Hollywood HomicideJune 13, 2003
Two LAPD detectives who moonlight in other fields investigate the murder of an up-and-coming rap group.
Release Year: 2003
Rating: 5.2/10 (20,106 voted)
Critic's Score: 47/100
Stars: Harrison Ford, Josh Hartnett, Isaiah Washington
When not solving murders in Tinseltown, Detective Joe Gavilan and his rookie partner Kasey Calden both moonlight in other fields: Gavilan sells real estate (poorly), and Calden aspires to become an actor (Brando, namely). Assigned to the vicious in-club slaying of a promising young rap act, the two detective delve into the recording industry where they hope to find answers – ideally ones that also come with property buyers or auditions.
Writers: Robert Souza, Ron Shelton
Sgt. Joe Gavilan
Det. K.C. Calden
Lt. Bennie Macko
Lou Diamond Phillips
Meredith Scott Lynn
I.A. Detective Jackson
I.A. Detective Zino
(as Andre Benjamin)
In Hollywood, no one is who they really want to be.
Release Date: 13 June 2003
Filming Locations: Beverly Hills, California, USA
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: $11,112,632
(15 June 2003)
(27 July 2003)
Did You Know?
Joe Gavilan's frequently heard cell phone ring is the opening riff of "My Girl", while K.C. Calden's phone plays "Funkytown".
When K.C. commandeers the mini van during the chase, the girl with the white cap is on the passenger side and the boy is on the driver's side. During the chase the girl and boy switch places several times in long shots.
Shooting Practice Announcer:
Shooters step up to the 20 yard line.
[K.C. has trouble shooting his target during shooting practice, so Joe shoots his and K.C.'s at the same time]
I finished a painting while writing this review
Joe Gavilan (Harrison Ford) is a seasoned detective. K.C. Calden (Josh
Hartnett) is his still wet behind the ears partner. Hollywood Homicide
has them trying to balance the investigation of murders involving
members of LA's rap industry with unusual extracurricular activities
The most obvious aspects that make the film work so well are the
extracurriculars. Without them, this might be seen as just another
buddy-cop action/crime/drama–a good one at that, but nothing
spectacular. But Hollywood Homicide is a comedy at heart. Gavilan's
first concern upon arriving at any crime scene is that he gets some
food, just the way he likes it. He's also a real estate agent. While
conducting investigations, calls from buyers and sellers of homes
always take precedence. Calden is also an aspiring actor, and he's
quite a ladies' man. He even makes extra income by running a yoga
class–with only women students–at $20 a head. Most of the students
want to sleep with him, as do most other women he meets. They get away
with it because Gavilan, at least, is also a great detective.
All of this material is very funny, but never in an over-the-top way.
In fact, a lot of viewers might have difficulty "getting" the humor in
the film, as much of it arrives by way of the action/crime/drama
material that is only slightly exaggerated. That's a genre that often
borders on the absurd even when it's played seriously. So the tendency
may be for people to take this film seriously at times, and miss the
gist of the humor.
The real joke, of course, is that this is Hollywood–a fact made all
too clear by director Ron Shelton's title montage of "Hollywood" on
various signs. In Hollywood, as in LA in general, it seems that
everyone has something else that they'd rather be doing than their
actual job, so they're all really focusing on that instead, while the
day job pays the bills. Everyone is trying to make connections, and
they're willing to do all kinds of unusual things to make them.
Everyone is constantly on their cell phones. Run-ins with people who
have various connections to the entertainment industry are commonplace,
and it's not unusual to casually compliment them on their talent or
some facet of their career before you, say, run after their offspring
with a gun. Criminal activity and other unpleasant facts of daily
existence are mostly taken in stride because no one can let such things
get in the way of achieving success in what they really want to do.
That Shelton was able to make a film about "the real joke", and still
keep a capable "serious" action/crime/drama running in the background
is the real secret to the film's success. Without looking the broader
themes, one might wonder why Harrison Ford would pick a seemingly
pedestrian script at this stage of his career. From a deeper
perspective, this is a very funny film with a more serious, almost
self-deprecating subtext (for Hollywood, or the entertainment industry
in general), and with an even more generalized "the grass is always
greener on the other side of the fence" theme. Hollywood Homicide is
well worth a watch or reassessment with this in mind.