Hollywood Homicide is clearly a buddy cop flick, so
how does it measure up in the buddy cop flick arena? Does
it have two cops who don’t always see eye to eye but must
reconcile their differences to solve the big case? Check.
Does it have car chases? Check. The obligatory rooftop fight
scene? Check. Hollywood Homicide includes all the elements
typical of its genre and sets it to an upbeat hip-hop soundtrack.
The storyline is convoluted and often coincidental—if you
think about the plot too long you’ll probably find more holes
than logic. But the dialogue is funny and the action is suspenseful,
so really, what does it matter?
Joe Gavilan (Ford) and K.C. Calden (Hartnett)
are the two cops who find themselves paired together. During
shooting practice, Gavilan is the veteran who hits the silhouette
on target without fail; Calden is the newbie who fires an
entire round and hits nothing. But they’re not as different
as they seem—neither Gavilan nor Hartnett are fulfilled by
their duties as members of the LAPD and both hold other day
jobs. Gavilan is also a real estate broker. Calden teaches
yoga while pursuing a career in acting. Most of the humor
comes from this part-time commitment to enforcing the law:
Gavilan answers phone calls from interested home buyers while
literally chasing after a suspect, and Calden rehearses lines
to A Streetcar Named Desire at the most random moments.
Gavilan and Calden are assigned to solve a case involving
a group of rappers who were shot in the back hallways of a
busy club. Along the way they face several complications.
Antoine Sartain (Washington), agent of the murdered
rappers, is uncooperative and definitely not revealing everything
he knows. The only witness of the shooting is missing and
difficult to track down. Then there is Benny Macko (Greenwood),
an LAPD officer turned Internal Affairs investigator who holds
a personal vendetta against Gavilan and is determined to cause
The movie’s funny moments come not just from the dialogue,
but from the setting and situation. Jokes build up over time,
which results in the second half of the movie being much funnier
than the first half. Sometimes the humor is just a bit too
cheesy (such as the way the movie handles the clichéd cops
and donuts image), but it causes more of a chuckle than a
Hollywood Homicide showcases Harrison Ford as you’ve
never seen him. No longer the upstanding citizen and commendable
hero of his other films, Ford here is still the good guy,
but he has a short temper, is not entirely honest, and is
in fact a bit of a loser. The result is actually pretty funny.
The soundtrack is peppered with hip-hop music, befitting
the subject of the rap music industry. Hip-hop music sounds
forced and out of place at the beginning of the movie, but
fortunately begins to fit with the action as the movie progresses.
True to the setting of Hollywood, there are celebrity cameos
to keep your eyes peeled for. Many show their faces as minor
characters (Dwight Yoakam, Gladys Knight); others
play themselves. The movie is formulaic, but it’s a formula
that works and includes a decent amount of laughs. It’s fluff,
but satisfying fluff.