Sunday, February 29, 2004

Too much action,
too few thrills
Ervell E. Menezes

A scene from Hollywood Homicide
A scene from Hollywood Homicide

IT is almost a cliche today that big stars do not necessarily make a film good. Even if they are from different generations like Harrison Ford and Josh Hartnett. It may the new marketing strategy to target two audiences, middle-aged and young. But Hollywood Homicide never really takes off because it follows the predictable course of so many cop films.

Itís good that Harrison Ford today is made to act his age. But as veteran detective Joe Gavilan, a weary but tenacious police veteran, that tired look is off-putting. Even a tired man can smile occasionally. As for Josh Hartnett as K.C. Calden, his enthusiasm is commendable and though the two of them form an association of sorts they donít exactly blaze a trail like some of the better known pairs.

That Joe is moon-lighting as a real estate agent gives the cop a new dimension but that is because he has too many commitments, three alimonies among other expenses. As for K.C. heís more interested in being an actor and in tantric meditation.

Their side-interests do provide more latitude when they are asked to investigate a shootout at a classy restaurant but the script by Robert DíSouza and Ron Shelton is lacklustre. It is the same old cop routine and director Ron Shelton doesnít help one bit by giving the action some direction.

Thereís an anti-corruption cop trying to nail Joe little knowing that his wife is not only cheating on him but having an affair with, of all people, Joe. If thatís a bit of a shock donít expect any more. The car chases are routine, the jokes quite weak and though it reminds one of the Dirty Harrys and Bullitts of yesteryear it would be unfair to even mention Hollywood Homicide in the same breath.

Barry Petersonís cinematography is an asset and the lay of the land gives him enough scope but Joe and K.C. crawl their way around with little expectation. The dashes of action too are special-effects heavy. May be, the rise in the incidence of cop films works against this one and Harrison Ford seems to have lost his charisma. Josh Hartnett is marginally better, but thanks, no thanks, this film really sucks. Quite avoidable.

This feature was published on February 15, 2004