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Hollywood Homicide (2003)
Rated PG13

Starring: Harrison Ford, Josh Hartnett, and Lena Olin

Rating:
**1/2
out of
*****

"If it's not one thing, it's another!" exclaims Joe Gavilan (Harrison Ford) as he and his partner, K. C. Calden (Josh Hartnett), pursue a suspect in one of those high-speed car chases that seem to be the only way Hollywood can bring a film to climax anymore. That line perfectly sums up Hollywood Homicide.

Joe is a part-time real estate agent along with being a veteran homicide detective. K. C. is a part-time yoga teacher and part-time actor as well as a rookie detective. (Apparently, there aren't enough homicides in Los Angeles so they have to take second jobs to pass the time. Yeah, right.) When some up-and-coming rappers are gunned down in a nightclub, K.C. and Joe are pulled from their "hobby jobs" and put on the case. However, thanks to cell phones, their other jobs never seem to be more than a phone call away.

Which introduces the biggest problem with Hollywood Homicide: too many subplots. Joe tries to close a few real estate deals. K. C. tries to arrange a showcase performance of "A Streetcar Named Desire" and looks into the suspicious death of his father, also a cop. Both detectives are harassed by a crooked Internal Affairs officer who might be connected to the shooting they're investigating. Nearly every scene is interrupted by someone's cell phone ringing with information on a real estate deal, a plot development, or just a random humorous interlude. It's some of the laziest writing I've ever seen. It's like Ron Shelton, the co-writer and director, thought of a funny way to inject confusion into the movie and said, "What if they all have cell phones and each new development can be introduced by a call at the worst possible moment?" It's a gag that runs of gas by the second reel.

There are some genuine laughs in this buddy cop comedy, but most of the material is either flat or ham-fisted. Harrison Ford is honestly the best thing about the entire film. His character is defeated and desperate and Ford's performance actually makes those traits believable. Hartnett and his goofy character are likeable, but he's not too interesting in the grand scheme of the movie. Everything else about the film is pedestrian at best and, for an action film, that's the kiss-of-death.

Trivia: Joe Gavilan's frequently heard cell phone ring is the opening riff of "My Girl", while K.C. Calden's phone plays "Funkytown". (Source: The Internet Movie Database)

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