Review: “Hollywood Homicide”

You really have to feel sorry for Harrison Ford. Whilst all the old action heroes like Van Damme, Seagal, Stallone, etc. have at least the dignity to go direct to video with their film efforts in the latter part of their careers, Ford keeps desperately trying to re-ignite the splendor he once had.

More often than not though recently he’s been involved in some real snoozers from “Random Hearts” and “Sabrina” to “Devil’s Own” and “K-19: The Widowmaker”. “Hollywood Homicide” may just be the worst yet – hell even the likes of “Six Days Seven Nights” at least had the odd laugh and a decent comic turn by Anne Heche. This on the other hand desperately tries to mix cop action and comedy around the LA scene, the result being a film every bit as flat and uninteresting as last year’s “Showtime” and even that at least had William Shatner poking fun at himself.

Earlier this year Director Ron Shelton came out with “Dark Blue”, a quite impressive piece about a police corruption drama set around the time of the LA riots. However the faults with it lie pretty much on Shelton whose direction turned in a somewhat wandering and slow paced piece which failed to really build any tension inherent to the story and thus robbed the chance of Kurt Russell winning any awards for what is one of his best pieces of acting work ever.

You won’t find even vaguely respectable acting here as Ford just can’t do comedy it seems as his timing sucks. He’s not totally responsible as he’s not helped by leaden gags which just don’t work – explaining why Hartnett who has done good comic stuff previously is just going through the motions here and doesn’t even really seem to be trying. Supporting cast from Greenwood, Landau, Olin, Knight, Phillips, Washington, etc. are given uninteresting bit parts whilst Lolita Davidovich as a Hollywood madam seems to have forgotten the skill of acting altogether.

Shelton’s lack of pacing doesn’t help a non-story which has something to do with music industry murders and an internal affairs investigation of Ford but neither storyline is developed or for the most part coherent, its window dressing for a character piece about our two cops who have other jobs and so we have the ubiquitous gags about their careers overspanning each other.

Cinematography is surprisingly strong with some decent use of various LA locations, the editing is somewhat haphazard and the score is simply forgettable – with the exception of the musical ringtones of the two main characters cellphones which are played SO often you will never hear the song “My Girl” again without bad memories.

Action is pretty much limited to the finale which is an admittedly fun long car/foot chase through Hollywood. The likability of the leads and the nice look to the film are what make it tolerable entertainment to sit through once – even then its hard. For Ford its just another lame duck amongst his recent efforts but for Hartnett this is not a good sign of what till now was a decently blossoming career.