See our Best of Detroit 2020 winners.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Hollywood Homicide

Posted By on Wed, Jun 18, 2003 at 12:00 AM

With some movies, it takes a while before you get the impression that they’re going to be bad. With Hollywood Homicide, it takes about five minutes. The moment arrives when Harrison Ford, a veteran homicide detective surveying a grisly crime scene, responds to his young partner’s desire to make himself useful by giving him a complicated order for a hamburger. Not only is it not funny, but we get a cutaway to Keith David, playing another senior cop, chuckling appreciatively to signal to the audience just how funny it’s supposed to be. Oh, goodie, one thinks, not only are we going to get bad jokes, we’re going to have them spoon-fed.

Which is pretty much what happens for the next two hours. The story is about a multiple homicide at a dance club, an evil rap mogul, crooked ex-cops and just how funny it is that Ford’s character moonlights as a real estate agent and that his partner, played by Josh Hartnett, wants to be an actor. The problem isn’t with the directing or acting, which are both serviceable, but the script, which is abysmal, both in its unimaginative plot and dialogue. The movie seems to have been written by people who had studied the concept of jokes, but had never actually heard one. They know the formula, but not the funny. And to top it off, the last half hour of the film is an extended double-chase sequence.

More important, or more interesting, than all that is that Ford has apparently reached that point in his career where somebody’s decided that it would be advantageous to pair him with a handsome young up-and-comer. I’ve always thought that Ford’s stardom was unjustly earned, conferred upon him by dint of his having appeared in the Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies, which would have been successful with almost any competent actor starring in them. He’s always seemed uncomfortable in the superstar realm, a stolid but anxious actor with fearful eyes. He often looks as if he were about to lose his grip or be found out, which is not an inappropriate look if you’re a fugitive or a president whose plane has been taken over by terrorists, but it’s a character actor’s look, not a leading man’s. I think he would be more suited playing a deeply disturbed person, maybe a child molester.

That, at any rate, was where my mind wandered to, watching Hollywood Homicide.

Richard C. Walls writes about film for Metro Times. E-mail letters@metrotimes.com.

Tags:

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

More by Richard C. Walls

Read the Digital Print Issue

November 25, 2020

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2020 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation