzling us with some mayhem, wed
forget the films failings; but the chase itself is so poorly
conceived that it only serves as an appropriate metaphor for the
rest of proceedings - that is to say, a bit of a car wreck from
start to finish.
It remains to be seen whether Fords reputation can emerge
unscathed from this one.