Hollywood Homicide [2003]

Harrison Ford lends his solid, perpetually disgruntled presence to Hollywood Homicide, an action comedy in which he's paired with the squinty eyes and peaches-and-cream complexion of Josh Hartnett (Black Hawk Down, O). Radical French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard would appreciate this complete deconstruction of the buddy-cop flick genre; basic cinematic elements (mismatched partners, a hard-ass superior riding them, arguments about who's going to drive, arguments about intuition vs. diligent detective work, the bad cop who killed Hartnett's father, etc.) have been scrambled and slapped together with no concern for coherence, making clear their innately artificial nature. Sex scenes and car chases come out of nowhere and disappear without consequence, providing arbitrary visual stimulus. During shootouts, it's impossible to tell who got killed or why, underscoring a basic doubt about the purpose of making movies like Hollywood Homicide. It's rare for a mainstream movie to be so daringly (if perhaps accidentally) avant-garde. --Bret Fetzer

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