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Hollywood Homicide

movie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Hollywood Homicide

Starring: Harrison Ford, Josh Hartnett
Director: Ron Shelton
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 111 Minutes
Release Date: June 2003
Genres: Action, Drama

*Also starring: Lena Olin, Keith David, Vyshonne Miller, Master P, Jamison Jones, Kurupt, Lolita Davidovich, Martin Landau, Lou Diamond Phillips, Gladys Knight, Tom Todoroff, Bruce Greenwood

Review by Harvey Karten
1 star out of 4

"Indiana Jones" this is not, and that's not because its hero, Harrison Ford, is now sixty years old. In fact his age is exploited to represent a contrast between him and his partner, played by Josh Hartnett, who appears to be a contemporary of Mark Wahlberg and comes across in the same bland manner. Performing in the roles of detectives Joe Gavilan and K.C. Calden respectively, the two have neither the ill will represented by Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan in "Rush Hour" nor the camaraderie of Mel Gibson and Danny Glover in the "Lethal Weapon" series. The premise that the two detectives have time-consuming careers on the side, frequently taking breaks in the midst of their moonlighting activities to pursue the cleaning up of Los Angeles is not only absurd but makes for embarrassing moments instead of good fun. There is nary a laugh or even a smile in the entire enterprise, but be prepared for considerable squirming in your seat as you watch Hartnett's trying to be funny by imitating Marlon Brando's Stanley Kowalski in a rendition of "A Streetcar Named Desire" or see Harrison Ford's acting like a stud with Lena Olin whose career involves playing psychic to the L.A.P.D.

While the allegedly comic moments involve Hartnett as yoga instructor and consumer of cucumber-and-tomato sandwiches on whole wheat toast to the amazement of the seen-it-all Ford, the principal action appears motivated by a multiple murder motivated by the breaking up of rap stars and their promoters. I think. While the pair investigate a gruesome homicide at a dance club, questioning record producer Sartain (Isaiah Washington), Joe's activities are being recorded by Internal Affairs, headed by Macko (Bruce Greenwood), who is furious that Joe is dating his ex-girlfriend, Ruby (Lena Olin). While Joe is taking heat from the investigators and their trumped-up charges and chasing criminals, his real interest is in his career as real-estate agent. Though he hasn't made a sale in months, he is pursuing buyers who might be interested in a house on Mt. Olympus. His assertion that the residence is also between Achilles and Hercules streets, he hopes for laughs from the movie audience. At the same time he hopes to make a killing by selling the mansion owned by a Hollywood producer (Martin Landau), negotiating with a prospective buyer on his cell phone while chasing down killers, making time with his girlfriend, and evading the vendetta of the Internal Affairs chief. He even has time to eat a doughnut.

Total up: no chemistry between Hartnett and Harrison, romances that can hardly be called sizzling, a silly murder investigation with a car chase as formulaic as you can get, and embarrassment taking the place of comedy. "Homicide" is dead on arrival.

Copyright 2003 Harvey Karten

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