6 June 2005 | jpschapira
More unusual than expected
Taking another chance on L.A, on the streets and more specifically on the police, as in "Dark Blue", Ron Shelton, a man of multiple themes, brings a new project to the table, which is called "Hollywood Homicide". The difference between this one and the latter one is that this is Hollywood, precisely. And when the beginning credits roll, and we're shown fifty "Hollywood" signs; it's obvious that they want us to realize that. Why would it be?
The story about Ron Shelton meeting Robert Souza in the set of "Dark Blue" and them both getting together to write the script of "Hollywood Homicide", because Souza had been a cop before
Interesting. However, in the same vein, "Dark Blue" is the portrait of a cruel reality; "Hollywood Homicide" is the satire of a shallow but real reality in the end. It's Hollywood, and it was a good premise to put some fun in the crime scenes, probably to make it "more dramatic than anything seen in Hollywood".
The other elements the plot offers go from action to crime, or vice versa. They created the murderer of a rap band, so they could mess a little bit with the music business, too. There we see the producers, the groups, the "showbiz"
It's even related with theater and movies, because one of the main characters wants to be an actor; and in a decent comedic way, he's thinking about acting each time he's doing something; and he probably isn't that good.
I'm talking about K.C Calden; Josh Hartnett's character. He gives classes of movements to find the inner self. There, a lot of hot women assist and kiss him when they leave. In one scene, his partner tells him that he did for sex. "At first it was for sex, now it has become something spiritual", K.C answers, and at night, a hot woman is waiting for him in the "Jacuzzi". "How long has it been since the last time you got laid", K.C asks his partner. "It's not your business", the partner says. Then, he lets a man working as a prostitute into his car. When they discuss that, he says: "It was nothing, it was a man, a cop; a cop man".
This partner is Joe Gavilan, a pro in the police business played by a pro in the acting business. As he did with Kurt Russell in "Dark Blue", Shelton brings Harrison Ford back to the top of his game. With his character, based on writer Robert Souzas's own life, he has the best lines and he has a lot of fun. Antoine Sartain (Isaiah Washington) should be afraid of him; a man that has had sex, with Ruby (an over the top Lena Olin) and makes real estate business with producer Jerry Duran (the great Martin Landau) and Julius Armas (a correct Master P) while he's driving a car high speed. When he is told the composer of the rap group is still alive, he replies: "Somebody actually writes that s***?". He has had bad times, Bennie Macko (Bruce Greenwood) wants to get him, and in the best scene of the movie, he and K.C get interrogated. This scene is managed with camera changes between the two interrogating rooms, where in Joe's, his cell is always ringing; and in K.C's, he is "centering" himself spiritually. Joe's interrogator can't do anything, while K.C's interrogator (a woman) asks him to help her relax.
That scene stole the only laughs from me during the entire film. Keith David was also having fun in his Leo role, reprising some of the comic elements he gave to Lester Wallace in "Barbershop". More importantly, and if you were wondering, Shelton directs his actors perfectly, making a stupendous balance between the pro and the amateur, the old and the young; Harrison Ford and Josh Hartnett. Their chemistry is perfect, and one of the few reasons to watch the movie. In the end, their characters are nothing else but cops, in a film that leaves a lot of plot situations unresolved, is a bit long, not funny enough, but different from the gross humor that everyone finds easy to put on paper.