Hollywood Homicide

Review Date:
Director: Ron Shelton
Writer: Ron Shelton, Robert Souza
Producers: Ron Shelton, Lou Pitt
Harrison Ford as Joe, Josh Hartnett as K.C. Calden, Lena Olin
A veteran police officer and his rookie partner (unoriginality, I dub thee HOLLYWOOD HOMICIDE) are called in to investigate the murder of a rap band in Hollywood. To make ends meet, the two cops have side-jobs as a real-estate salesman and yoga instructor respectively. I guess hilarity is supposed to ensue and if watching Harrison Ford and his stunt double ride around on a girl’s bike are funny to you, well…enjoy.
During the whole first hour of this movie, I kept thinking to myself “Did I leave the iron on at home?”, “Did I forget to lock the door when I left the house”, “Did I leave the oven on after dinner?” I was thinking these things because what I was seeing on the big screen wasn’t interesting me even in the least bit, and when you consider that I don’t even have a home, an iron or an oven…that makes those queries all the more noteworthy. All that to say that not only is HOLLYWOOD HOMICIDE the first full-blown all-out “miss” of the big blockbuster summer season, but it’s also the first that’s just plain ol’ boring too. I haven’t heard an audience this quiet since ARARAT! Consider a dillion subplots floating around one master plotline that on its own, is about as engaging or mysterious as my own ass! But I understand how these games are played…this is a “comedy” that isn’t really supposed to have a serpentine narrative so that the screenwriters could mine it with jokes left and right…right? Wrong!! Once more, I profess to turning over to my movie partner and asking whether or not this film was supposed to be a comedy or a straight-out drama during its first 60 minutes. Harrison Ford seemed to be playing his part like a sequel to WITNESS, while Hartnett, while definitely the more charismatic and interesting of the two, couldn’t save it alone since the script had about as many jokes in it as PEARL HARBOR. Are Viagra jokes still funny to anyone? Is an annoyingly ringing cell phone supposed to crack me up after the 99th time that it occurs in a movie? Is a guy doing yoga supposed to roll me down the aisles?

Unfortunately for this film, other than a couple of idle quips featured prominently in its trailer, there isn’t a joke to be found for miles, but what you will find are endless redundancies, horrible editing choices, b-list actors playing c-list roles and plot holes the size of my aforementioned behind (why recklessly chase a man halfway around town, when you can just subpoena the bitch as CEO of his own record company?) The writers also decided to play the first rule of screenwriting to the tee by making sure that every single loose end established early on in the film, not only got resolved by the end, but by some major coincidence (insert yawn here), were all somehow connected! Gimme a break. Stick Bruce Greenwood in there as an I.A. investigator wasting our time on a lame subplot about Ford and his mismanagement of funds, Lena Olin playing “sexy” and acting spiritual as the “psychic” who helps these two bozos solve their amateurish crime and once again…the director’s wife, Lolita Davidovich, in yet another uninteresting subplot having something to do with prostitutes and…well, to be honest with you…I still have no idea why she was in the movie. Lou Diamond Phillips also embarrasses himself in drag in one useless scene, while Martin Landau adds another layer of nothingness to it all, by playing a veteran producer who wants to sell his house, etc.. (oh yeah, the running joke about both Ford and Hartnett having dual jobs is re-iterated about a zillion times, with each time being less and less humorous) And I’m not even gonna mention the extremely lame “cameos”. Bugh.

And if you’re expecting any action, forget that as well, since the only major action sequence finishes off the movie, and despite definitely raising the tempo and integrating some actual “fun” into the proceedings– was simply “too little too late” for my bored bum. The one other high point was the presence of the always entertaining Keith David barking up a storm and taking names. Great man! But overall, I’m almost as embarrassed for Harrison Ford and this movie as I am about that goofy looking earring that he’s been sporting in real life…but not quite (the earring is definitely the more embarrassing!) As for everyone else, I guess they could just chock this one up to a “learning experience” and hope to get it right the next time around (as for Shelton…dude, stick to the “sports flicks”…this “cop thing” ain’t for you). In fact, the only reason that I’m not grading this film any less is because its final half hour was, admittedly, a good time. All that was missing was a “good screenplay” and all would have been okay. Then again, if you liked SHOWTIME…you’ll love HOLLYWOOD HOMICIDE!! (i.e. to each his own)

(c) 2021 Berge Garabedian

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