Homicide succeeds at blending genres

Hollywood is famous, or infamous, for its celebrities and its drama while Los Angeles is famous for its police department. In Hollywood Homicide, the two combine for an amusing film that, while having some holes in the script, is as funny as it is thrilling.

Harrison Ford stars as Joe Gavilan, an LAPD homicide detective quite unsuccessfully part-timing in real estate. His partner, K.C. Calden (Josh Hartnett), is a yoga teacher from a police family, aspiring to be an actor.

Throughout the movie, both characters try to fulfill the dream in their side jobs — Gavilan tries to sell some property, while Calden tries his best at becoming Stanley Kowalski from Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire.

The pair is assigned to figure out who is responsible for a shoot-up of a hip new club, which resulted in the deaths of several new up-and-coming rappers. Sometimes taking the long way, Calden and Gavilan wade through the evidence and pin the murders on the right guy.

Meant to be a comedy, the film starts out rather bland in that sense. Fortunately, the comedy of the second part of the film makes up for the limited humor of the film’s first half.

The film is filled with interesting cameos, which are always a good addition. Lou Diamond Phillips stars as an undercover cop roaming the streets as a cheap hooker, Gladys Knight plays the mother of the sole survivor of the shooting and rapper Andre from Outkast peeks his head into the picture as well.

Director Ron Shelton finally struck a chord while filming Hollywood Homicide. His previous attempt at showing the lives of LAPD cops was the atrocious Dark Blue. Thankfully, this film is not a follow up to what was a true waste of good celluloid.

Ford and Hartnett make a good team and both give outstanding performances. While comedy is not quite the strength for either actor, or at least hasn’t been in a while for Ford, the plot and character interaction creates a humor that gives the movie a strong base.

There are a couple of things that need improvements. One is that the script has holes — situations are mentioned only once and have no reasonable explanation.

Some of the plot points are also a little trite — Calden’s father, a police officer as well, was killed and Calden is somewhat trying to avenge his death.

Also, at a little less than two hours long, the last part of the movie drags. It may be filled with an ample amount of humor, but it seems to be a filler rather than a good plot.

But the film is entertaining in its entirety, providing a good blend of comedy, action and drama.

Rating: B
Comedy, PG-13, Running time: 111 min.