Hollywood Homicide

Harrison Ford, Josh Hartnett, Martin Landau. Directed by Ron Shelton.
Running Time: 116 mins
Rated: PG

Joe Gavilan (Ford) has been a member of the LAPD for 30 years. Gavilan has been used to doing things his way. He has had a complex relationship with his superiors and so has not progressed up the ranks of the force in the way he would have liked. Strapped for cash he has dabbled in the LA property market on the side. KC Calden (Hartnett) is a police rookie, and a bit dippy at that. He is assigned to Gavilan who is given no choice but to take him on. When a Rap singer is murdered in an LA nightclub, Gavilan and Calden are called in to investigate, and their various experiences of the sub-cultures of LA enables them to work out who was responsible for the Hollywood homicide.

On paper this was a clever concept for a film. Get yesterday's leading action hero and match him up with an up-and-coming heartthrob. There is no question Ford and Hartnett have charisma. The only ingredient missing for them was a decent vehicle for their talents. Writers Ron Shelton and Robert Souza poke fun at the detective genre, and every so often there is a decent laugh or two. But these giggles in no way compensate us for the mundane, uninspired and humourless material which constitutes the vast majority of the film.

Ron Shelton's direction is so stilted that some scenes are embarrassing to watch. We come to see that the real homicide in Hollywood is happening up on the screen.

The final chase sequence is exciting enough, if a bit too long, but by then nothing can save this film from being an unfunny and mediocre waste of time.

Fr Richard Leonard is the director of the Australian Catholic film office.