Hollywood Homicide review

In Ron Shelton's lacklustre action comedy, Harrison Ford plays a thrice-divorced LA detective with a sideline in real estate who's dating a late-night radio DJ (Lena Olin), whose other boyfriend (Bruce Greenwood) is the internal-affairs cop investigating him. Got that? Good. Now meet Ford's partner Josh Hartnett, a gun-shy rookie who teaches yoga, wants to become an actor and dreams of finding the man who killed his copper dad when he was a kid.

That's a helluva lot of plot to squeeze into one film - and we haven't even mentioned the gangland murders Ford and Hartnett are supposed to be solving between acting auditions and property transactions. But that's par for the course in a movie that can't decide if it's a sly Hollywood satire, a hard-nosed cop thriller or a buddy-buddy romp.

Well, let's break it down. The Tinseltown stuff actually works quite well thanks to Martin Landau as a Robert Evans-style producer, Lolita Davidovich as a Heidi Fleiss-like madam and Eric Idle's cameo as a British thesp arrested forHugh Grant-ish behaviour. It's the other elements that jar, the playful conflict between Ford's grizzled veteran and Hartnett's cocky young 'un sitting uneasily next to the violent carnage instigated by Isaiah Washington's rap mogul, who murderlises any artist foolish enough to quit his label.

However, what really kills Hollywood Homicide is the lame comic riffs that director Ron Shelton clumsily shoehorns into his slack narrative - Hartnett rehearsing a production of A Streetcar Named Desire, Ford stealing some little girl's bike during a Beverly Hills car chase, or a tiresome running gag involving mobile-phone jingles (Harrison's plays The Temptations, while Josh's rings out `Funkytown').

Throw in an almost total lack of chemistry between the two leads (Ford, seemingly trying to lighten his sourpuss image, has rarely looked less comfortable), and it's hard to believe this comes from the same helmer who's just given us the forceful Dark Blue.

The decent supporting cast can't redeem a misguided caper that will do nothing to reverse Ford's alarming career slump. Come back K-19, all is forgiven.

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