Main cast: Harrison Ford (Joe Gavilan), Josh Hartnett (KC Calden), Lena Olin (Ruby), Bruce Greenwood (Lt Bennie Macko), Isaiah Washington (Antoine Sartain), Lolita Davidovich (Cleo Ricard), Keith David (Leon), Master P (Julius Armas), Dwight Yoakam (Leroy Wasley), Martin Landau (Jerry Duran), Lou Diamond Phillips (Wanda), and Gladys Knight (Olivia Robidoux)
Director: Ron Shelton
This quirky and amusing satire on LAPD has its moments, although its buddy duo is somewhat miscast. Following the age-old adage that in Hollywood – everybody wants to be rich or famous, preferably both – Hollywood Homicide follows our older and more cynical cop Joe and his younger partner KC as they try to investigate a series of murder involving rappers. It remains to be seen whether Joe and KC are more interested in their little side jobs (selling real estate and teaching yoga/acting respectively) than in actually solving the murder.
There are many amusing moments in this movie. A real kicker is a scene where a rapper/producer hits the big time and approaches Josh for a big house fitting for his status. Who cares about the library? He wants to see the pool! There is also a really hilarious interrogation scene, thanks to Lt Bennie Macko trying to pin Joe down on corruption charges even if he has to invent a few things to nail that man down.
Still, Harrison Ford is really obviously getting on with the years, and his attempt at being hip just isn’t cutting it anymore. And he should stop taking off his shirt. Josh Hartnett doesn’t take off his shirt, but his KC is so nondescript that he makes no impression on me at all. KC is supposed to be this wishy-washy guy who ends up believing the yoga philosophy that he teaches to women he wants to pick up, but Mr Hartnett seems to barely able to keep awake in this movie. He and Mr Ford don’t have much chemistry to pull off the polar opposite buddy duo. Faring better is Bruce Greenwood, Lena Olin (playing Joe’s girlfriend and Bennie’s ex), and Lolita Davidovich (playing a cunning madame), but they rarely appear on screen long enough to matter.
Hollywood Homicide is occasionally good when it hits the mark with its wry yet accurate moments of satire, but it shies away from address the big meaty issues like the racial divide between the Black Man’s Hollywood and the White Man’s Hollywood (although the scene of the rapper/producer buying a bankrupt ex-movie maker’s house comes close), making this movie more like some timid attempt at being clever and nothing more. It can be entertaining me, but because it doesn’t seem to know what it is doing half the time, I leave the theatre wondering the same.