Josh Harnett and Harrison Ford star in the hackneyed crime drama, Hollywood Homicide.
A frenetic action comedy about police detectives, Hollywood Homicide violates the Law of Aesthetic Economy - Who needs yet another cop caper pairing incompatible partners? The script that Robert Souza, formerly of the LAPD, has cobbled together with Ron Shelton is so familiar it fits like an old gumshoe. When four rap musicians are gunned down, detectives Joe Gavilan (Ford) and K. C. Calden (Hartnett) set out to solve the crime. A veteran investigator with three ex-wives, Joe is acerbic and insolvent. While Joe, a cheeseburger guy, moonlights selling real estate, his younger, vegetarian colleague K.C. offers yoga lessons on the side. K.C.'s true dream is to give up his badge and take to the stage. "Why do you want to do something stupid like acting?" asks Joe, as though commenting on the preposterous concoction that Ford and Hartnett signed on for.

An elaborate, implausible chase, by car, bicycle, and foot, occupies the final thirty minutes. In a sense, the sequence of wrong-way driving, spectacular wrecks, and knockout combat is gratuitous.

Dir. Ron Shelton; writ. Robert Souza and Shelton; feat. Harrison Ford, Josh Hartnett, Bruce Greenwood, Lena Olin, Isaiah Washington, Lolita Davidovich (PG-13)
But it is also the purified essence of the entire movie, a story of pursuit and possession like every other except that the stunts are so grandiose they mock all the movies they were stolen from. In the old Hollywood musicals, Fred Astaire took possession of his world by dancing through and with everything in it. Hollywood Homicide is an exercise in the choreography of apprehending malefactors. Despite beeping cell phones, the movie seems as ancient as Ford, when, mugging through Joe, he quips: "If I take my gingko, I can still remember where I put the Viagra." Yet like an old dog asserting territoriality by strewing urine, its uses madcap movement through well-traveled streets to establish its sovereignty in Hollywood. •

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