Veteran detective Joe Gavilan, a weary but tenacious police veteran at the top of his game professionally, though his personal life is rapidly unraveling. His partner, K.C. Calden, seems to be more interested in his side jobs as a yoga teacher and aspiring actor than in the high-profile gangland-style murder they are currently investigating. Welcome to the land of blue skies, palm trees and dead bodies.
Harrison Ford's character, a veteran Los Angeles detective with a callow young partner (Josh Hartnett) and sundry financial and professional problems, may be a walking cop-movie cliche, something both he and Ron Shelton, the director, seem happy to acknowledge. But rather than perpetrate another by-the-book exercise in copland corruption and underworld sleaze, Mr. Shelton opens the movie up, using its intricate plot as the frame for a collage of funny riffs and surprising performances. Mr. Hartnett's affable dimness disguises impeccable comic timing, and Mr. Ford does his loosest, wittiest work in years. The supporting cast is a goody bag stuffed with hip-hop strutters, mature bombshells and two bona fide music legends: Gladys Knight and Smokey Robinson, who plays a put-upon cabdriver. The movie is shambling, anarchic, self-indulgent and a whole lot of fun. — A.O. Scott
2003-06-13 | A. O. Scott | Read the New York Times Review of Hollywood Homicide