1/2 (out of 5)
June 13, 2003
Harrison Ford as JOE GAVILAN
Josh Hartnett as K.C. CALDEN
Isaiah Washington as SARTAIN
Keith David as LIEUTENANT FUQUA
Lolita Davidovich as CLEO
Lena Olin as RUBY
Directed by: Ron Shelton
BY KEVIN CARR
Did you remember when you were a kid and you looked up to someone as a hero? He was the one you thought was so cool that he could do no wrong. And then when you grew up, you look at him and see him past his prime – like a grandfather who struggles to keep his sanity over senility. Now he’s just a crazy old man who can barely make his way through normal life.
That’s how I feel about Harrison Ford right now. In the 1980s, he was one of the coolest guys on the big screen. Han Solo. Indiana Jones. Even as he moved into the 1990s, he was cool as Jack Ryan. But now… Aw, Harry. This is just getting pathetic!
It was bad enough when he played the geriatric love interest of recently outed Anne Heche in “Six Days, Seven Nights.” Other embarrassingly bad roles included Tom O’Meara in “The Devil’s Own” and William Van Den Broeck in the depressingly boring “Random Hearts.”
Just make “Indiana Jones 4” and go out gracefully, Harry.
“Hollywood Homicide” tries to be a “Lethal Weapon” for a new generation – without the likeable characters, cool action scenes and James Bond style bad guys. Even the weary “Lethal Weapon 4” had more zip and pizzazz than this film. In a weak attempt to turn on the under-30 crowd, Harry’s co-star is Josh Hartnett, who meanders through this film with his sleepy look of constipation and very little acting.
The film shambles around the life of Joe Gavilan and K.C. Calden (Harrison Ford and Josh Hartnett, respectfully – and I use that term very loosely), two homicide cops on the Hollywood beat. They are as different as night and day, but each is yearning to do something different with their lives. Gavilan has a not-so-lucrative side career as a real estate man, and Calden is an aspiring actor (now there’s something you’ve never seen before!).
A routine homicide investigation of a shooting at a dance club leads them searching for the killers in the corrupt rap music business. Now, don’t worry that I’m going to give away any pertinent spoilers to the plot. I don’t think I could do that if I tried. The movie is so convoluted with side stories and plot lines (including an Internal Affairs investigation into Gavilan’s finances and a one-man show Calden is putting on for movie producers) that it is impossible to navigate.
Apparently writer Robert Souza is a former LAPD detective who retired to write screenplays and was tapped by director Rob Shelton after being a consultant on Shelton’s “Dark Blue.” If Souza’s detective work is as good as his writing, I’m not surprised that O.J. Simpson was able to get away with murder. The script is so muddled with unnecessary subplots that removing them would have left a weak core story that lasted only about 10 minutes. There’s more padding in this film than in Anna Nicole Smith’s backside.
If you watch this film’s advertising, you know it’s doomed. Depending on the trailer you watch, this is a hard-nosed detective story… or a laugh-a-minute buddy cop film… or a character drama of two opposites learning to work together. No matter how you look at it, this film is none of these.
Shame on “Hollywood Homicide.” Shame on the filmmakers and the actors (including second stringers and cameos by Lou Diamond Phillips, Eric Idle, Gladys Knight and Smokey Robinson) for attaching their name to possibly the worst movie of the year. Shame on the writer and director for making a movie so flawlessly crappy that we actually drop IQ points by watching it. Shame on Harrison Ford for taking a paycheck and capping his career with such a worthless piece of garbage that you’d think he owed money to the mob. At least when Michael Douglas (Hollywood’s other senior citizen getting it on with a hot young actress) made garbage like “The In-Laws,” it was mildly funny.
Here’s a game you can play if you need to see “Hollywood Homicide” for one reason or another (like cinema flagellation in order to get yourself out of purgatory). Before you go, make a list of all the cliches that have ever been seen in a cop film: Cantankerous older partner… Young upstart avenging his cop father’s death… Dirty cops… Loud police lieutenant who accomplishes his job by constantly yelling at our heroes… Autopsy room jokes… Unfunny interrogation room scene… Driving on the sidewalk… Confrontation in which a good guy has a chance to kill a bad guy but backs off because “It just ain’t worth it”…
Yup, “Hollywood Homicide” rips off practically every cop movie out there. My god in heaven, did anyone making this film have an original thought in their lives?