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Hollywood Homicide (PG-13)
Sony Pictures
Official Site
Director: Ron Shelton
Producers: Lou Pitt, Ron Shelton
Written by: Robert Souza, Ron Shelton
Cast: Harrison Ford, Josh Hartnett, Lena Olin, Bruce Greenwood, Isaiah Washington, Lolita Davidovich, Keith David, Master P, Dwight Yoakam, Martin Landau

Rating: out of 5


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 trouble.

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 groan.

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.

—Kelly Hsu

 

hybridCinema Ratings Guide:

Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.

It’s worth a full-price ticket.

It’s worth a matinee ticket.

Wait for video rental.

Check out the video from the library, if you must.

While we would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...


Mike Doughty



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