|Hollywood Homicide as those jokes aren't always that funny. And who knows if they're even jokes. Aside from one almost side-splittingly funny interrogation scene involving Harrison Ford and Josh Hartnett (they play Hollywood detectives), the movie really is not worth more than a few chuckles or smiles. And it's hard to know if the audience is really supposed to be laughing anyway, given the disparate temperaments in the trailers for the film.|
While the main two and a half minute trailer, that audiences saw in the theater as a preview, painted the film as a comedy, television spots that popped up in the week before the film's opening tried to market the film as an action drama. And while the marketing folks may have thought they were advertising their product in multiple ways to gain the largest audience, it's interesting to note that the movie is neither dramatic enough nor funny enough to warrant either distinction.
While one can argue that bringing a successful comedy to the screen is a harder task than making serious drama realistic, the story of Hollywood Homicide unfolds quite slowly and the drama is anything buy affecting. Stemming from a massive last-minute editing job, it's plainly obvious that the production team scrambled to take out some of the intricacies of the plot in favor of creating a chase sequence at the end of the film that takes up a good twenty minutes of screen time (of course, it feels like an hour).
Some television spots have quoted various film critics as saying Hollywood Homicide is "this summer's Lethal Weapon. And while the balance of slapstick comedy and action is in the same vein as the Gibson/Glover blockbuster, there is just no realistic comparison between the two. Lethal Weapon is a far superior movie and its legacy is cheapened by the suggestion that Hollywood Homicide is at all as entertaining. Hollywood fails to really make its comedy funny enough and its drama serious enough to make an emotional impact on the audience. But what is a more serious problem is the fact that Josh Hartnett is devoid of any real personality.
While Harrison Ford does as well as is to be expected with his material, Hartnett is as entertaining and vibrant as a nicely painted two-by-four. As the film is supposed to be a classic "buddy film," one would assume that there would be some entertaining and realistic chemistry between the two lead stars, but Ford has to take up way too much of the slack. Hartnett just hasn't made a convincing performance in any of his films thus far and Hollywood Homicide is no improvement for him.
Perhaps it's because the plot of the film winds itself up in the beginning only to conclude with a mountain of loose ends. A complicated story involving police corruption starts to unfold in the second act, but it just fizzles out and disappears at the end of the film. And if you pay attention, you can identify what was taken out of the film. Lou Diamond Phillips obviously had a bigger role, but in the way the film is currently edited, he shows up in one scene for about ten seconds.
It's doubtful the production would have hired Phillips for what essentially became the part of an extra with a few speaking lines. Some major and heavy duty cutting of the plot occurred before this movie hit the screen and it suffers from a lack of believability. The producers seem to have thought that audiences wouldn't be able to handle additional plot turns and twists and information, but that's exactly what the movie should have had more of.
The film rolls out of bed at such a leisurely pace that it's really quite hard to keep one's attention on the screen for the duration of a film that will keep you in the theater a good two hours. If you're a fan of police action comedies and the stars of this film, a trip to the theater just might be warranted. But if you're at all questioning whether this is the type of film you'd enjoy, wait for the video to come out and save yourself the trouble.
Review by Kelsey Wyatt.