Movie Reviews: Hollywood Homicide




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     Columbia Pictures ( 2 hrs.)
     A mismatched pair of L.A. cops investigate the slaying of a rap group during a concert performance.
     Harrison Ford, Josh Hartnett , Lena Olin, Bruce Greenwood, Isaiah Washington, Lolita Davidovich, Keith David, Master P.
Bottom Line:


In the tradition of "48 Hours" and "Lethal Weapon," Harrison Ford and Josh Hartnett play two mismatched LAPD homicide detectives in "Hollywood Homicide," another fish-out-of-water, cop-buddy-action flick that poses the magical question, "Do we need another cop buddy flick?

The answer is, "No."

And there lies "Hollywood Homicide’s" problem -- we’ve seen it all before – and in much better films. Ford and Hartnett seriously lack the "Lethal Weapon" chemistry of Danny Glover and Mel Gibson, which engaged audiences -- making them care about the characters. Admittedly, there are a few laughs that draw us in, but they come too late in the picture to be of any consequence.

Ford stars as Det. Joe Gavilian, who moonlights as a real estate agent. His partner, K.C. Calden (Hartnett) is a wannabe actor and part-time yoga instructor. Both men want to quit their day jobs in pursuit of their creative interests, which helps drive a seemingly endless series of subplots. One example has Gavilian, trying to sell a mansion belonging to an old-time Hollywood producer while simultaneously trying to avoid investigation by the department’s Internal Affairs division.

By the time Gavilian and Calden are assigned to investigate the slaying of a rap group who were gunned down on stage, the audience has yawned through so many subplots, the turn of events seems almost anti-climatic. The subplots, too numerous to mention, are an obvious attempt by the filmmakers to gloss over the fact that the main storyline - a crooked record producer (Isaiah Washington) bumping off his own acts - is just run-of-the-mill.

Of course, after several car chases and enough explosions to take out acres and acres of expensive downtown Los Angeles real estate, Gavilian and Calden solve the murders. No surprises there. There is, however, a running joke in the film where big Motown fan Gavilian’s cell phone keeps ringing out Motown classics at the most inopportune times. It’s a gag punctuated by the cameo appearances of Motown icons Smokey Robinson and Gladys Knight.

All things considered, "Hollywood Homicide" would have been a much better film if there had been more chemistry between Ford and Hartnett and less reliance on subplots to drive a 60 minute idea.



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