Hollywood Homicide

(Ron Shelton, USA, 2003)


How’s this for a high concept? Two cops, one old, the other young. The irascible, seasoned guy, Joe (Harrison Ford), moonlights as a real estate agent, so he’s always taking urgent calls and making deals while inspecting murder sites. The new recruit, K.C. (Josh Hartnett), is a gentle, New Age soul who runs a yoga class when he’s not involved in car chases or shoot-outs.

Hollywood Homicide is the kind of desperate entertainment package that keeps leaping between lifestyle comedy and an action-thriller plot – the latter providing the film’s third novelty ingredient, a glimpse into the cutthroat world of the hip hop industry. But the police thread is purely perfunctory, and laughs are thin on the ground for the rest of the time.

Director and co-writer Ron Shelton (White Men Can’t Jump, 1992) tends to lose grip on his material when the subject is not sport. There is only one trademark he vainly tries to smuggle into Hollywood Homicide: a supposedly adult view of sex between people of a mature age.

But he has fallen a long way from the glory of Susan Sarandon in Bull Durham (1988). Here the repartee between Joe and his sophisticated lover, Ruby (Lena Olin), never gets above Viagra jokes and silly sex poses tastefully linked by fades.

© Adrian Martin September 2003

Film Critic: Adrian Martin
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