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Hollywood Homicide
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68 out of 94 people found the following review useful:

I finished a painting while writing this review

9/10
Author: Brandt Sponseller from New York City
12 February 2005

Joe Gavilan (Harrison Ford) is a seasoned detective. K.C. Calden (Josh Hartnett) is his still wet behind the ears partner. Hollywood Homicide has them trying to balance the investigation of murders involving members of LA's rap industry with unusual extracurricular activities and concerns.

The most obvious aspects that make the film work so well are the extracurriculars. Without them, this might be seen as just another buddy-cop action/crime/drama--a good one at that, but nothing spectacular. But Hollywood Homicide is a comedy at heart. Gavilan's first concern upon arriving at any crime scene is that he gets some food, just the way he likes it. He's also a real estate agent. While conducting investigations, calls from buyers and sellers of homes always take precedence. Calden is also an aspiring actor, and he's quite a ladies' man. He even makes extra income by running a yoga class--with only women students--at $20 a head. Most of the students want to sleep with him, as do most other women he meets. They get away with it because Gavilan, at least, is also a great detective.

All of this material is very funny, but never in an over-the-top way. In fact, a lot of viewers might have difficulty "getting" the humor in the film, as much of it arrives by way of the action/crime/drama material that is only slightly exaggerated. That's a genre that often borders on the absurd even when it's played seriously. So the tendency may be for people to take this film seriously at times, and miss the gist of the humor.

The real joke, of course, is that this is Hollywood--a fact made all too clear by director Ron Shelton's title montage of "Hollywood" on various signs. In Hollywood, as in LA in general, it seems that everyone has something else that they'd rather be doing than their actual job, so they're all really focusing on that instead, while the day job pays the bills. Everyone is trying to make connections, and they're willing to do all kinds of unusual things to make them. Everyone is constantly on their cell phones. Run-ins with people who have various connections to the entertainment industry are commonplace, and it's not unusual to casually compliment them on their talent or some facet of their career before you, say, run after their offspring with a gun. Criminal activity and other unpleasant facts of daily existence are mostly taken in stride because no one can let such things get in the way of achieving success in what they really want to do.

That Shelton was able to make a film about "the real joke", and still keep a capable "serious" action/crime/drama running in the background is the real secret to the film's success. Without looking the broader themes, one might wonder why Harrison Ford would pick a seemingly pedestrian script at this stage of his career. From a deeper perspective, this is a very funny film with a more serious, almost self-deprecating subtext (for Hollywood, or the entertainment industry in general), and with an even more generalized "the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence" theme. Hollywood Homicide is well worth a watch or reassessment with this in mind.

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41 out of 59 people found the following review useful:

Harrison Homicide

Author: DarthBill from United States
9 April 2004

I've always been a fan of Harrison Ford and odds are I always will be, regardless of what comes out of his personal life now. Considering how Hollywood can screw a man up, Harrison still ranks as one of the few to have successfully held his head together. That and I usually find something entertaining his films. It's hard not to be entertained by him in the old Star Wars films, where he was hilarious as Han Solo, or to root/feel for him in the Indiana Jones trilogy and films like "Blade Runner", "Witness", the Jack Ryan films, "The Fugitive" and "Air Force One".

Thing is, "Witness" marked the turning point of Harrison's career in which he would mature into the modern day quiet, reluctant hero. Understandably, after playing this role again and again for about 20 years Ford would naturally want to go back to playing things a little funnier than he had previously been allowed. It's a bit of a shame that he picked such a weak script for a return to comedy. All in all, it's just an excuse to let Harrison reprise his Han Solo persona as an older man. But in the opinions of some, his age dried him out, preventing him from being as funny as he used to be.

This one tries very hard to be both apart OF the mismatched buddy cop genre AND to make fun of it. As a result, it never quite realizes it's potentially funny premise or even serve as usual time filler.

Ford plays Joe Gavilan, a cop working real estate on the side and Josh Hartnett is his younger partner KC Calden, who works a yoga class on the side, sleeps with his customers and is also an aspiring actor. They get assigned to solve the murder of an up and coming rap group and are repeatedly dogged by Bruce Greenwood as Ford's nemesis. The cliche of Josh's dad being a cop who got killed by way of his partner could have been left on the cutting room floor.

Ford and Josh do the young cop/old cop bit as well as anyone else, but Ford deserves a better than this, and after "Black Hawk Down" Josh should be more picky about his vehicles. The only real comic highlight is when they're being interrogated and are either mouthing off or playing quiet. This is the only gem in an otherwise dull film.

Here's hoping they both make better decisions in the future.

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37 out of 54 people found the following review useful:

A very lighthearted action movie

Author: gazebo from New York City
26 June 2003

I'm a Harrison Ford fan so I had to see this movie even though the reviews were not that good. It was a perfect way to spend a hot Tuesday afternoon. As I watched the movie, I also watched the audience to get a sense of their reaction. Everyone laughed from beginning to end of the movie! Everybody was having a great time! To hell with the critics! This is a great summer movie and Harrison Ford and Josh Hartnett are a joy to watch! Harrison Ford admirably stretches himself to give a comedic performance as Joe Gavilon, a police detective who also moonlights as a real estate agent. I love the way Harrison Ford switches from cop mode to real estate agent mode at the drop of the hat and he was so funny being a slave to his cell phone. Josh Hartnett plays his rookie partner who has a part time job as a yoga instructor and who thinks of quitting the force to become an actor. Their interactions with each other and with the people around them are very funny. Never mind about the plot of the movie. The plot doesn't really matter. The plot has to do with the mystery of why these up and coming rappers were murdered in a club. There are guest stars galore in this movie and it was fun to spot Smoky Robinson doing a bit part as a cabbie. It's a funny movie! Everyone just sit back and enjoy the movie and forget about the critics! Harrison Ford is very funny and just to watch him is a real treat!

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22 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

A Commendable Effort for a Difficult Task

7/10
Author: tabuno from utah
16 June 2003

It's not easy to make a semi-serious, comedy-cop thriller. Director, writer Ron Shelton (writer for Tin Cup and Bull Durham) took upon himself a very complex and difficult assignment trying to combine comedy with a rather serious, violent cop murder mystery. There were spots in the first half of the movie that seemed to lose action and momentum while the uneasy mix of crime drama and comedy required some brilliant skill and scriptwriting. The end result, "Hollywood Homicide" came out much better than the conflicting, confusing trailers of the movie (one a serious cop version and second trailer a comedy in the vain of Beverly Hills Cop).

The humor was above average, tinged with dry and cerebral humor not usually found in comedies these days. The interplay, the pushing the envelope in character development and character backgrounds were all good efforts at better, quality movie making. This movie was an entertaining and great first attempt by Ron Shelton who took risks with his material and found an fine balance between humor and story plotline that truly promises even better things to come.

Harrison Ford did great with his expressions, his sense of humor, and his letting go and enjoying, playing his part while Josh Harnett went a long for an enjoyable romp with a different kind of cop movie. While this movie wasn't perfect nor Oscar performing, it rates kudos for its experimental success in bringing more to the screen and braving new quality attempts at good movie-making. Seven out of Ten Stars.

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23 out of 35 people found the following review useful:

I laughed 'til I cried.

Author: taminar from Pensacola, Florida
7 June 2003

I was really worried going in to see "Hollywood Homicide". The reviews quoted in the TV commercials are all from smaller media outlets and articles that I've read suggest the film makers couldn't make up their mind whether it's a comedy or an action film. After seeing the movie in the sneak preview, I know the film makers knew exactly what they they were making - a flat out comedy with some good, funny action sequences. The plot seemed well thought out -- a real web of deceit plays out during the course of the film. All the actors turned in solid performances. I'm not a fan of rap music, but the film makers blended rap (which makes sense because of the rap industry crime) with Motown and incidental music seamlessly. A bad score jumps out at me, but it all fit here. It's one of the funniest movies I've seen in a long time. The humor is all character-driven, never slapstick or forced. Look for lots of cameos, too. My husband had one criticism - he thought things weren't wrapped up enough at the end. I think it's well enough implied that justice will be served. So five silver movie reels from me and here's hoping "Hollywood Homicide" makes a killing at the box office. -- Auriette Lindsey

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18 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

Oh good lord

1/10
Author: I_actually_am_sam from Ireland
22 October 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Well this movie actually made me feel so strongly that I signed up for an IMDb account just to warn people. It is patently AWFUL!! NOTHING makes sense in this movie. There is way too many subplots for a start. Josh Hartnett's character is an aspiring actor and yoga instructor as well as a cop who seems to be living way beyond his means and only teaches yoga to hot girls (Some of whom wait naked in his jacuzzi for when he comes back from work). Add to that the fact that his dad was killed by a crooked cop who just so happens to be in on the current crime being investigated by the hapless duo. Harrison Ford's character is trying to sell real estate on the side and is sleeping with the Internal Affairs investigator's ex-wife who happens to run a psychic radio show which Ford's character calls from time to time. NONSENSE!!

I can't remember the characters names (that's how forgettable this is) so I'll refer to them as Ford and Hartnett.

Then there's the dialogue which is brutal. I mean cringe-inducing stuff here. Throw in every cliché in the book (having a heart-to-heart in a dark bar during the day over a drink where the bartender knows his name; the duo being investigated by internal affairs (why??); hartnett confronting his dad's killer) and you've got one hell of a mess.

As I mentioned the plot is preposterous and continuity is non-existent: 1) When Ford's car is being repossessed, how the hell did the repo guys know where it would be parked? Were they following him?? 2) When Hartnett goes to the morgue and it just so happens that the only clue from the crime scene (an earring) is replicated on of the charred bodies there (that was lucky!) 3) When the two are arrested and taken in for questioning - Ford keeps answering his phone and Hartnett "centers himself" with a yoga pose on the table. Instead of taking the phone from Ford the IA guy waits for it to ring each time and then tries to grab it off the table before Ford does. Meanwhile the female IA officer in with Hartnett is rubbing herself all over him. Then, inexplicably, the two are released without answering any questions. 4) During the car chase Hartnett's car is crashing and smashing its way around Hollywood but then suddenly the car is perfect again. Not a scratch! 5) When Ford chases the bad guy into the building and he gets in the elevator how the hell does he know which floor the bad guy got off at?? 6) When the two are chasing the bad guy around in hartnett's car, Ford is trying to close a real estate deal. Come on! 7) The bad guy is the most unconvincing record exec ever. His motivation for killing an aspiring group of rappers on his label? They might leave his label and it's a warning to keep his other groups loyal. But hang on, how is he ever going to sign anyone new with that business plan?? 8) Why is the IA guy who is investigating Ford arrested in the end? There is no explication!! 9) And Hartnett gets to use his "acting" to capture the bad guy in the end.

I could go on, I really could. Anyone who is looking deeper into this movie than a straight up action comedy needs their head examined because that's all it is. There's nothing else to it! It's not supposed to be satirical or ironic. It's just crap.

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9 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

ANOTHER EXCELLENT FORD MOVIE.

10/10
Author: Kevin Brown (KEVIN9197@WEBTV.NET) from BLUEFIELD, WV.
23 June 2003

Once again this movie shows you can give an audience a good movie, but you can't make them watch. This is an excellent buddy cop movie, with lots of action and a good plot, it won't win Oscars for story telling but it's interesting. Ford and Hartnett give great performances and of course everyone is too wrapped up in that green CGI crap to even notice. Trust me, if there are any adults out there who are looking for an exciting and funny time at the movies, you should ignore the giant green chunk of CGI cheese and see this movie instead. It's the best movie you haven't seen.

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8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

So many people have missed the point

Author: PhilmGuru from United Kingdom
16 December 2003

Anyone who has seen this movie and commented on it as a serious action film should be shot.

From the very start it is fairly obvious it crosses the cheese line into a parody. From the totally pointless/unrelated cheesy opening scene of HF on a shooting range, the lake chase scene, the whole buddy buddy chemistry (or total deliberate lack thereof) to the non stop annoying phone ringing or maybe the complete lack of an interesting plot? Some of these should have given away to most people the real intentions of this film.

The 'love' scene with Harrison Ford should be the last clue to anyone blind enough, that this is really not to be taken seriously and can be considered made specially for Mystery Science Theatre.

The film is called 'Hollywood Homicide', I believe, so titled as to ruffle some Hollywood feathers with the notion that Hollywood has been killed by the never ending rain of terrible buddy cop movies. The real joke is that some suit somewhere probably OK'd this as a real action movie.

In fact, the funniest thing is that some people took it seriously and enjoyed it as a serious action movie.

The chases are deliberately over the top lame (I mean really, really bad), the dialogue is so silly and pointless it just makes you laugh, the character development is totally non-existant, the cliches flow non-stop, the whole side plot of internal affairs is placed there because it's in every buddy cop movie, etc, etc. How anyone took this movie as a serious action film is beyond me.

I give it 6/10 because, it's hilarious in places (in a MST kind of way), I agree with their intentions (THE COP FILMS MUST END!!!). Just please, don't take it anything more than a parody.

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15 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

More unusual than expected

6/10
Author: jpschapira from Argentina
6 June 2005

Taking another chance on L.A, on the streets and more specifically on the police, as in "Dark Blue", Ron Shelton, a man of multiple themes, brings a new project to the table, which is called "Hollywood Homicide". The difference between this one and the latter one is that this is Hollywood, precisely. And when the beginning credits roll, and we're shown fifty "Hollywood" signs; it's obvious that they want us to realize that. Why would it be?

The story about Ron Shelton meeting Robert Souza in the set of "Dark Blue" and them both getting together to write the script of "Hollywood Homicide", because Souza had been a cop before…Interesting. However, in the same vein, "Dark Blue" is the portrait of a cruel reality; "Hollywood Homicide" is the satire of a shallow but real reality in the end. It's Hollywood, and it was a good premise to put some fun in the crime scenes, probably to make it "more dramatic than anything seen in Hollywood".

The other elements the plot offers go from action to crime, or vice versa. They created the murderer of a rap band, so they could mess a little bit with the music business, too. There we see the producers, the groups, the "showbiz"…It's even related with theater and movies, because one of the main characters wants to be an actor; and in a decent comedic way, he's thinking about acting each time he's doing something; and he probably isn't that good.

I'm talking about K.C Calden; Josh Hartnett's character. He gives classes of movements to find the inner self. There, a lot of hot women assist and kiss him when they leave. In one scene, his partner tells him that he did for sex. "At first it was for sex, now it has become something spiritual", K.C answers, and at night, a hot woman is waiting for him in the "Jacuzzi". "How long has it been since the last time you got laid", K.C asks his partner. "It's not your business", the partner says. Then, he lets a man working as a prostitute into his car. When they discuss that, he says: "It was nothing, it was a man, a cop; a cop man".

This partner is Joe Gavilan, a pro in the police business played by a pro in the acting business. As he did with Kurt Russell in "Dark Blue", Shelton brings Harrison Ford back to the top of his game. With his character, based on writer Robert Souzas's own life, he has the best lines and he has a lot of fun. Antoine Sartain (Isaiah Washington) should be afraid of him; a man that has had sex, with Ruby (an over the top Lena Olin) and makes real estate business with producer Jerry Duran (the great Martin Landau) and Julius Armas (a correct Master P) while he's driving a car high speed. When he is told the composer of the rap group is still alive, he replies: "Somebody actually writes that s***?". He has had bad times, Bennie Macko (Bruce Greenwood) wants to get him, and in the best scene of the movie, he and K.C get interrogated. This scene is managed with camera changes between the two interrogating rooms, where in Joe's, his cell is always ringing; and in K.C's, he is "centering" himself spiritually. Joe's interrogator can't do anything, while K.C's interrogator (a woman) asks him to help her relax.

That scene stole the only laughs from me during the entire film. Keith David was also having fun in his Leo role, reprising some of the comic elements he gave to Lester Wallace in "Barbershop". More importantly, and if you were wondering, Shelton directs his actors perfectly, making a stupendous balance between the pro and the amateur, the old and the young; Harrison Ford and Josh Hartnett. Their chemistry is perfect, and one of the few reasons to watch the movie. In the end, their characters are nothing else but cops, in a film that leaves a lot of plot situations unresolved, is a bit long, not funny enough, but different from the gross humor that everyone finds easy to put on paper.

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15 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Not exactly Murtaugh & Riggs

Author: george.schmidt (gpschmidt67@gmail.com) from fairview, nj
16 June 2003

HOLLYWOOD HOMICIDE (2003) ** Harrison Ford, Josh Hartnett, Lena Olin, Bruce Greenwood, Isaiah Washington, Keith David, Dwight Yoakam, Lolita Davidovich, Martin Landau, Master P, Lou Diamond Phillips, Gladys Knight, Smokey Robinson, Kurupt, Dre, (Cameo: Eric Idle; Robert Wagner as himself). By-the-numbers cop/buddy flick with Ford and Hartnett as gruff and flaky (respectively) LAPD detectives on the case of a rap group assassination while attempting to juggle their moonlighting gigs as real estate broker and wanna be actor (respectively) with a more-miss-than-hit attempt in the laughs department sadly by the out-of-touch script by director Ron Shelton (who acquits himself however in the action sequences including a smash bang-up thrilling car chase along Hollywood Boulevard) and Robert Souza that may have worked 20 years ago with its punchy takes at how LA is a town of many colorful characters on the make at something other than their boring careers (in this case police work). Although it is nice to see Ford's natural humor break through his bristling scowly demeanor Hartnett is miscast and clearly has no knack for comedy; that's the real joke.

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