Hollywood Homicide

Action movies that show a real interest in characters and their quirks are so rare that you might be ready to forgive this one its sins of cliché and poky pacing. There's a lively wink in Harrison Ford's performance as Joe Gavilan, a homicide detective who moonlights selling real estate to support his three ex-wives. Josh Hartnett co-stars as his hunk partner, K.C. Calden, who earns money teaching yoga to bed-able babes and is trying to make it as an actor. K.C. has nabbed a role in A Streetcar Named Desire, and Joe helps him rehearse. To hear Ford play Blanche to Hartnett's Stanley is a kick.

Credit the colorful dialogue to director Ron Shelton (Bull Durham, Dark Blue). He co-wrote the script with former LAPD cop Robert Souza, who knows the turf. Shelton doesn't care much about the plot — the murder of a rap star — and neither will you. But in a summer of slick buddy flicks, Hollywood Homicide is escapism with a human touch — it feels lived-in.

From The Archives Issue 273: September 7, 1978