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Overall Rating

Awesome: 6.67%
Worth A Look: 6.67%
Average: 28.33%
Pretty Bad: 23.33%
Total Crap35%

4 reviews, 36 user ratings

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Hollywood Homicide
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by Rob Gonsalves

"Ford attempts to lighten up."
3 stars

'Hollywood Homicide' looks dangerously close to the sort of high-concept "levity" that Sylvester Stallone engaged in -- remember 'Oscar' and 'Stop Or My Mom Will Shoot,' or have you suppressed the memories? -- when he figured out that nobody much wanted him as an action hero any more.

Harrison Ford has been altogether too grim in recent years (in his flop K-19 he went so far as to adopt a Russian accent), so the movie feels like penance, his way of showing the suits that he can still crack a smile and goof around. I never thought I'd see the day when Kurt Russell (who certainly deserved it) got the lead in a serious Ron Shelton movie (Dark Blue) and Ford starred in a Ron Shelton comedy, but there he is.

Shelton, who wrote the script with Robert Souza, seems to approach the movie as Dark Blue Lite. Once again we have a grizzled California detective (Ford) paired off with a rookie (Josh Hartnett here); once again the theme of cop fathers and cop sons is explored. I can't say why Shelton has temporarily (one hopes) abandoned the genre he has all to himself -- the intelligent minor-league-sports movie (Bull Durham, White Men Can't Jump, Tin Cup) -- in favor of cop films, but what works in Dark Blue also works in Hollywood Homicide. Shelton knows how weary men talk to each other, and he knows the importance of sharp women in their lives. The unstable camaraderie of cops, for Shelton, is not so different from the bond between athletes.

Still, this is going to go down as one of the lesser films in the portfolios of Shelton, Ford, and most everyone else involved. The mystery of what possessed Shelton to cast Lou Diamond Phillips as a undercover cop posing as a hooker named Wanda is eclipsed only by the mystery of what possessed Phillips to take the role (maybe he's doing penance). Smart beauties like Lena Olin (as Ford's psychic-hotline girlfriend, whose precog skills come in handy) and Shelton regular Lolita Davidovich aren't given much to work with; this is a jostling boys'-room comedy, wherein odd couple Ford and Hartnett try to solve a hip-hop murder while deflecting the best efforts of skunky Internal Affairs honcho Bruce Greenwood (who's going to become the next William Atherton if he isn't careful) to boot Ford off the force.

Only in a movie are cop partners so ostentatiously different from each other. It goes beyond a generation gap: Ford's a no-nonsense, steak-and-beer guy who brokers real-estate deals on the side; Hartnett watches his diet and has his own sideline as a yoga instructor and aspiring actor. As an only-in-Hollywood portrait of detectives, this sort of makes sense, but there's little evidence of any mutual respect or affection between the two. Ford interacts better with pros like Keith David as a fellow cop or Martin Landau as a music producer who worked with some of the Motown greats Ford loves (the best bit in the movie is when Ford gets home from his two jobs and sways to "Tracks of My Tears").

Hollywood Homicide uses its milieu for some amusing cameos (look, there's Frank Sinatra Jr. as a lawyer! Hey, that's a Monty Python alumnus getting busted for solicitation!), and there's some perverse pleasure in seeing Ford, Landau, and hip-hop artist Master P sharing the same table. The movie is harmless and sometimes funny (I laughed out loud at Hartnett's crash course in Zen delivered to a couple of dismayed kids), with dialogue sharper than that of the average American comedy, but it devolves into the expected car chase and shoot-outs, and feels more than anything like the pilot episode of a mid-season hour-long comedy-drama on CBS.

As for Harrison Ford, maybe it's time for him to cut to the chase and do something small like Stallone's 'Cop Land.' It might not work for him, as it didn't really work for Stallone (who fell back into action cheese), but at least it would nudge him out of the rut he's been in for about fifteen years now.

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originally posted: 01/10/07 09:07:52
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User Comments

3/19/21 morris campbell boring skip it 1 stars
1/26/09 Pamela White Too stupid for good actors. 2 stars
7/28/08 The Dork Knight Awful 1 stars
11/11/06 Bill Hi all 5 stars
5/28/06 William Goss Here I was, afraid we would never EVER get another buddy-cop action-comedy. Lucky me. 2 stars
1/07/06 Michael Lots of fun 4 stars
7/27/05 Dr. Zoidberg Its idea of humor is Ford & Hartnett distracted by cell phone calls. Really. 1 stars
7/24/05 Bad Critic The ending chase and crashes kept it from a two. 3 stars
6/22/05 Naruto Real bullshit! 1 stars
1/17/05 Nobody this movie was so boring I can't think of anything to say except it sucks 1 stars
9/27/04 Archanist_101 WHAT A PREDICITABLE PEICE OF shit !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
9/21/04 Aaron Smith Awful, just awful, not even one star. 1 stars
8/19/04 courtney i agree Frods not comidy but Hartnett evens it out 3 stars
8/06/04 ELI I couldnt sit through this movie 2 stars
12/01/03 Reno One of the worst scripts I've ever seen. Ford can't do comedy... 1 stars
10/06/03 Jack Sommersby Poorly written and directed. Ford's occasional wryness isn't nearly enough to save it. 1 stars
9/07/03 Shane Myers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Pretty DULL!!!! one of the dullest films i've ever seen in my life! I WANT MY MONEY BACK!! 3 stars
9/01/03 Rhonda Blankenship Harrison Ford rebounds some from WHAT LIES BENEATH, but still deserves MUCH better. 3 stars
8/28/03 anna Just when you want to leave the theatre, something intentionally gut-busting funny happens. 4 stars
8/19/03 Markus Hack 1 stars
7/23/03 Vicky My brother-in-law is one of the rappers that got killed in the movie. I loved it. 5 stars
6/30/03 Jon Baxter If you don't hit satire just right, you end up with this movie. Lazy, pointless, and dull. 2 stars
6/29/03 malcolm random -- MrTinkles was dead on: HH might've made a pretty good TV show 2 stars
6/27/03 Sylvia I thought it was a great comedy and the actors did very well 5 stars
6/25/03 Jeff Decent fun time like any other Lethal Weapon 4 stars
6/18/03 Alicia Estes Bad, really bad. Josh Hartnett can't act out of a paper bag 1 stars
6/15/03 Earl Dittman, Wireless Magazine Spacemonkeys! Another favorite actor is now victm of The Machine of bad moviemaking! Happy? 1 stars
6/15/03 maximus I wouldn't pay theater rates to see this - maybe rental. It's okay, but, not that okay. 2 stars
6/14/03 Allen Wow! Lighten up people, it was a pretty entertaining movie. 4 stars
6/14/03 George Jung Better than most of the crap in the theaters now; at least it's not boring 3 stars
6/14/03 Darth Haggis Should not do another movie til Indiana JOnes 4 1 stars
6/14/03 Jack Bourbon Ford's character was good. . . then there's nothing, whatsoever, else 2 stars
6/14/03 bob mckenzie Ford should just retire now before Indy Jones 12 1 stars
6/13/03 dfhdfh pretty good 5 stars
6/09/03 The Chronic a cinematic *PUKE*. Can I get another friggin' crazy cop movie? Damn you Lethal Weapon! 2 stars
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  13-Jun-2003 (PG-13)



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