Hollywood Homicide
Columbia/Tri-Star // PG-13 // June 13, 2003
Review by Shannon Nutt | posted June 14, 2003
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A Hollywood Homicide is exactly what many filmgoers may wish to commit upon the makers of this latest Harrison Ford movie after sitting through what is no doubt Mr. Ford's most unwatchable movie in perhaps his entire career. As a big fan of Harrison's, I couldn't help but shake my head in shame as the man who once played Han Solo, Indiana Jones and Dr. Richard Kimble has been reduced to the kind of film role even lesser actors would probably have passed on.

Ford stars as cop Joe Gavilan…but wait! He's not just a cop, he's a real estate broker. And his new partner, K.C. Calden (Josh Hartnett) is not just a cop, he's a yoga instructor and actor-wannabe. Now the idea of cops juggling two different careers might make for a funny film, but this is a big summer movie, so of course there has to be a plot about Harrison and Hartnett trying to track down the killer of a rap group, which naturally ties into the death of Harnett's character's own father, which of course is related directly to the internal affairs cop who is trying to ruin Ford's character's career, who of course is having a fling with the internal affairs cop's ex-girlfriend! Oh, and along the way look for silly and meaningless cameos by people like Eric Idle, Lou Diamond Phillips, Gladys Knight, Martin Landau, Smokey Robinson and Robert Wagner. Whew!

You'd think with all these subplots there would be some interesting things happening on-screen, but there's not. In fact, the first 90 or so minutes of the film struggles over whether it wants to be a drama or a comedy (I wished it would have stuck with the former, since the later isn't very amusing) and it's not until the final 20 minutes that the movie finally shows some life with a big car chase and rooftop fight scene – but by this point in the proceedings we care so little about these characters that we find ourselves just waiting for the credits to roll.

Harrison Ford hasn't made a really great movie since The Fugitive, but even in some of his less than thrilling films over the past 10 years or so, he's always been interesting to watch. Here, he seems like a tired old man, trying to be hip, trying to keep up, and failing miserably. Watching his performance here, I stared to dread the next Indiana Jones movie rather than looking forward to it.

But the blame for Hollywood Homicide can't really be placed at Harrison's feet. Blame has to go to director Ron Shelton and co-writer Robert Souza (who co-wrote with Shelton) for a weak storyline, a lack of focus, and perhaps the movie's biggest sin – taking one of the true legends in Hollywood and having him portray one of the most uninteresting characters he's ever portrayed on film.

I have no doubt (although it may open big) that Hollywood Homicide will be one of the major disappointments of the summer as far as box office returns go, and soon be forgotten. Hopefully this is just another bad misstep in Ford's selection of material and not an indication of the type of films we can expect of him in the future. We know he's a great actor…maybe someone will write a great movie for him, so he doesn't have to embarrass himself with this kind of schlock ever again.


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