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Hollywood Homicide /

Rated: PG-13

Starring: Harrison Ford, Josh Hartnett, Keith David, Lolita Davidovich, Bruce Greenwood
Directed by: Ron Shelton
Produced by: Lou Pitt, Ron Shelton
Written by: Ron Shelton, Robert Souza
Distributor: Columbia Pictures (Revolution Studios) (Sony)


Movie Image
Movie Image
Movie Image

Warning: Spoilers ahead. If you plan to see Hollywood Homicide, then read my review for it after doing so.

     In my review for National Security, which came out earlier this year, I said that I wished that Hollywood would stop making buddy cop movies. I take that back. I wish that Hollywood would stop making buddy cop movies, without Josh Hartnett and Harrison Ford. This pairing brings such a fresh and wonderful spice to such a dull and clichéd genre, it’s hard to not like their latest film Hollywood Homicide. Another positive feature working towards this films advantage is that director Rob Shelton, who also made the year’s Dark Blue, knows how to bring out Ford and Hartnett’s charismatic presence onto the screen, in just the right way. Hollywood Homicide brings humor back the buddy cop genre, and I was pleasantly surprised by its every move.

     Joe Gavilan (Ford) and K.C. Calden (Hartnett) are partnering L.A.P.D. detectives, who are assigned to investigate the murder of an up-and-coming rap group. Neither of these guys cares much about his job as a detective. Gavilan also sells real estate and is obsessed with trying sell a particular house, and needs to do so desperately; he even negotiates a deal on a home during a giant police chase. Calden wants to pursue a career as an actor, and get out of the police business; he makes Galivan run lines with him when driving to places on the job. But, they still do manage to fit being detectives into their schedule. Galivan is a veteran to police-work, and thinks he can handle the entire murder case by himself. Calden, a rookie, is anxious to be working with him, and obviously has a lot to learn about being a member of the P.D. You know the formula—the two hate each other from the start, but then once the murder case begins to unravel the rookie cop learns a few things, and the veteran cop warms up to him; after it’s all solved, the two are great friends. Oh? Did I just spoil the end of the movie? I guess I just assumed you’d already guessed it, hadn’t you?

     It’s good that Ford and Hartnett perform well, because without two persevering stars, Hollywood Homicide (and every other decent buddy cop movie) would be dead in the water. These two men are the only actors in the entire film that provoke laughs, try hard to portray the character that they’re playing in the very best way possible, and attempt to lead the rest of the cast. Almost everyone in the flick else walks through their role, and you can noticeably tell that the only reason they worked on the project was to receive a big, fat paycheck in the mail. But, Hollywood Homicide is worth looking at because of the two stars, who ultimately save it from being an unabashed disaster. Another thing that I find quite amusing about their pairing in the movie is that both of their characters experience as detectives is very similar to the stages they’re in, in the movie business. Ford has been acting for a very long time, and is beginning to wind down from his career. Hartnett is a young, likeable, and a bit of a clumsy guy—but has potential to be a great actor. Hollywood Homicide, unintentionally (I imagine), resembles this in an inventively metaphorical way.

     Hollywood Homicide is an enjoyable formula flick that symbolizes the reason we go to see summer movies—to have fun. Ford and Hartnett are pitch perfect together, and help us feel relaxed when watching the picture, making it a much more enjoyable ride. Hollywood Homicide succeeds on comedic, charismatic, and inventive notes, which allows me to deem it as one of my top picks of the summer so far. Just when I thought that we were in for a grim summer, another quality movie pops up out of nowhere, and makes me consider otherwise. 90% of the films I’ve seen in the last two weeks have been enjoyable, which is a sure improvement over previous periods of time, earlier this year. The fact that Hollywood Homicide is one of those enjoyable flicks makes me elated. Ford has chosen yet another winning screenplay to add to his resume full of masterful performances. I hate to finish this review in such a flat way, but I really only have one thing left to say—Hollywood Homicide rocks!

-Danny, Bucket Reviews


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