Friday, December 14, 2007

Now Playing: Hollywood Homicide

Harrison Ford, why hast thou forsaken me?

This is Indiana Jones, Han Solo, and John Book. Anyone that grew up in the 1980s idolized him, yet his last genuine hit was the over-amped Air Force One 10 years ago (and I’m not counting the awful What Lies Beneath because that film, like this one, sucked). Instead of using his 30 years worth of clout to only work with the best, he apparently doesn’t care anymore.

I swear I don’t know what goes on in the man’s head when he goes out of his way to star in unfunny tripe like Hollywood Homicide when it is so clearly beneath him that even he doesn’t seem cognizant of which film he’s in.

Not helping matters is the fact that his partner is played by Mr. Lacking Personality himself, Josh Hartnett. This is another case of an undeserving actor having a career when no semblance of talent is ever on screen. His character, of course, wants to be an actor, which proves unintentionally ironic during his thespian displays of shouting “Stella!” at the top of his lungs. About the only time he’s convincing during the film is... wait, nope. I can’t finish that sentence with a straight face so let’s move on to what else fails.

The plot involves a rap group finding themselves on the wrong end of a machine gun at a club, and when the cops are called in to investigate they find their personal lives intertwined with the case. Think of a cop movie cliché and I guarantee you it makes an appearance somewhere, which is shocking considering the amount of talent both in front of and behind the camera. There are plenty of big names who sort of blow through their roles as though they’re just doing this for the paycheck and aren’t ashamed to let it show. Martin Landau has an Oscar, last I heard, yet he's playing a knock-off of Robert Evans who was better spoofed by Dustin Hoffman in Wag the Dog.

Just sayin'.

It's funny now to watch Isaiah Washington play the rage-filled music mogul behind everything, because of the hostility which bounced him from "Grey's Anatomy." The ultra-hot Lena Olin appears as Ford's psychic girlfriend and like Keith David as Ford's supervisor, is completely, utterly wasted. So much talent, so little script. The film is not serious enough to become emotionally involved with, funny enough to laugh at, or sleazy enough to revel in. It limps along to its conclusion, the least exciting car chase I think I've ever seen followed by equally unexciting show downs with the villains.

While I may have a glimmer of hope for the upcoming Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, it has more to do with the combination of Lucas, Spielberg, Ford, and the return of Karen Allen than with Ford by himself. By this point, I think it’s obvious that the man doesn’t care anymore which is heartbreaking for fans. When Ford wants to, he proves time and again that he’s more than an actor. He’s an icon.

I sincerely wish he would care about something again, and soon.

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