When time is running out, one shot is all you get
Running Time: 116 minutes
UK Certificate: 12A
Country: United States
Homicide detective Joe Gavilan (Harrison Ford) is investigating a shooting in an LA rap club while himself being investigated by Internal Affairs for commingling. In fact not only is Gavilan mixing his police duties with some amateur work as a realtor, but in 'Hollywood Homicide', everyone seems to be doing something on the side. Gavilan's younger partner on the force K.C. Calden (Josh Hartnett) is also an instructor in a yoga class, and wants to become an actor, whereas hiphop record producer Antoine Sartain (Isaiah Washington) likes to dabble in murder, with a number of LAPD officers moonlighting as muscle for him. All this ought to make for a refreshingly new twist on the buddy cop movie, but instead it is just a confusing mess.
Gavilan's relentless efforts to sell a property intrude so thoroughly on his criminal investigation that one quickly loses all sense of, and interest in, what is going on. Every time Gavilan refocuses his attention on the crime scene, the (very annoying) ringtone of his mobile phone interrupts the action, so that both he and we are once again distracted from what seems important in the film. By the end, the main plot has become so sidelined that a psychic must be pulled into the action to tie things together. So much for police procedural.
What made 'Beverly Hills Cop' so successful, apart from the charisma of Eddie Murphy and Judge Reinhold, was its use of an outsider's perspective on the madness of LA. 'Hollywood Homicide' follows the same basic 'buddy cops in LA' formula, but there is little onscreen rapport between Ford and Hartnett, and its purely insiders' view of life in Hollywood makes the film seem exclusive and self-regarding – and unlike the masterwork on Los Angeles 'wackiness', 'LA Story', this film has forgotten to be funny.
The only reason that 'Hollywood Homicide' is getting a cinematic release at all, rather than going straight to its proper place on the back of the videostore shelf, is the star billing of Harrison Ford – but in this lacklustre affair, even Ford manages to put in his most wooden performance on record. At least for once he gets to act his age, and delivers the film's only funny line (about using gingko to help him remember to take his viagra).
It's Got: A bunch of rap artists (and Gladys Knight) in cameos, Lou Diamond Phillips in drag, and the most annoying overuse of a cellphones ringtone ever (always a no-no in the cinema)
It Needs: laughs, engaging characters, an interesting plot, suspense, drama, you name it
Alternatives:Beverly Hills Cop, LA Story
Jaded LA homicided detective Joe Gavilan has seen it all before and is surprised by nothing – which is just how you will feel after viewing this tired old hokum.