Hollywood Homicide

Unusual cop comedy thriller from Ron Shelton

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OPENS AUGUST 29, CERT 12A, 116 MINS

Ron Shelton’s break from macho-undercutting sports films continues with his second LAPD movie in three months. But where the James Ellroy-inspired Dark Blue exposed LA’s infamous cops, this is more traditional Shelton fare: an easygoing study of male friendship, as Harrison Ford’s ageing detective and callow partner Josh Hartnett investigate the shooting of a rap group.

Shelton is fascinated by LA, roaming through sleepy canals, piers and ranches, turning the hidden corners of the film industry’s home. Ford and Hartnett have been seduced by LA’s double life: investigating killings while fielding calls about Ford’s faltering property investments, and Hartnett’s acting auditions. Entering LA’s rap industry to find a label boss implicated in his stars’ slaying, meanwhile, recalls Suge Knight’s alleged muddying of showbiz and gun-play.

Shapeless and over-obvious compared to Shelton’s best work, this feels like an experiment before he works out what to really do next.

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