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Hollywood Homicide

Starring Harrison Ford, Josh Hartnett
Screenplay by Robert Souza & Ron Shelton
Directed by Ron Shelton
website: www.sonypictures.com

IN SHORT: An average cop movie. Starts with a stutter and improves from there. [Rated PG-13 for violence, sexual situations and language. 111 minutes]

If we follow the poorly explained reasoning behind the comic premise of Hollywood Homicide, LAPD detectives make so much money in overtime that they aren't scheduled for a full work week, thus allowing them the luxury of holding down second or third jobs. Veteran detective Joe Gavilian (Harrison Ford, click for StarTalk) sells real estate. Poorly. His rookie partner of four months K.C. Calden (Josh Hartnett, click for StarTalk) teaches yoga to a classroom loaded with actress slash model-worthy femme students but what he really wants to do is act. Either way, he'll get more action than his partner (who spends most of Hollywood Homicide proving that a sixty year old man can out run any whipper-snapper anytime, if need be) does.

Hollywood Homicide is a film whose best moments, according to the folk walking out of the sneak preview we planted for, were the inopportune ringing of cell phones, all programmed with the tunes of hit songs. Our disappointment was not that severe and we walked out thinking that Ron Shelton had too many good ideas for characters sitting around in his witing notebooks and decided to clean house by putting 'em all in one movie. The only thing missing is a clear and crystalline plot structure -- though there is a school of thought that loves movies which don't come together until the third act, the case here. We didn't go to that school.

Harrison Ford spends the first half of the movie trying to land a listing to sell former Hollywood big shot Jimmy Duran's (Martin Landau) mansion and the second half trying to sell said house to the owner of hot nightclub H20Klick. More important to the story is the investigation of a slaying at that club, possibly orchestrated by Sartain (Isaiah Washington), a notorious rap label boss rumored to have arranged the death of rap artists in the past. They wanted out of their contract with the man. They got their wish, if you get the drift. Sartain's strong right arm is a former LAPD officer, Ben Macko (Bruce Greenwood), once partner to Calden's father, a uniform cop killed in the line of duty.

Blink and you'll miss Lou Diamond Philips in drag, in a useless bit about undercover cops and Gavilan's apparent lack of a sex life. We call it "trying too hard to be funny" on writer Shelton's part; a lame gag that wastes screen time and is immediately forgettable. Ditto a subplot involving Ford's affair with one time call girl Ruby (Lena Olin).

Throw all those bits and pieces at the wall and whatever sticks comprises the focus of Hollywood Homicide. We spent our time in the dark waiting for something to come to the fore and enthrall us, but it didn't happen.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Hollywood Homicide, he would have paid . . .

$4.00

If it was so average, Hollywood Homicide would make the grade a buck higher as a decent dateflick. We wish we had been thrilled but, no, we weren't. Rent.

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The Cranky Critic website is Copyright © 1995  -  2017  by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.